Essay on The Policy And Domestic Politics Of The United States

Essay on The Policy And Domestic Politics Of The United States

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From the very beginning, the United States has been a nation of grand ideals. The foreign policy and domestic politics of the United States have been shaped by ideals like equality, manifest destiny, and democratic self-determination. These grand ideals serve as the driving force behind hallmark moments in American history such as the Declaration of independence, Louisiana Purchase, Monroe Doctrine, the League of Nations, and the United Nations. As a nation built upon grand ideals, America has hosted many political idealists that have tried to make the world a better place through the spread of democratic ideals and an international system. These idealists are often criticized by realists for ignoring concerns of national interest and balance of power. In the political sense, realists are those who are willing to eschew lofty ideals for the sake of national security and national interest. Although these two political approaches often conflict with one another, the events of the 20th century show that the best foreign policy takes both realist and idealist concerns into account.
The aftermath of WWI started the contemporary debate over US foreign policy between the realists and idealists. Although the proponents of political idealism and realism have always clashed in US politics, the newfound global influence of the United States brought their dispute to the forefront of international affairs. Following the first world war, the economic, military, and industrial strength of the United States established the nation as the leading great power in the international arena. Woodrow Wilson, the leading idealist of the time, framed WWI as the “war to end all wars” and promoted the concept of a League of Nations to prevent future conflict...

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...ign policy between the American population and politicians. While ordinary Americans favor a realist approach to foreign policy, the politicians are more idealistic in their approach to foreign policy. The different preferences for idealism and realism in foreign policy also demonstrate how Wilson’s debate still continues in present times.
Despite being competing political paradigms, the interest of both idealism and realism can be realized for a more complete foreign policy. The shortcoming of the League of Nations and the Treaty of Versailles demonstrates the deficiency of liberal idealism when realpolitik of security and power is neglected. The instability and tension caused by US foreign policy during the Cold War show reveal the consequence of power plays and Machiavellian intrigues when democratic and ethical values are eschewed in favor of national interest.

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