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David-US_Foregin_policy - January 12th 2011 The United...

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January 12 th , 2011 The United States has a distinct attitude in foreign policy It’s a great power that does not like to play ball with the other great powers. A lot of it has to do with the Republic’s history and geography. The U.S. is separated from Europe geographically, and the U.S. generally attempts to stay out of European affairs. Americans in the 19 th century are mainly focused on domestic issues, and care little for what is going on overseas. The frontier consumes American attention. Foreign policy is often seen as a distraction from the “important” things by American politicians. The U.S. stays out of the “Great Power System” throughout most of the 19 th century. Historians like to describe the period until the 1870s as the Pax Britannica . Just about everyone is at peace and Britain has tremendous influence. Two huge moats, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The British navy is so dominant that they control most of the world’s oceans. The British navy helps to keep America safe. The British do not want European powers to carve out colonial empires in the new world. This safety allows the Americans to ignore the great power system and get away with not having a military. 1823 – The Monroe Doctrine The British navy practically enforces the Monroe Doctrine, though there are exceptions (French in Mexico). The Americans participate in the global economic system which the British created. American economic growth in the 19 th century can be partially attributed to this system. From the colonial era, Americans have believed in their exceptionalism. The Americans tend to see themselves as the first example of a successful democratic society. They believe America should be a “city on a hill” for the rest of the world to see. Americans tend to see Europe as a continent ravaged by war, built on oppression, and poverty-stricken. Americans see themselves as morally superior, and this morality tremendously influences how they approach diplomacy. America sees power politics as “dirty.” They believe that all differences can be settled through discussion, through a moral or logical appeal. “Real differences” of interests don’t really exist. Conflicts are a result of misunderstandings As far as most Americans are concerned, there are no conflicts of interests. Americans believe that the “natural order” of things in the world is peace and harmony. Therefore, conflict is an abnormal state of affairs. IN their worldview, war is the result of wicked statesmen pursuing selfish ends. In particular, they tend to identify European power politics with Europe’s aristocratic history. It is “morally correct” to stay out of European affairs.
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America stands for peace, Europe stands for war. Liberal theory is based on the ideas of the Manchester School in England.
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David-US_Foregin_policy - January 12th 2011 The United...

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