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America's Foreign Policy - 1939-Present

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:05 AM
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Question: How has the need for military security and the protection of democratic ideals shaped American foreign policy since 1939?





Isolationism is a policy of having little to do with the affairs of foreign nations. Despite few occasions, America always did its best to remain neutral in times of war, only to be involved when it came to a point where it could no longer refuse. In the 1930’s America abandoned its isolationist policy. America knew that it would no longer be able to remain neutral with so much fighting raging on around it. America’s Foreign policy slowly changed because of the need for military security and democratic ideal.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, America officially declared them selves in World War Two (Document 1).   In President Roosevelt’s address to congress he states, “I ask that congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, a state of war has existed between the United States and Japanese Empire.” From this statement it is clear that the attack on Pearl Harbor caused America to acquire military security, therefore officially abandoning isolationism.

In 1949 America signed the North Atlantic Treaty (Document 4). The treaty was an official alliance between the parties who signed it. America realized again that they could no longer remain neutral. By signing the treaty the United States not only got them selves involved with the conflicts involving our own nation, but also it agreed to defend foreign nations when they were attacked on.

According to Document 5 on March 12, 1947 President Truman urged congress to provide economic aid to Turkey and Greece. President Truman believed that because of the democratic ideals of our country, we must provide provisions to those countries that resist subjugation. The United States also did its best to aid Berlin (Document 6).   It sent the most planes, as well as the most food, and coal. This also...

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