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American Foreign Policy since 1877 - Assignment Example

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American Foreign Policy A nation’s interaction with other foreign countries includes specific standards that are set through its government’s Foreign Policy. The diplomatic history of American Foreign Policy has faced with major trends and challenges right from the time of American Revolution to the present-day…
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American Foreign Policy since 1877
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Download file to see previous pages In its formative years, American foreign policy dealt with issues like challenging the Great Britain, maintaining their trade in the overseas, etc. In spite of these early hindrances, the country has managed itself by emerging into a key international power or even a sole superpower by the end of the twentieth century. During the Gilded Age, instead of having robust foreign policy, America turned its focus on internal growth paving the way for political, military and economic stability of the country. “In the years that followed, the United States lapsed into diplomatic inactivity, not out of weakness but for lack of any clear national purpose in world affairs. The business of building the nation’s industrial economy absorbed Americans and turned their attention inward.”1 In the early 1920s, the country followed the path of isolationism in their foreign policy by avoiding key role in the League of Nations and seeking to have a free operating authority. However, as time went, the country’s foreign policy turned from cautious into aggressive dealing due to the confident intervening strategies. In the period of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, he confidently intervened in the world affairs through various strategies of presidential diplomacy. As his term coincided with the Second World War, his key role in ending the War and also his successful handling of the colonial conflicts between the nations strengthened American’s position in major areas of the world. In addition, along with United Nations, America invested heavily for strengthening the war-devastated European democracies through the Marshall Plan. This expansion of its foreign policy strategies into Europe also led to the establishment of trade relations with those countries, thereby giving it strong influence in those countries. Thus, its victory in the Second World War and its key role in the post-war phase elevated United States as the most powerful nation in the world leading to dramatic changes in its foreign policies from the political perspective. “By the end of the war, the United States stood alone, easily the most powerful nation in the world, its power greatly increased by its mobilization and war effort, its rivals defeated, and its allies exhausted”.2 In the days of Woodrow Wilson, the economy of the country expanded into overseas markets as well, and that provided the platform for America to exercise its dominance over Third World Countries, thereby orienting its foreign policy further. That is, the prodigious development of American economy in late 19th century and early 20th century demanded the Americans to look abroad for further economic growth and expansion. “Through the 19th century, America concentrated on creating a nation that spanned the continent, and it avoided foreign entanglements. Once industrialized and more prosperous, it began looking for foreign markets and colonies.”3 America’s gross domestic product quadrupled towards the end of the 19th century, which in turn led to the export of surplus products. “Roughly one-fifth of the nation’s agricultural output was exported, and as industry expanded, so did export of manufactured goods. Between 1880 and 1900, the Industrial share of exports jumped from 15 percent to over 30 percent.”4 These heightened exports and foreign trade relations paved the way for industrial expansion of the country into European as well as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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