Latin America – United States Relations Analysis

This source did a decent job, as far as Wikipedia articles go, of avoiding outright bias, citing well, and providing different perspectives to create a well-rounded informational text. Like most entries, however, it had a few places where improvements to argument, structure, and citation style, would have made the article more credible.

Firstly, the article did a relatively decent job at keeping bias to a minimum. It definitely seemed to be written from the perspective of someone not residing in Latin America, however, and I think it is safe to assume they may have been American. The author also tended to favor America slightly throughout the article. One example of this was when the Mexican-American war of 1846 was being discussed, and the article stated that “The American Military was easily triumphant” (Latin America – United States Relations; Overview, para. 2). This statement, while very obviously stating the superiority of the American military, does not explain this victory, leaving it up to the reader to make an assumption about this “easy” military defeat of the Mexican Army. For example, was it superior numbers that led to this victory? Geographical advantages? Tactical? None of these possibilities are mentioned. Many of the facts stated within the article, such as the example above, do not contain citations. However, the sources that are mentioned—including books, online sources, and the links—do not appear to have any apparent bias, although some links to tend to use language akin to the aforementioned “easily triumphant” claim, which may suggest bias toward one side or viewpoint of a particular group or person. Overall, the bias within the article was handled tastefully, if present at all.

The relevancy of the citations, facts, and links within the article seemed, at first glance, decently sufficient. Once I read further into the article, however, there were some phrases that seemed out of place at times, or unnecessary for the general understanding of the event or subject of discussion. This issue was not frequent nor consistent, but did happen noticeably a few times, which did prove to be a distraction, and hindered comprehension. Another issue the article had with distractions was the transitions. From paragraph to paragraph, most of the time the transitions were smooth and the timeline made sense. A few times, however, there was no transition and the timeline was as much as 50 years apart, with no mention as to why the events being discussed were related. For instance, between the fifth and sixth paragraph of the overview, the firth paragraph talks about the Mexican Revolution and a brief history and overview of the conflict. As it is mentioned, the Mexican Revolution took place in 1910 (Overview, para. 5). The next paragraph, however, jumps right into a discussion about the Cold War, which did not kick off until 1947. This gap, in both context and chronology, was not explained anywhere in the article. While this is not necessarily an issue that takes away from the content of the piece, it did make for an abrupt transition, and was stylistically unpleasant.

Many facts surrounding the overview section of the article that I mentioned above, and many others as well, did not include citations. There were links to different articles such as “Mexican-American War,” “France,” and “American Civil War” (Overview, para. 2), but these are not technically citations for facts. The few citations that do exist, however, seem to be reliable sources. There are a few books and online sources that are cited to back up information, but again, this does not even start until well into the overview section. There are, however, a plethora of links leading to other Wikipedia articles. These are typically just other countries, people, groups, or events that the reader may want to define or read into if they are unsure as to what or who they are. These links work for the most part, one link did not lead to an article, as Wikipedia claimed there was no article with that particular title. This did not prove to be an issue throughout the piece, all the other links led to other articles, and in the References page, the links I tried in there worked as well. Some links within the article seemed unnecessary, like “United States of America” and “Latin America,” (Introduction, para. 1), but this did not take away from the argument being made.

Although some links were unnecessary for understanding the argument, the article did tend to leave out perspectives that would have in turn enhanced the argument and provided better explanations for claims being made. As I read I was left wondering about the experiences, perspectives, and opinions of groups that were not mentioned. These included the citizens of the United States and Latin American countries, as well as military personnel, seeing as how there was a lot of discussion about battles and conflicts. This leads into the question of what was missing from the article. Overall, the article did a decent job of presenting a detailed timeline and a comprehensive history overview. Personally, I think diversity of perspectives was the main thing that was missing, as it would be interesting and beneficial to here more about the internal affairs of what was happening during the overarching events and themes that define the convoluted relationship between the United States and Latin America.