Woodrow Wilson and American Diplomacy Essay

Woodrow Wilson and American Diplomacy Essay

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Woodrow Wilson and American Diplomacy

“Until early in [the twentieth] century, the isolationist tendency prevailed in American foreign policy. Then, two factors projected America into world affairs: its rapidly expanding power, and the gradual collapse of the international system centered on Europe” . President Woodrow Wilson was the leader who would initiate the ideologies of American diplomacy in the twentieth century. Up until his Presidency, American foreign policy was simply to fulfill the course of manifest destiny, and to remain free of entanglements overseas. Although he could not convince his fellow politicians on Capitol Hill of the probable success of his ideas, he did persuade the fellow writers of the Treaty of Versailles to use his Fourteen Points. America’s role as a political global superpower was established during his Presidency, as well as the modern policy that peace depends on the spread of democracy, and that national interest consists of adhering to a global system of law.

The formation of modern American diplomacy can not only be attributed to Wilson, for the policies of Theodore Roosevelt are what initiated his diplomatic policies. Roosevelt convinced Congress to strengthen the Army and Navy, and began major involvement in European affairs. His foreign policy regarding the Caribbean followed the policy of the Monroe Doctrine, that to maintain order in the Caribbean, foreign nations could not be involved, however Roosevelt did not follow the Doctrine to the extent of forceful evacuation of the Americas, he did use diplomatic means. He prevented European warfare in Venezuela, by negotiating with the involved nations. He found that it was America’s duty, just as all other powerful nation’s duties, to police the world and maintain order. The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine was issued, and it stated that America would be the police force of the Americas, and that European intervention was not necessary. This major step showed that America had no goals in obtaining new territories in the Caribbean, and was a measure to protect the Panama region from upheaval. Wilson would follow Roosevelt’s ideologies but to an even greater extent as he created a modern Monroe Doctrine.

There shall be no annexations.

National aspirations must be respected; peoples may now be dominated, and…[may now] be governed only by the...

... middle of paper ...

...t realize that it was he who shaped modern American diplomacy, it was he who shaped the twentieth century.


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2. Hoover, Herbert. The Ordeal of Woodrow Wilson. Washington D.C.: The Woodrow
Wilson Center Press, 1958.

3. Kissinger, Henry. Diplomacy. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994.

4. Link, Arthur S. Woodrow Wilson: A Brief Biography. NewYork: The World
Publishing Company, 1963.

5. Link, Arthur S. Woodrow Wilson and the Progressice Era:1910-1917. New York:
Harper and Row, 1954.

6. Link, Arthur S. American Epoch: A History of the U.S. Since the 1890’s. New York:
Alfred A. Knoph Publishing, 1966.

7. Schoenherr, Steve ed. “The Versailles Treaty”, History Dept. at the University of San Diego. January 20, 2000 (last update). University of San Diego. January 20, 2000 (last visited). .

8. Tompkins, Vincent, ed. American Decades: 1910-1919. Detroit: Gale Research, 1996.

9.Uschan, Michael V. A Cultural History of the United States: Through the Decades,the 1910s. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1999.

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