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In what ways did US officials act to build a global order under US leadership, during and after World War Two, and what were the essential features of that order - Essay Example

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This paper is aimed to examine the evolution of US foreign policy, as manifested in the twin processes of formation and implementation, in order to demonstrate the role of the United States in the construction of the new global order that followed the outbreak of World War Two…
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In what ways did US officials act to build a global order under US leadership, during and after World War Two, and what were the essential features of that order
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"In what ways did US officials act to build a global order under US leadership, during and after World War Two, and what were the essential features of that order"

Download file to see previous pages According to Hudson (2008), foreign policy is “the strategy or approach chosen by the national government to achieve its goals in its relations with external entities” (p. 12). Kaufman (2010), in turn, writes that the formulation of foreign policy denotes a process of reassessing certain policies – either previous or existing ones – as a result of changing circumstances. In general, the process of foreign policy decision making not only involves various domestic actors aiming for certain outcomes, most notably the national government, but is also highly dependent upon regional and global developments, factors, and forces, which constitute the particular international context.
While most of the foreign policy decisions, whether being concerned with international trade, economic and diplomatic relations, immigration policies, etc., could be considered relatively routine, there are extraordinary ones where the stakes appear to be extremely high (Kaufman, 2010), like the formation of strategic alliances, decisions on whether to go to war or make peace, etc. On the other hand, even those foreign policy decisions, which are generally considered routine, inevitably attract more attention in election years, or when an extraordinary event or development occurs (Kaufman, 2010). Thus, as noted by Kaufman (2010), foreign policy is not only of concern to diplomats or bureaucrats but can affect everyone. Two conceptions of what the American type of government should consists in had been put forward at the very dawn of the United States – that of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton (Kaufman, 2010). While Jefferson didn’t conceal his animosity towards “a very energetic government” (US Department of State, n.d.; Peterson, 1993), Alexander Hamilton, in turn, argued in favour of a strong relationship between the national government and big business, order, efficiency, as well as for the necessity of integrating the country – under favourable terms however – into the international system (Kaufman, 2010). Even though these views seem opposite to each other, historians aptly point out that Hamilton and Jefferson “often arrived at the same practical conclusion” (Harper, 2004, p.104). Not surprisingly therefore, the principles of economic development and non-interference in the European conflicts remained “a matter of consensus”, and the pillars of American foreign policy until the early twentieth century (Harper, 2004, p.104). Nevertheless, the purchase of Louisiana from France during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson and the War of 1812 signalled more or less a considerable shift in US foreign policy behaviour. The success of the purchase of Louisiana could be deemed to have set the precedent for buying the strip of land along the American–Mexican border in 1853 – named after the American general and diplomat James Gadsden, aka the Treaty of La Mesilla (Ibarra, 2004; Yale Law School, n.d.) – as well as Alaska from the Russian empire in 1867. The War ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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