Isolationism to Imperialism - Canyon Independent School District

January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, US History
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The Growth of US Imperialism Chapter 10 Lesson One: Isolation to Imperialism: The Foreign Policy Spectrum

One day at school you notice a huge ring of students jostling and pushing. As you get closer, you hear some of the students yelling “Fight!” Like the rest, you want to see what is happening. Finally finding a vantage point, you see two students threatening one another. One is a good friend; the other is a former friend and current enemy who owes you money. What will you do?





Turn away and leave because the fight does not concern you and getting involved will only mean trouble. Convince a couple of friends to help you separate the two students before they hurt each other. Get into the fight on your friend’s side and punch out the former friend who owes you money since he deserves it. Punch out both students to show the rest of the school who is the toughest kid on campus.

In this activity, you will be examining the choices the United States has made in its foreign policy relations with other countries. These choices are:

Isolationism Collective security Internationalism Imperialism They parallel the choices you made as approaches to the fight on campus.

Isolationism Strict non-involvement in the

affairs of other nations Collective Security Working with other countries

to influence world affairs

Internationalism Intervening in other countries’ affairs to promote national interests and/or national security Imperialism Extending power by acquiring territory around the globe or exploiting weaker nations to serve national interests

Directions:  Read the description of the foreign policy

action.  Discuss where it should be placed on the spectrum.  As a class, we will shade the space or spaces that corresponds to the foreign policy stance you think the action represents.  Explain why you placed the item where you did in the “Reason” box.

Washington’s Farewell Address In the late 1700s many nations formed their foreign policy in such a way as to maintain a balance of power with other countries. Countries often sought out alliances to ensure that they had enough allies to prevent an attack by an unfriendly nation. But George Washington tried to steer the United States in a different direction. In his 1796 Farewell Address he said, “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations [but] to have with them as little political connection as possible.”

Washington’s Farewell Address, con’t. He argued that trade with other nations would benefit Americans, but that “entangling alliances” would draw the United States into undesirable conflicts. Washington’s counsel to avoid military alliances was followed throughout the 1800s and remained a major foreign policy consideration during the twentieth century as well.

Pick an answer or answers!

Draft of George Washington’s Farewell Address

Answer:  Isolationism

Reason:  Washington rejected the alliance system.

Instead, he wanted the United States to remain politically independent from other nations.

The Monroe Doctrine In December 1823 President James Monroe issued his final message to Congress. Concerned about European colonization in Latin America and on the West coast, Monroe declared, “the American continents…are henceforth not to be considered as subject for future colonization by any European powers.” In other words, the US would not tolerate European interference in the Western Hemisphere.

The Monroe Doctrine This statement, known as the Monroe Doctrine, has come to be one of the most important foreign policy statements in US history. In the 1820s the US did not have the military strength to back up Monroe’s words. However, in the years since Monroe’s speech, the US has maintained a keen interest in Latin American affairs and has sent troops to that region more often than to any other region in the world.

Pick an answer or answers!

The Monroe Doctrine Answer:  Half internationalism, half imperialism

Reason:  Monroe believed that the US had the right

to influence events in Latin America and to warn other nations to stay away.

The Mexican-American War

In 1846 President James Polk sent US troops into an area of Texas just north of the Rio Grande that was claimed by both the US and Mexico. Polk was intent on achieving “manifest destiny” – the belief that the US was destined to occupy the territory between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans – by extending US territory across the southwest from Texas to California. When Mexico refused to sell this territory to the US, tensions between the two countries grew. In early May 1846, Mexican and US troops engaged in a skirmish in the disputed area.

The Mexican-American War President Polk expressed outrage at the loss of “American blood upon American soil,” and called for war with Mexico. Congress was divided on the question of war with Mexico. Abraham Lincoln believed that a war with Mexico was nothing more than naked aggression. Nevertheless, the US went to war, and by 1848 had invaded Mexico and conquered the territory from Texas to the Pacific Ocean, an area now encompassing New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

Pick an answer or answers!

The North American Invasion, First Battles

The Mexican-American War Answer:  Imperialism

Reason:  The US declared war with Mexico to gain

power and to force Mexico to give up territory so the US could achieve “manifest destiny” – land stretching from coast to coast.

US Entry Into World War I In 1914 war broke out in Europe, with Germany and Austria-Hungary battling against France, Great Britain, and Italy. The US immediately declared neutrality. In spite of a declaration of neutrality, the US supplied more arms to the British and French than to the Germans in the first few years of the war. Germany retaliated by sinking unarmed US merchant ships and a British passenger liner carrying American citizens, the Lusitania. In 1917 Germany attempted to negotiate a treaty with Mexico in which Mexico would attack the US.

US Entry Into World War I In return, Germany would help Mexico regain the lands lost during the Mexican-American War. After two years of official neutrality but unofficial support for Britain and France, the US declared war on Germany in 1917. President Wilson told Americans they would fight “to make the world safe for democracy.” The arrival in Europe of 2 million US troops helped to turn the tide of the war, resulting in a bitter German defeat in 1918.

Pick an answer or answers!

Trench Warfare – “Over the top”

US Entry into WWI Answer:  Collective Security and Internationalism

Reason:  The US went to war to “make the world

safe for democracy.”

US Entry Into World War II In the 1920s many Americans believed that involvement in WWI had been a mistake, and that President Wilson’s proposal for a strong international organization to prevent future wars was overly idealistic. They believed that the United States should remain self-sufficient and not become entangled in costly foreign commitments. However, during the 1930s a frightening series of events overseas demonstrated that the US victory in WWI had not succeeded in making the world “safe for democracy.”

US Entry Into World War II Lingering hatreds from WWI produced a passion for revenge in Germany. Fascist and military regimes in Germany, Italy, and Japan conquered weaker nations in Europe, North Africa, and Asia. The US struggled to stay out of the fighting while sometimes providing economic and diplomatic support for the victims of aggression. Then in 1941 a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor forced the reluctant country into WWII.

Pick an answer or answers!

Iwo Jima

US Entry into WWII Answer:  Isolationism and Internationalism

Reason:  The US stayed out of foreign involvements

in the 1920s and 1930s. Then it entered WWII to help stop Fascist and military regimes from taking over the world.

The Truman Doctrine At the end of WWII, the wartime alliance between the US and the Soviet Union turned into a bitter rivalry between the two countries – a rivalry known as the Cold War. The Soviets, led by Josef Stalin, established a ring of Communist states around the Soviet border in Eastern Europe and appeared to be looking for more territory around the globe. In 1947 it appeared that Communist rebels – supported by the Soviets – were poised to take control of Greece and Turkey.

The Truman Doctrine The United States responded with a new US foreign policy. President Truman asked Congress for military aid for the governments of both countries. In his request for aid, Truman argued that it was the responsibility of the US to defend “free peoples who are resisting subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure.” Known as the Truman Doctrine, this pronouncement committed the US to fighting the spread of communism throughout the world.

Pick an answer or answers!

The Truman Doctrine Answer:  Internationalism

Reason:  The Truman Doctrine committed the US to

protect countries from communism throughout the world.

The Vietnam War The Vietnam War, the United States’ longest foreign war, cost 58,000 American lives and more than $150 billion. In keeping with the policy of containment – not allowing communism to spread – the US goal in the war was to preserve a separate, independent, noncommunist government in South Vietnam. US leaders believed that if one country became communist, other countries in a region would likely do so as well.

The Vietnam War For 30 years, under Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, the US provided military and economic support to South Vietnam to help it fight against the North Vietnamese Communists, who were seeking to unite Vietnam. The war dragged on, and support for it eroded as television brought the fighting into American homes, and college students nationwide protested US policy in Southeast Asia. In 1973 the US and Vietnam signed a peace agreement ending the war. Two years later, the North Vietnamese invaded South Vietnam and reunified the country under a Communist government.

Pick an answer or answers!

The Vietnam War Memorial, Washington, DC

The Vietnam War Answer:  Half internationalism, half imperialism

Reason:  The US believed it was stopping the spread

of an evil system, but many Vietnamese and Americans felt that the US entered the Vietnam War for imperialistic reasons.

The Persian Gulf War In August 1990 the president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, ordered an invasion of Kuwait, Iraq’s small, oil-rich neighbor. Hussein’s forces easily defeated the Kuwaiti army, and a few days later, Saddam announced that Iraq had annexed (extended the Iraqi border to include) Kuwait. US president George Bush, fearing that Hussein’s aggression threatened the security of the Middle East and global access to Middle Eastern oil, worked with the United Nations (UN) to put in place an economic boycott of Iraq.

The Persian Gulf War

The UN also promised to defend Saudi Arabia from attack and to mobilize an alliance of 28 nations to free Kuwait from Iraqi control, through force if necessary. When Hussein refused to withdraw from Kuwait, allied forces struck Iraq in January 1991 in Operation Desert Storm. The operation began with extensive bombing raids on strategic Iraqi targets, after which allied ground forces drove the Iraqis from Kuwait and deep into Iraq. The Persian Gulf War lasted only 42 days, but cost an estimated 200,000 Iraqi lives and 240 lives from the UN allied forces.

Pick an answer or answers!

Oilfields on Fire, Iraq

The Persian Gulf War Answer:  Collective security, half internationalism,

half imperialism

Reason:  The US worked with 28 nations to stop a

foreign aggressor and to maintain global access to oil.

Peacekeeping in Bosnia

In 1989 communism collapsed in Eastern Europe. In Yugoslavia, ethnic and religious groups divided the formerly Communist country into several smaller republics. Serbia, the republic that had dominated Yugoslavia, wanted to preserve a unified country. When two other republics – Slovenia and Croatia – declared their independence in 1991, many Serbs living in those regions feared repression by the new governments. As ethnic tensions continued to rise, fierce fighting broke out among the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims in another republic, Bosnia.

Peacekeeping in Bosnia

The US pushed for an arms embargo (refusal to sell weapons) to Bosnia, which the UN passed in 1991. The UN also sought to end the conflict by sending peacekeeping troops and humanitarian aid. Still, the fighting continued until mid-1995, when a NATO bombing campaign forced the well-armed Bosnian Serbs into peace talks. Hosted by the US in Dayton, Ohio, these talks produced a cease-fire agreement and the commitment of foreign peacekeeping troops, including thousands from the US. In 1998 US troops remained in Bosnia to maintain the peace.

Pick an answer or answers!

The village park was converted into a cemetery for the war dead. Bosnian soldiers were laid to rest in the same field where, before the war, they had played football.

Peacekeeping in Bosnia Answer:  Collective security

Reason:  The US worked through the UN to try to

stop the bloodshed in Bosnia.

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