American Diplomacy That Kissinger Notes And What Makes American Diplomatic History Unique?

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Khalil Akil
U.S. History Since 1877
U.S. History Introductory Paper
August 31, 2015

In this paper I will be answering the following questions. “What are the inherent tensions in American Diplomacy that Kissinger notes and what makes American diplomatic history unique?” “To what extent would you define yourself as a realist or an idealist in regards to American foreign policy?” “What unique factors contribute to American expansionism and isolationism?” The inherent tensions in American diplomacy, in the twentieth century, that Kissinger notes, are foreign policy, the balance of power system, and the conflicts and ideas of Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. Foreign policy was a tension in American diplomacy because America had two conflicting stances towards foreign policy. The first stance was the fact that they thought it was best to perfect democracy in America, and then just act as an example to the rest of the world. The second stance as Kissinger states is that America’s values impose on it an obligation to crusade for them around the world. In short America wavered between a tough decision of isolationism and commitment. Also the balance of power system was a tension in American Diplomacy because it was a big issue in foreign policy. The balance of power system’s goal was not peace, but to maintain stability and moderation. This meant that the system would not satisfy everybody involved, it worked because dissatisfaction wasn’t so high that somebody would

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