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Chapter20-ForeignPolicy

Chapter20-ForeignPolicy - A.P Civics Notes Chapter...

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A.P. Civics Notes: Chapter 20 “Foreign Policy” I. Kinds of Foreign Policy 1. In the United States, Congress declares war, and such restrictions can disadvantage the U.S. in the realm of foreign policy, but some say that some presidents have gone too far in the past. i. The major questions in foreign policy remain: how great are the president’s powers, what role should Congress play, and how important are the public and interest groups? 2. The decision to go to war, the signing of alliances with European nations, and the negotiation of nuclear test ban treaties are examples of foreign policy that fall under majoritarian politics . i. The president is usually the powerful figure supported by the public. 3. Foreign policy decisions, such as the adjustment of tariff rates, could reflect interest group politics too. i. Raising the tariff on Japanese-produced steel helps American steel makers but hurts those that used to purchase Japanese steel. 4. Examples in client politics can occur when, say, America provides aid to U.S. corporations doing business abroad; another example is the U.S. involvement in Israel, since lots of Jews favor it. i. In client or interest group politics, Congress plays a much larger role, and it can also be the forum where clashing opinions are expressed and criticism is laced. ii. Congress often seeks to expand it foreign policy power during times of controversy, especially if it is the president’s fault! I. The Constitutional and Legal Context 5. The president is commander in chief of the armed forces, appoints ambassadors, and negotiates treaties, but Congress authorizes and appropriates money for armed forces, approves ambassadors, and ratifies treaties; thus, foreign policy can become very sticky. i. Yet, most people think that the president is in charge of foreign affairs, and in many cases, he has asserted the right to send troops abroad for a war, plus, the State Department , the Central Intelligence Agency , and the National Security Agency are almost totally presidential agencies. ii. The president has signed over 7000 executive agreements with other countries that didn’t require Congressional ratification, as opposed to the 1000 treaties that Congress has passed.
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6. The president tends to get more Congressional approval on foreign matters than domestic matters. 7. Here are examples of presidents who have been very strong in foreign policy matters: i. 1801: Thomas Jefferson sends the navy to deal w/ the Barbary pirates. ii. 1845: James K. Polk sends troops into Mexico to defend newly-acquired Texas.
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