History of the United States Foreign Policy

Pages: 3 (1041 words) Published: December 3, 2014
United States foreign policy has always been characterized by a commitment to free trade, protection of American interests, and a concern for human rights. 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? Beginning with 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 battle 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 and 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 Fathered the League of Nations as part of his Fourteen Points plan for peace, “the U.S. Senate failed to pass the Versailles peace treaty, which enabled the United States to stay away from the Wilsonian ideas of American involvement in global affairs. A...
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