During the late 1800's and early 1900's, America was working toward becoming an imperialistic nation. With such a change, government policies must evolve in order to adapt to its country's needs. However, there is a point in which new government policies can be detrimental to those involved. While America's government's changing role was certainly necessary in expanding the country, there were numerous instances in which the government became too imperialistically rapacious.
After the civil war, United States took a turn that led them to solidify as the world power. From the late 1800s, as the US began to collect power through Cuba, Hawaii, and the Philippines, debate arose among historians about American imperialism and its behavior. Historians such as William A. Williams, Arthur Schlesinger, and Stephen Kinzer provides their own vision and how America ought to be through ideas centered around economics, power, and racial superiority.
The Monroe Doctrine and George Washington’s Farewell Address are two important documents in American history. The Monroe Doctrine addresses expansion complications, while Washington’s farewell address advises the future leaders on running the country. Monroe denies further colonization from European powers, and explains the actions that would take place if attempted colonization occurred. Most everything included in the Monroe Doctrine is consistent with Washington’s advice in his Farewell Address. These documents are crucial to the United States’ foreign policy.
When the Monroe Doctrine was first implemented many Americans felt a sense of duty. They felt obligated to protect lands near their country who also wanted the same dream Americans once had. Independence. However as time went on America slowly became a country hungry for power, materials, and most of all land. Resorting to using cheap tricks and methods to provoke another country to go into a war that they will surely lose against the United States. Due to this, the foreign policy actions the United States implemented did reflect the selfish imperialist ambitions they had due to the wars they got into, America’s belief that it was their “destiny” to gain land, and the cunning tricks they used to take land from an independent nation
In this essay I will be explaining to you all on how the Monroe Doctrine came to be, who the document was authored by and how they gained the inspiration and where he got his ideas for this document from. I will explain what nations were affected by the policies of the Doctrine which I will explain in a little bit. I will explain how this document helped the Mexican President Juarez in successfully revolting against the Emperor Maximillian of the French. I will also cover how the British affected the document and also how President Roosevelt wanted to extend the Doctrine with his “Roosevelt Corollary.”
The Monroe Doctrine had three main concepts that were “designed to signify a clear break between the New World and the autocratic realm of Europe”(www. history.state.gov). These concepts were: “separate the spheres of influence for the Americas and Europe, non-colonization, and non-intervention”( www. history.state.gov). Monroe stated, “The American continents . . . are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers”.
In 1823, President Monroe issued the Monroe Doctrine, creating the basis for future foreign policy. The Monroe Doctrine stated that “the American continents are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers” (1). This means that Europe can not claim anymore land in the Americas, protecting the US from being encroached upon from other foreign countries during this period of colonization. Even though the US would not be able to militarily defend the doctrine and itself from European Powers, this fake image of power kept Europe out for the most part. The Doctrine was issued due to occurring events and existing ideas in the 1800s.
The map of the United States in the late 1810s shows the sprawl the US experienced over the North American continent in the first half of the nineteenth century. Also, the division of the north and south is shown with a clear, distinct line across the US showing the border of slave states, sectionalism was rising in the US. Manifest destiny was a belief that the nation must extend westward. The phrase “From sea to shining sea” was first stated in this era. [Doc E]. The Monroe doctrine was an American document stating that any further European attempts at controlling the America’s would be considered an aggression against the United States. In addition, it stated the US would not interfere with existing European territories in the America’s such as the Guyana’s and the Caribbean islands. It was considered a bold move by many in the US because they lacked the power, militarily and financially to fight European nations at this time. Great Britain was in approval to this doctrine and in fact, was the sole nation that enforced it on other nations in the 1820s because the US lacked a sufficient navy to compete with the European nations.
Roosevelt had two opportunities to involve America in World War II: Japan was at war with China, and Germany was at war with Great Britain, France and other countries. Both war zones presented plenty of opportunities to involve the American government in the war, and Roosevelt was quick to seize upon the opportunities presented.
Through the strong foundation of Isolationism and the policies enacted such as The Monroe Doctrine, the United States played a largely neutral role in foreign affairs. The Monroe Doctrine passed in 1823 was to forbid European nations from colonizing any territory in the Western Hemisphere. Although the United States didn’t have the authority or firepower to back this up, it resulted in almost four decades of compulsory US involvement in any foreign affair. After the Civil War, Isolationistic practices grew stronger as the government had to find a way to re-unite the torn nation. President Grover Cleveland promised to avoid committing the nation to form any alliances with other countries while also opposed to the acquisition of new land. The climate of post Civil War US prevented us from deep involvement in foreign affairs. Our navy was also weakened by the war. Our natural resources were scarce and our diplomatic relations with other countries had been neglected. With the attention of our government focused solely on our nation, we proceeded to develop our interior. One of the biggest reasons for growth in US land mass was the public idea of Manifest
Could you imagine being a kid in the 1940s? Sitting in your living room on a Sunday afternoon waiting by the radio to hear your favorite radio talk show host, but instead the President’s voice comes through the airways and announces a national state of emergency. How would you feel? How would you react? What would you do? As President Roosevelt delivered his speech he had two main points that he wanted to relay to the nation. The first point was to encourage Congress to formally declare war on Japan. Insisting that the attack was just a start to the many more to come. The second point was to gather the support of the American people; in the war efforts that he was proposing, President Franklin used major American cities such as San Francisco, Chicago, and New Orleans as examples to show the American people that if one United States territory could be attacked, so could their neighborhoods. Both points touched their intended audiences. Moments after the speech Congress approved the declaration of war on Japan. The news sent a shockwave across the country, resulting in a tremendous percentage of young volunteers into the U.S. recruiting offices across the nation.
The Roosevelt Corollary greatly affected American foreign policy. It was in sharp contrast to the Monroe Doctrine, put in place to stop foreign intervention with the American continents. In 1823 President Monroe implemented US policy that stated European powers were not allowed to colonize or interfere with the newly budding United States or the Americas. In 1904 President Roosevelt expanded upon this policy in response to European intervention with Latin America. This policy became known as the Roosevelt Corollary. The document echoed the style of leadership President Roosevelt became synonymous with. This more aggressive form of policy became known as Big Stick Diplomacy. Foreign policy in the United States would forever be
The question of, “Was America’s actions during the Cold War containment or hegemony?” cannot be easily answered with a single source or perspective. While some attempt to justify the United States’ actions during the Cold War as necessary to preserving freedom and the American way of life through the containment of the Soviet threat, there are just as many critics on the other side of the debate that have argued that, America used the Cold War as a veil under which it expanded it’s influence and power throughout the world. My intent is to show how some believe that America’s Cold War policies were completely justified and how others see America’s actions as nothing more than American imperialism.