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American History-1865 to Present

Without a dominating military or need to have a presence around the world, the United States maintained a low profile in the global community. "From 1865 to 1898, the United States foreign policy was determined principally by the attitudes and actions of foreign governments." (Chafer, 75) However, with the start of the Spanish American War in 1898, the United States' policy would never be the same. "As a result of the Spanish American War... the United States acquired territorial possessions outside its continental area." (Matters, 35) With these territorial acquisitions, it gave the nation problems of colonial governments and control that, together with other factors, compelled it to assume an increasing role in world affairs. "The outbreak of World War I in 1914 brought a period of diplomatic conflict between the United States and Britain and the United States and Germany." (Ernest, 12) However, it wasn't until 1917 that the United States joined the allies' efforts against Germany. Entering this war pushed the United States into a position in the international community. "It became increasingly evident that the foreign policy of the United States could not consist solely of a Caribbean policy, a Pan American policy, and a Far Eastern policy, but that it must necessarily involve a world policy." (Baggett, 455) At the end of the World War I, The United States was influential in the writing of the Treaty of Versailles. However, the United States Senate rejected the treaty as well as its membership in the League of Nations, which returned the United States to a somewhat isolationistic policy. "Now into the Twentieth Century the United States is a power of imperial dimensions that occupies three million square miles between the Atlantic and Pacific, controlling the Caribbean, and up to the Arctic." (Ernest, 15) "America's rise to world power is a consequence of the nation's geographical position, natural resources, and dynamic energy." (Lewis, 75) "The Bush administration said NATO and the United States military presence in Europe would be needed for decades, not to deter a Warsaw Pact invasion (which even he concedes is now utterly improbable) but to prevent instability and unpredictability." (Lewis, 75) That approach is a blueprint for the indefinite prolongation of expensive and risky U.S. military commitments around the globe. The United States has involved itself in many foreign conflicts around the world, making its presence known and showing that it is the only world superpower at present time. However, "majorities of fifty-five to sixty-five percent of the American public say that events in Western Europe, Asia, Mexico, and even Canada have little or no impact on their lives." (Baggett, 457) It is more evident now in the American public that "there is a new sense of isolationism, which has never been absent from America's thinking" (Ernest, 16) just suppressed. The dispute as to what the United States' foreign policy should be has been debated since the beginning of the republic. "The frame foreign policy as a compromise between global policeman and isolationism misses the point entirely." (Matters, 64) "The dispute is not between isolationists and internationalists, but between two types of internationalists-unilateralist and multilateralists." (Matters, 65) ...



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