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American Foreign Policy

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Autor: 24  •  November 28, 2010  •  951 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,513 Views

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Until the end of the twentieth century America's policy towards war was to stay neutral. We stayed out of other governments battles and we avoided war. The United States did not force our ideals on any foreign governments. The US did not want to be the bully who forces countries into having freedom and independence. This noninterventionist America, devoted to solving its own problems and developing its own civilization, became the wonder of the world. People were compelled to come to this wonderful country and share in the freedoms it enjoys. Between 1898 and 1919, trade and cultural exchange flourished, as American civilization progressed and we became an economic powerhouse. American traditions in government were broke with the war with Spain, the war for the conquest of the Phillipines, and World War I. During this time American foreign policy was driven by self-interest. Our wants and needs were taken into consideration over those people who are actually living in the countries that we interfered with. We began to meddle in affairs which our previous leaders did not do. Expanding America's role in the world was a major priority during this time.

America's first modern war with a foreign country began in 1898 when war against Spain was declared. America had a lot of its investments in Cuba and grew nervous over the rebels fighting there. The fighting that was going on could seriously harm our commerce, trade, and business (McKinley). Politicians who were looking for publicity could gain this by speaking on the issue of Cuba. They used this to gain votes and to make themselves known. The US was concerned over our vessels that were in sea. They were at risk of being seized by war ships. America wanted to prevent this from happening (McKinley). America wanted to secure a market for American industry and where better to secure this than in Cuba, which was in our backyard. President McKinley had his eye on some of Spain's possessions. He was hunting for new territories and markets. At the end of the war, the acquisition of American colonies outside of the United States was fulfilled with the annexation of the Hawaiin Islands and gaining Puerto Rico as a colony (Shi). I feel as though we became involved in this war to acquire what we wanted and not to return safety back to a country. Our main concern was not about the people it was about our needs.

The most coveted market in Asia was China. America wanted to trade with China and there was concern that the great powers, Great Birtain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Russia, would hinder that from happening. The Open Door Policy stated that foreign powers would not interfere with any treaty port. Chinese authorities had to collect tariffs equally, and they could not show favors concerning harbor dues or railroad charges (Shi 954). We wanted to secure open trade in China. The self-interest of American business was on the minds of the government. Being involved with Asian trade would only benefit


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