Throughout the first 125 years of her history, the United States was, for the most part, an isolationist nation. After the onset of two world wars, however, America moved from an isolationist stance to become one of the world’s two superpowers. This stance would remain for almost 50 years, until the Soviet Union would come crashing down, leaving America standing as the lone superpower. But how did American foreign policy influence the world over those 50 years? Why did some Presidents take an idealistic approach to foreign policy, while others looked for more realistic approaches? Since World War II, American foreign policy has taken on a global mission. While the policy has sometimes had an idealistic approach, the realistic approach to foreign policy has benefited America and her allies more. To understand how America reached this position of global influence, one must look back to a time when America was an isolationist nation.
During most of America’s history she was an isolationist nation. America seemed content to let the powers in Europe slug it out for global supremacy while she was left to expand her own influence across North America. But all that changed with the onset of World War I. Germany and the axis powers were marching their way across Europe, and although they posed no direct threat to the shores of America, America began to shift from her isolationist stance to provide assistance to Britain and France. With the revelation of the Zimmerman Telegram, an attempt by Germany to get Mexico to attack the United States and keep her out of Europe, America moved from isolationism to declare war on Germany and the axis powers.
After World War I, however, the United States seemed content to move back to an isolationist position. Although President Woodrow Wilson came up with a grand international group (the League of Nations) as part of his Fourteen... [continues]
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(2009, 12). Realism vs. Idealism: How American Foreign Policy Has Changed Since World War Ii. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 12, 2009, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Realism-Vs-Idealism-How-American-Foreign-267604.html
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