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Introduction

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Abstract

The starting point for this introduction is that historians in the United States have tended to understate the continuing role of the British in Latin America after 1914, while historians in Britain have focused more on the nineteenth than the twentieth century. Although the world wars and the Great Depression seriously weakened the British, they continued to invest in and trade with the region despite the growing financial constraints they faced. At times they resisted US hegemony, but at others they cooperated with the United States. A reconsideration of their ‘entangled histories’ in Latin America is thus justified. After outlining the development of British and US links with the region during the twentieth century, we summarise the historiography on each. While historians of the British connection with Latin America cannot ignore the growth of US hegemony, historians of US relations with Latin America should give greater consideration to the continued role of the British.