Woodrow Wilson And American Diplomacy Essay

3058 words - 12 pages

Woodrow Wilson and American Diplomacy

“Until early in [the twentieth] century, the isolationist tendency prevailed in American foreign policy. Then, two factors projected America into world affairs: its rapidly expanding power, and the gradual collapse of the international system centered on Europe” . President Woodrow Wilson was the leader who would initiate the ideologies of American diplomacy in the twentieth century. Up until his Presidency, American foreign policy was simply to fulfill the course of manifest destiny, and to remain free of entanglements overseas. Although he could not convince his fellow politicians on Capitol Hill of the probable success of his ideas, he did persuade the fellow writers of the Treaty of Versailles to use his Fourteen Points. America’s role as a political global superpower was established during his Presidency, as well as the modern policy that peace depends on the spread of democracy, and that national interest consists of adhering to a global system of law.

The formation of modern American diplomacy can not only be attributed to Wilson, for the policies of Theodore Roosevelt are what initiated his diplomatic policies. Roosevelt convinced Congress to strengthen the Army and Navy, and began major involvement in European affairs. His foreign policy regarding the Caribbean followed the policy of the Monroe Doctrine, that to maintain order in the Caribbean, foreign nations could not be involved, however Roosevelt did not follow the Doctrine to the extent of forceful evacuation of the Americas, he did use diplomatic means. He prevented European warfare in Venezuela, by negotiating with the involved nations. He found that it was America’s duty, just as all other powerful nation’s duties, to police the world and maintain order. The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine was issued, and it stated that America would be the police force of the Americas, and that European intervention was not necessary. This major step showed that America had no goals in obtaining new territories in the Caribbean, and was a measure to protect the Panama region from upheaval. Wilson would follow Roosevelt’s ideologies but to an even greater extent as he created a modern Monroe Doctrine.

There shall be no annexations.

National aspirations must be respected; peoples may now be dominated, and…[may now] be governed only by their own consent. “Self-determination” is not a mere phrase. It is an imperative principle of action…
Peoples and provinces are not to be bartered about from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were mere chattels and pawns in a game…
Every territorial settlement involved in this war must be made in the interest and for the benefit of the populations concerned.

Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty.

From 1913-1917, Wilson and Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan had to deal with an unstable Mexican government. “Bryan was easily the...

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