4th November 2011 The Changes in American foreign policy at the turn of the 20th century Foreign policy of the United States entails the strategies that US emulates in order to effectively interact with other countries in the world…
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In addition to US political, social and economic influence on other countries, foreign policy also covers humanitarian, military, and ideological concerns. This paper seeks to discuss the changes in American foreign policy at the turn of the 20th century. Controlling territories and political alliances During the initial years of the 20th century, United States had less imperial powers as compared to European countries. In order to gain control over other territories including Philippines, Cuba, and Spain, US resulted into war. However, the occurrence of great depression in 1930s weakened the US military strength. This made the country to lack ability to retaliate when Pearl Harbor was struck by Japan in 1941. One of the major initiatives that made US to be involved in European affairs was the World War 1. A major change in US foreign policy was experienced after World War II. After the war, US led in establishing United Nations that was focused at restoring peace in the world and avoiding occurrence of another World War (James 36). Even though US emulated the aspect of isolationist after World War 1, the country was again involved in European affairs when it initiated Marshall Plan that aimed at restoring the political strength of European countries. In addition to the creation of UN, US also established other political alliances such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). One of the major implications on the alliances was creation of strong relationship between US and foreign countries resulting to political and economic growth in many countries. Containment of the Soviet Union The economic, ideological and military competition that existed between Soviet Union and US, led to the creation of massive nuclear weapons. Even though the two countries did not go to war, the strategy of containing the communism and the Soviet Union resulted to the involvement of US in the Vietnam and Korean (James 17). US leadership In order to ensure democracy in US and other countries, United States emulated effective leadership styles. The responsibility of Theodore Roosevelt in building US and controlling other countries cannot be ignored. For example, during the establishment of Panama Canal, Colombian government resisted the US move to make the canal enter the Republic of Colombia. However, even though Roosevelt who was then US president had the power to fight Colombia government, he did not directly go to war with Colombia but supported Panama to fight Colombia as the former sought for independence. The diplomacy depicted by Roosevelt is evident when he led in the negotiation between Russia and Japan in 1905 that resulted to the end of war between the two countries. The leadership style adopted by Roosevelt had a positive implication on the US and other countries culture in that it portrayed the importance of recognizing the importance of emulating negotiation to solve cultural conflicts that are experienced in many countries especially third world nations. Gulf invasion The invasion of Iraq by US in 1990 was not only based on the annexation of Kuwait by Iraq but also it was due to other political and economic reasons (Hiro 23). Due to the high amount of oil in Saudi Arabia, US wanted to support Saudi Arabia in order to benefit from the oil supplies from Saudi Arabia. In addition, the abuse of human rights by President Saddam propelled the invasion of Iraq by US. As a result of the Gulf conflict, the economy of many countries was affected regardless
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