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					American Foreign Policy

A Brief Outline
What is a Foreign Policy?
How one country interacts
with another country or group
In the United States our
Foreign Policy has spanned
the extremes of Isolationist to
                                  USS Chesapeake
• How active should America
    be in world affairs?
       The view that a nation should tend
   to its own domestic rather than
   international affairs.
       The view that a nation should
   assume active role in international
What factors guide a nation to be
isolationist or internationalist?
  The simple answer for some is “What is in our
  national interest?” These people would
  suggest that we should ask only what is in
  the national interest of the United States and
  not what is best for the for the world.
  Others, Universalists, argue that we should
  take into account the interests and rights of
  people outside the United States as well as
Goals of A Nation’s Foreign Policy
   Preserve its own independence and integrity.
   Security for the nation and its citizens.
   Prosperity for the nation and its citizens.
   Sometimes for some nations: revenge or
   Sometimes for some nations: the protection
   or expansion of specific ideals or ideas.
Factors that influence Foreign Policy
    Military and economic power
    Economic needs
    Ethnic and religious ties
   Note that conditions change over time- an appropriate
    policy when it took six weeks to cross the Atlantic by
    sailing ship might not be sound in the age of ICBMs.

   Manifest Destiny
   Great Crusades
Events that Shaped American
Foreign Policy from 1789-1824
   The entangling and permanent 1778 Alliance
   with France
   Washington’s Farewell Address with its call
   for no “permanent alliances”
   President Jefferson’s call in his first Inaugural
   Address for no “entangling alliances”
   War of 1812
   Monroe Doctrine
French Alliance of 1778
   Two treaties- one a commercial agreement
   and a political and military alliance.
   We needed French to win our independence.
   The 1789 French Revolution leads to
   aggressive policies against other European
   powers beginning in 1793 that results in the
   English going to war with the French.
   Jefferson (good faith), Hamilton (no
   obligation), and Washington’s (neutral)
Washington’s Farewell Address

   Established concept of isolation which
   would dominate US foreign policy until the
   20th century.
Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address
  “kindly separated by nature and a wide
    ocean from the exterminating havoc of
    one quarter of the globe”
  Jefferson expanded upon Washington’s
    warning against “permanent alliances”
    to include “entangling alliances” and
    reinforced the principle of non-
    involvement in European wars.
War of 1812
 Illustrated the nation’s willingness to
 violate the policy of neutrality when it
 became advantageous to do so.
 Demonstrates the difficulty of non-
 involvent when trade and neighbors
 bring us into contact with European
The Monroe Doctrine
 Stressed the America’s special interests in
 the Western Hemisphere and remains,
 with some modifications, viable today.
 In response to fears that European
 powers including Britain might expand its
 influence into the Western Hemisphere.

  No permanent friends, only
  permanent objectives
Some Key Early Decisions

  Jay Treaty           War of 1812
  Pinckney Treaty      Treaty of Ghent
  XYZ Affair           Rush-Bagot Treaty
  Louisiana Purchase   Adams-Onis Treaty
  Embargo & Non-
  Intercourse Acts
Trends Over Time 1789-1824
   Tendency toward isolation
   Creation of more secure borders
   Navigation of waterways (Mississippi and later
   Increased respect from foreign nations
   Increased boldness of some American policy-
   Links with newly established Latin American
The Endless Argument
   Should American policy be based on our
   own national interests (protecting our
   independence, borders, security, power
   and interests in peace) or should we
   take to the “high road” to base our
   policies on moral principles that could
   serve as a model for others (human
   rights, democracy, etc)
John Quincy Adams: Secretary of
State to James Monroe 1817-1825

  One of the most successful Secretaries of
  State in American history.
  Had a clear vision of what US policy should
  be and where it should be headed.
  Philosophy: National interests should
  determine foreign policy.
John Quincy Adams:
  Adams-Onis Treaty     Adams’ Vision:
  gives Florida         expansion of US to
  (strategic            the Pacific, pursuit
  importance) to US,    of good relations
  eliminated Spain      with newly
  from contention for   independent nations
  Oregon Territory      in Latin America
  Architect of Monroe
Westward Expansion evolves into
       Manifest Destiny
Movement of the “frontier line” from
 the Fall line in the Piedmont, to the
 Appalacians (Proclamtion of 1763),
 to the Mississippi River is followed
 by the call for Continental
 Expansion as our Manifest Destiny.
Manifest Destiny
 “And that claim is by right of our manifest
   destiny to overspread and possess the
   whole of the continent which
   providence has given us for the
   development of the great experiment of
   liberty and federated self-government       John L. Sullivan
   entrusted to us… The God of nature
   and of nations has marked it for our
                 John L. Sullivan, Dec. 1845
Westward Expansion & Foreign
Policy 1783-1853
Original United        Texas Annexation
 States + Northwest      (1845)
 Territory (1783 GB)
                        Oregon Country
Louisiana Purchase      (1846 BR)
 (1803, FR)
British Cession(1818   Mexican Cession
 Rush-Bagot Treaty       (1848 Mex War)
Spanish Cession        Gadsden Purchase
 (1819, FL- from SP)     (1853 Mex)
American Progress by Jonathan Gast, 1872
American Indian Policy
 Expansion has implications for American
 Resist, co-exist, migrate
 Treaty of Greenville, 1795
 Jefferson- Trans-Mississippi “reserve”
 Jackson- Indian Removal Act 1830
Major Indian Wars
 Old Northwest Territory (Tecumseh,
  The Prophet, the Fox, etc)
 The Creeks (Alabama, Florida, Western
 Seminole- in Florida
Mexican American War
 James K. Polk and Manifest Destiny
 Was this war consistent with previous
  US foreign policy?
 Who supported War with Mexico?
 Henry Thoreau and Civil Disobedience
  (jailed because he refused to pay a
  federal taxes which he believed paid for
  an unjust war)
Aftermath of the Mexican American
War for Indians
 Continual Warfare on Great Plains &
 1870’s movement to Reservations
 Battle of Little Big Horn (1876) - one of
  the few Indian “victories”
 The Massacre at Wounded Knee 1890-
  one of the last of many brutal defeats
 Dawes Severalty Act, 1887
Northern Boundary
 Rush-Bagot Treaty 1817
 Convention of 1818
  Caroline Affair 1837-8
 Aroostook War 1839
 Webster-Ashburton Treaty, 1842
 Buchanan-Pakenham Treaty, 1846
 Alaska Purchase and Seward, 1867
Late 19 th
        Century Imperialism:
The USA Enters the World Stage
   Economic motivations: new markets, new
   Ideas about racial supremacy driven by Social
   Manifest Destiny-extended
   Military considerations (strategic, defensive)
   Alfred Mahan & “The New Navy”
   US exceptionalism (1st crusade for the U.S.)
Early Non-Contiguous Expansion
   Offer to purchase Cuba from Spain in
   1848 and 1854
   Alaska 1867
   Pago-Pago, Samoa 1878
   Pearl Harbor 1884
   Hawaii 1898
1896 Republican Party Platform
   Strong imperialist platform
   Economic expansion guides position
   Overseas expansion good for US
   “sympathy for Cuba”                  Queen Liliuokalani
   Nicaraguan Canal and purchase of
   Danish West Indies
   Annexation of Hawaii
Spanish American War 1898-1900
   “Maine” incident, yellow journalism,
   jingoism & war fever
   Rough Riders & Theodore Roosevelt
   US acquires Philippines, Puerto Rico,
McKinley, T. Roosevelt & Taft
   McKinley: Open Door Policy
   Roosevelt: Panama Canal, Roosevelt
   Corollary to Monroe Doctrine, “Walk
   Softly and Carry a Big Stick
   Taft: Dollar Diplomacy (private funds
   to pursue diplomatic goals
Pre WWI Imperialism Focal Points
   Philippine Revolution   Balancing Japan’s
   Cuba (Platt Amend)      growing dominance
   Latin American          in Asia with US-
   interventions           Japanese economic
   (numerous)              ties
                           Panama Canal
                           China: getting a
                           toehold in China
WW I: From Neutrality to Versailles
    Traditional neutrality
    Challenges to neutrality:
     u-boats, US business loans,
     munitions trade,              RMS Lusitania

     propaganda, some pro-war advocates (TR)
    Wilson’s 1916 Pledge: To keep us out of war
    Wilson’s 1917 statement to “make the world
    safe for democracy”. (2nd crusade for the US)
Wilson’s 14 Points & Versailles
Treaty & the “Lessons of War”
   14 Points largely disregarded
   Fight for Ratification of the Treaty
   Henry Cabot Lodge and American
   Isolationists prevail-reject League of Nations
   US returns to its “isolationist” position vis a
   vis Europe
   “Lessons” of WWI, Red Scare & Peace

 American Foreign Policy by Leonard James
 American Foreign Policy by Thomas Fitzgerald
 American Foreign Policy.ppt by Joyce Williams & Justin Hill, RCPS
   (h t t p:// AP US History/
       American Foreign Foreign Policy.pdf

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