The Purpose of American Foreign Policy

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The purpose of American foreign policy, theoretically, is to create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the global community. Throughout history individuals could argue whether this has necessarily been the case. Have political representatives elected by the people, for the people, used their political connections and influences in the best interests of United States citizens? In 1895 the Cuban revolution in Spain began. The United States media used newspapers to portray the excessive suffering that Cubans were enduring under the control of the Spaniards. The media also depicted President McKinley as a coward for not intervening to assist the Cubans. (Module 22: War with Spain) The intriguing question is would President McKinley have declared war on the Spanish if the explosion of the USS Maine had not occurred? It is my opinion that the President used this incident as a reason to declare war. In April 1898 the United States declared war on the Spaniards. Thus began, the “splendid little war” as defined by Teddy Roosevelt (in later years) which ended with a United States victory against the Spaniards which Cubans thought would help them gain their independence. Another event in American history that happened due to political concern over foreign policy was World War I (WWI). The United States initially attempted to distance themselves from the war. When the Germans were losing hold of the war on land and took to the sea the United States was having more difficulty maintaining neutrality. The sinking of our tankers by the German U-boats took the United States one step closer to war. (Norton, 637) Early 1917 the German’s threatened the security of the United States. The British intelligence intercepted the Zimmerman telegram that was sent to the German minister in Mexico that reflected the attempt to get Mexico to rise up against the United States. The Zimmerman message went on to say that Germany...
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