Foreign Policy in the Progressive Era In the wake of the Spanish-American War, the United States joined the ranks of the imperial powers with possessions that stretched halfway around the globe, from Puerto Rico in the Caribbean to the Philippines in the Pacific. In the years leading up to its entry into World War I, America did its best to maintain its influence in Asia through diplomacy while following an aggressive foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere. The United States showed little interest in European affairs until the outbreak of war in August 1914 and even then remained officially neutral for almost three years. The commitment of American troops in 1917 was a significant factor in the Allied victory and earned President Wilson the right to help shape the peace settlement. The failure of the Senate to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, however, marked a shift toward a more isolationist foreign policy. As a two-ocean conflict, the Spanish-American War underscored the value of a canal linking the
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