Second World War Essay

2954 Words 12 Pages
Second World War

My generation has already witnessed a day of infamy, less than two short years ago (or so CNN tells us). My grandfather would remember a different day, a morning marked by another surprise attack on America. That ambush, said Japanese General Yamamoto, awakened a “sleeping giant.” Analysis of American foreign policy begs the question: what if the giant had spurned its peaceful slumber? Instead, the behemoth could have chosen to lumber about. Odds are that the footsteps would not have fallen lightly, the reverberations spreading across the globe- all this, only had Wilsonians been at the helm of American foreign policy.

The Jacksonian tradition steered the United States to victory in the Second World War. Once lulled
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Jacksonians value self-reliance, equality, individualism, financial freedom, and courage. They cling doggedly to these pillars of their creed, but reject their universalist application beyond American borders. Jacksonians care about their neighbors, their countrymen. Their distaste for international affairs is apparent: “the absolute and even brutal distinction drawn between the members of the community and outsiders has had massive implications in American life” (14). This patriotic sentiment, deeply imbedded in the American middle class, demands of its government officials a domestic focus instead of worldwide “support of moral values” (15), as Wilsonians advocate.

The Jacksonian defense policy, the fundamental cornerstone of the doctrine, has played a fundamental role in making the United States a superpower. Today, witty Swarthmore students poke fun at George Bush: George, the gun-slinging cowboy holding the smoking barrel. What they fail to understand, however, is that the object of their mockery- albeit distorted with their sarcasm- has earned their country a pre-eminent position in world politics. It is time they recognize the mentality which fueled the mercurial rise of their country: “Jacksonians see the Second Amendments, the right to bear arms, as the citadel of liberty…The right of the citizen to defend family and property with deadly force is a sacred one” (8, 14).…