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New Phase in American History Essays

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Following the Revolutionary War that lasted from 1776 to 1783, Britain’s thirteen North American colonies entered a period of great uncertainty. Finally free from the constraints of the Old World, the Founding Fathers of the United States were facing the predicament of a small population with limited resources and an unstable frontier. Though it was unclear as to how the colonies would create a New World order, most of the Founding Fathers had agreed upon a single point – that they would avoid the “balance of power” politics that had long reigned in Europe. Between the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Spanish-American War in 1898, the fledgling nation rejected “balance of power” politics and, instead, formed a federation while focusing on its own growth and objectives as a country. The Spanish-American War at the end of the nineteenth century marked a turning point for foreign relations in the United States, which had been gradually gaining strength and prestige on the international stage. As Europe continued to accept “balance of power” politics, the United States spent the years between 1776 and 1898 turning inward and slowly developing itself into a global strength.
Unsure as to how the New World would function but positive as to what Old World characteristics to avoid, the Founding Fathers decided that a federalist system would work best for the thirteen colonies. The Revolution had ended and left not a cohesive nation state, but thirteen separate states. A federalist system was the opposite of Europe’s balance of power, an ordered international system bound by laws and institutions. Thomas Jefferson, a strong believer in America being a yeomen state, thought the thirteen states should be autonomous, with ...


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...ders between 1776 and 1898 fervently rejected the Old World and all its policies – particularly its “balance of power” politics – but as the United States gradually gained strength, the New World was, inevitably, going to entangle itself in the alliances that Washington had warned the American people of in 1796. The United States’ creation of a federalist system, as well as its strategy of hemispherism and its rise to a global power, shows how American leaders did not want to follow the path of the Old World. The New World, according to these leaders, was not going to have the corrupt balance of power focused on war and struggle, but was going to be based on law, order, and growth. As the United States became an international force by the Spanish-American War, the New World and the Old World had come to a head, and America was to start a new phase in its history.


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