Analyzing America's Shift in Foreign Policy

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America’s entrance into World War I is seemingly peculiar in that it was perhaps the first instance in which the United States militarily intervened in any situation outside of the context of continental American politics. Therefore, a change in foreign policy is quite evident, and in fact, historical fact. Thus, when one is to analyze the circumstances surrounding America’s involvement in the “Great War”, it would be of the most importance for one to examine the reasoning behind this aforesaid shift in policy. There are mainly two factors which appear to have precipitated this shift: an increase in economic ties with European nations, and an adjustment to the manner whereby the United States determined how it may interact with foreign powers. When inspecting these elements, one should also question the extent to which they may uphold, or possibly betray, traditional American values--if at all. Essentially, an increase in the strength of, and the American value placed upon, trade with European economies, and an apparent shift in how Americans viewed themselves in context to global affairs, seem to have been the primary forces which may have initiated a change in foreign policy around the year of 1917; with both of which resulting in a potential deviation from traditional American values.

When one is to view the view the information pertaining to the trade existent between the United States and Europe, one finds an interesting change in the quantity of such interaction between the years of 1914 and 1916. This data demonstrates that trade with Great Britain rose from $594 million in the former year, to $1,527 million in the latter; while that with Germany decreased from $345 million to less than $1 million. (Document B) Thus,...

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...d by examining the statements made by such politicians - particularly, and in this instance nearly, exclusively, Woodrow Wilson - which demonstrate a newly formed drive to intervene in nations outside of the Americas in order to provide for peace, democracy and self-determination. Moreover, whether these new intentions may exist for positive and truthful, or negative and elusive reasons, they most certainly were not consistent with traditional American values on foreign policy, as previous sentiments inherent to, and precipitated by, such foundational principles as the Monroe Doctrine are entirely contradictory. Thus, in complete summary, one may arrive at two, primary conclusions: namely, that not only was this shift caused by economic and ideological factors, but that such motives disembarked from preceding sentiments on America’s involvement in foreign affairs.
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