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From Isolationism to Intervention

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Throughout history, larger powers have bullied smaller, younger, and weaker states to test their resolve. For example, Sparta picked on Athens in ancient Greece, and Russia tested President Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis. This was the same case in America in 1812. England picked on America by taking her ships, impressing American sailors into the English army, and giving guns to the Indians. These actions blocked American citizens from enriching and expanding the young nation. In Washington’s farewell address, he tried to persuade future presidents to keep the United States in isolationism, defined as “ a policy of avoiding political or military agreements with other countries” (Hart 163). President Madison was justified in shifting American foreign policy from isolationism to intervention because he was helping his nation become a wealthy and respected country, rid itself of its problems, and make its national pride soar. Although we should always aim for peace, in this case, war was the best choice. In Jefferson’s, Adams’s, and Madison’s presidencies, they all attempted diplomatic solutions and failed every time. President Adams sent Chief Justice John Jay to London to make them agree to move troops from Ohio Valley. “French officials viewed the Jay Treaty as a betrayal by the United States…[and] began attacking American merchant ships bound for Britain” (Hart 164). Adams then sent three envoys to France to end the attacks. “They were met by secret agents, later identified only as X, Y, and Z. The agents said that no peace talks would be held unless Talleyrand received a large sum of money as a tribute” (Hart 164). In the next presidency, Jefferson decided to stop all trade with foreign countries so that France and En... ... middle of paper ... ...d war because of the unfair control and taxation without representation from England. This war was necessary to gain their freedom and fixed all the problems for the colonies because they won their independence from England. Furthermore, wars are necessary once you’ve tried diplomatic solutions and when you are fighting for a moral cause. Madison was justified in changing the United States’ foreign policy from isolationism to intervention because peaceful resolutions have been attempted throughout Adam’s, Jefferson and his presidencies, which have all been unsuccessful, war could solve all of the United State’s problems, and isolationism stopped them from becoming a respected and wealthy nation. The difficult decision Madison made was an important factor in the making of today’s United States: a respected nation willing to stand up for its freedom, and for others.
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