History And Development Of Foreign Policy Of The United States

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American foreign policy is constantly changing and has gotten us into some tight situations as well as getting us out of some. America has been in talks with many countries over the years some resulting in treaties and some in wars. Foreign policy changes with every president and can cause major conflicts between allies and enemies. I'm specifically going to look over different foreign policies by past and present presidents. The president is the country’s face and they are the middle man for talking to other countries. Countries are always going to disagree but it's a matter of how big of a disagreement it is that a relationship can quickly change.

The major points of history when foreign relations were lacking are The War of 1812, WW1 and WW2, Cold War, and finally the Iran war. All these key moments in history were started over foreign policies not lining up between two or more parties. These wars are not the only things that come from foreign policy changes, but treaties/pacts such as the Treaty of Versailles and NATO helped put an end to past and hopefully future conflicts. Foreign policy is one of the key points that gets a president elected or not. It's a big thing that all political parties pay close attention to. But what policies did a past leader abide by that got them either a treaty or an all out war with other countries?

Beginning with the War of 1812, President James Madison was handling the conflict involving the US and the United Kingdom. President Madison passed the Non-Intercourse act in 1809 which made an already bitter European relationship even worse. This bill allowed international trade to resume, although Britain and France were left off the list; leaving them excluded from a lucrative trade deal. With rising conflict between the British and the French, Britain began forcing US sailors into joining their navy which in turn resulted in the US becoming aggravated. On top of that, the British had been providing American Indians tribes with guns and powder which would later lead to them raiding American settlements. Ultimately, this would push the entire government into agreement that they should go to war, which was officially declared by President James Madison and Congress on June 18, 1812.

Next with World War 1, President Woodrow Wilson at the time just wanted to protect democracy around the world and wanted the US to remain neutral in the war, but ultimately called on congress to join the war. But prior to WW1, Wilson spent his first few years handling Latin American issues. President Wilson signed a treaty with Colombia to apologize for Roosevelt's aggression towards the American caused Panama Revolution in 1903. President Wilson wanted America to lose the description of the US being an imperialist country by trying to fix many of its past mistakes. But ultimately they couldn't just sit back and let the war rage on, so they decided to fight. This war would finally come to an end four years later but not without many casualties on both sides.

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World War II was an interesting time for American foreign policy. The president at the time, FDR, was taking precautions by implementing the Neutrality Act (1935/1936/1937) which put embargoes on weaponry and all trades on nations at war. It was his attempt at isolationism by the US but it didn't stay that way for long. There was already a war waging on the European continent as well as the Pacific. America’s European allies were urging them for support against Hitler and Mussolini’s forces.

America was doing their best to avoid conflict but that all changed after December 7th 1941. The Japanese attacked an American naval base, Pearl Harbor. This rallied civilians and vaulted America into WWII, declaring against the Japanese on December 8th 1941. Shortly after America declared war against Germany on December 11th 1941; prompted by Germany’s declaration of war against America on earlier that same day.

The Cold War was a trying time in US history because of how long of a process it ended up being before the whole situation was resolved. Ronald Reagan was the president at the time the Cold War ended. He wasn't the only president to implement foreign policy but the Reagan Doctrine was a way to convince other countries not to side with the Soviet Union. This was implemented by offering financial and logistics support to increase a hard line against left wing governments. The war was soon over not long after the policy, along with many others, put a stop to a communist outbreak.

Finally, this brings us to the Vietnam war where the US helped South Vietnam fight against North Vietnam. John F. Kennady was president at the time and was for policies which created peace and ended conflicts. One such policy being the strategy of flexible response, which resulted in the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis. But his policies didn't always end peacefully as his policies of the Bay of Pig Invasion and Vietnam war escalated. He implemented several international programs to promote peace amongst the many countries of the world. After the Presidents death however Lyndon B. Johnson became the next president and decided to stay in the war, where it would continue on for many years after.

The reason I used past wars to talk about foregin policy is because of the significance of the decisions past leaders made to handle situations. Many tried to take the peaceful way out and at times it paid off, but other times it began a war. Policies can make or break a country's relationship with one another but it can also mend countries together to become allies.

Foreign Policies are important no matter what country you're in because it is the voice of your country that you share on to others. We see policies creating troubles today but also repairing the past troubles so they don't happen again. Policies keep the world in check so no one country can do whatever they please.

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