World War I And The United States

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The 20th century brought with it a plethora of technological advancements that acted as a catalyst for an important and lasting shift in the United State’s perception of its role in the world. Technological advancement in travel and communication changed the American people’s views of the world, therefore changing the direction of American foreign policy. This shift in foreign policy would eventually lead the United States into the grips of two horrific wars on the European continent. However, these wars would provide the necessary environment for the country to establish itself as the leader of the international system – a title it would desperately need tin order to attempt to create a new, less conflict-ridden global order. Though World…show more content…
There is really a copious supply of different inventions with roots in the industrial revolution of the 19th century, but I believe that the inventions of the telegraph and steam engine best emphasize the leaps and bounds in technology at the time because of how clearly these advancements drastically altered people’s way of life – they shrunk the world as people knew it, resulting in a type of global connectedness that would have been unimaginable just a short time before.
This “awakening” of the American psyche to the outside world did not necessarily discredit isolationist sentiments, but it undoubtedly gave credence to the belief that America was destined to assume an active role in world affairs. The American peace movement began early during the first decade of the 20th century. An ethnocentric lot, these peace-seekers were, as Herring states, “Optimistic about humankind and confident of progress…[believing] their cause could best be furthered by the extension of Anglo-Saxon principles, especially the codification of international law and arbitration” (Herring, pg. 357). In only a few short years, 130 non-governmental organizations were established by these peace-seekers. Ironically enough, Herring mentions that those supporters of the peace movement “saw no contradiction between working for peace and
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