United States Foreign Affairs Between 1914 and 1945

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The evolution of the United States’ foreign relations between 1914 and 1945 can be described as a turbulent teenager coming into her own; a coming of age. In the early portions of the three decades, like most teenagers, the U.S. was solely focused on herself and on rare occasion looked outside her own door to see how the lives of her neighbors and family (Europe) were being impacted by events. There is a belief that so goes Wilson, so goes the United States foreign policy. This can likely be said of any sitting President. When Wilson was elected in 1912, he adopted man of his predecessors’ foreign policy. This includes the belief that the United States should act as a police force in Latin America, or the Roosevelt Corollary of 1904, which was expanded by Taft to include pushing for total American dominance in the Latin theater (Keene, pages 487-488). Like the teenager, America intervention was only used when something directly imposed itself on the United States or businesses therein. On June 28, 1914, Europe erupted into flames as war spread from Bosnia to every major nation on the European continent. With the many immigrants that now lived in the United States, it was impossible not to have some animosity and disagreement among the group as to who started the war. As a result of all this turmoil and disagreement, President Woodrow Wilson felt it wise to stay out of the war. President Wilson proclaimed the United States neutral. Wilson set forth the policy of preventing American businesses from loaning funds to any of the nations at war. This ban was lifted by Wilson in 1915 for fear that the U.S. would enter into a major recession if the Allies stopped buying American goods when they ran out of funds. In order to stay neutral... ... middle of paper ... ... made a full scale effort to go after al-Qaeda, even though President Clinton knew of the potential threat they posed. Like World War I, typical Americans wanted to isolate themselves from the world after the first Gulf War. Seldom has the United States taken the pre-emptive initiative and gone after a rogue nation. Usually only after that nation has made direct attacks against the United States would the U.S. intervene. In contrast to the events leading up to World War I and II, the United States now approaches nations directly or through the United Nations in an effort to stave off conflict. Diplomacy is typically the first thing a U.S. president will attempt and the use of force the last. Works Cited Keene, Jennifer D., Saul Cornell, and Edward T. O'Donnell. Visions of America: a History of the United States. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2010. Print.
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