The influence of the United States had increased considerably during the first few years of the twentieth century.

United States military forces had intervened in a minor way to ensure the safety of United States citizens and to prevent the deployment of warships by European governments seeking immediate repayment of debt.

By 1904 Washington had begun to take a greater interest in the stability of Caribbean nations, particularly those-like the Dominican Republic--situated along the approaches to the forthcoming Panama Canal. The administration of Theodore Roosevelt took a particular interest in resolving the republic's economic situation. It negotiated an agreement in June 1904 whereby the Dominican government bought out the holdings of the San Domingo Improvement Company.

The Morales government also agreed to accept the appointment by the United States government of a financial agent to oversee the repayment of the outstanding debt to the Improvement Company from customs duties. This agreement was subsequently superseded by a financial accord signed between the two governments on February 7, 1905; under the provisions of this accord, the United States government assumed responsibility for all Dominican debt as well as for the collection of customs duties and the allocation of those revenues to the Dominican government and to the repayment of its domestic and foreign debt.

Although parts of this agreement were rejected by the United States Senate, it formed the basis for the establishment in April 1905 of the General Customs Receivership, the office through which the United States government administered the finances of the Dominican Republic.