While Roosevelt was in office,
many politicians and intellectuals accused Roosevelt of imperialism.
Imperialism is the practice by which powerful nations seek to control
of influence others. European imperialism was characterized by territorial
acquisition. Roosevelt did not want at all to acquire colonies. Roosevelt
wanted treaties that would help the success of U.S businesses.
In diplomatic affairs, Roosevelt thought that it was important to "Speak
softly and carry a big stick," which implied that good control
could be practiced without the formality of colonial rule. The "big
stick" sometimes meant the threat of war, and was barely used against
powerful nations in Europe and Asia, although Roosevelt's administration
did pressure Latin American countries.