Thus Far… Chittick created a framework with which we can analyze and better understand foreign policies

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Foreign Policy

The Transition Period (1866-1941)

Thus Far…

  • Chittick created a framework with which we can analyze and better understand foreign policies.

  • M/M:

  • Multilateral/Unilateral

  • C/C:

  • Coercive/Non-Coercive

  • A/A:

  • Active/Reactive


  • Today we will examine the history of the United States between the Civil War and the Great War

  • How did events and reigning theories of government shape our foreign policy?

  • How did the president influence the foreign policy followed?

  • What factors are important in determining foreign policy?

FP Myth

  • American has traditionally had an isolationist foreign policy?

  • This is patently false

  • Indian Tribes

  • Latin Americas

  • The Caribbean Sea

  • The Pacific Ocean

  • However…

US Imperialism was different

  • How was territorial gain to be handled?

  • What mechanisms in the Constitution allowed for territorial gain?

  • Jefferson had constitutional difficulties with the Louisiana Purchase difficulties

  • What constitutional difficulties would we have with Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines?

Constitutional Difficulties

  • How can we have anything other than a state?

  • What do we do with non-incorporated territories?

  • Can we purchase land?

  • Can we invade and keep the land?

  • Spoils of war?

  • Should we become engaged in European wars?

  • Should we enter as a balancer to help keep the peace?

The Concert of Europe

  • When the French Empire fell in 1815, it was dismembered

  • Congress of Vienna

  • Formalization of Balance of Power in intra-European relations

  • Concert of Europe

Century XIX in Europe

  • The rise to the forces of liberalization and nationalism

  • Unification of Germany (1848-1871) and Italy (1815-1871) as states

  • Two more states to help with the balancing

  • Kept these territories from automatically following another state

  • Allowed for more flexible balancing

  • The industrialization in the world

Century XIX in the US

  • Westward expansion

  • Manifest Destiny

  • Subjugation of the Indian Nations

  • Mexican-American War

  • Civil War and Reconstruction

  • Immigration

  • European

  • Asian

  • Industrialization

  • Wars

  • Spanish-American, Philippine-American, and the Great War

Post-Civil War Era (1865-1890)

  • Civil War was over

  • World was industrializing

  • Europe was busy with two new states: Germany and Italy

  • Concert of Europe still in effect

  • Focus on multipolar system and flexible alliances to keep the balance

  • We gained no territory through war

  • Purchase of Alaska in 1867

  • Our foreign policy was MCA

  • Why?

  • Prosperity

  • We were busy with Manifest Destiny and settling the American wilderness

  • Agricultural revolution and the Homestead Act (1862) drove the drive to the Midwest

  • In the urban centers, it was the start of the Gilded Age

  • We eventually surpassed the combined output of Great Britain, Germany, and France.

  • Security

  • Main use of military was to eliminate the Native American threat

  • Army strengthened

  • Navy faded

  • Community

  • Manifest Destiny drove the American psyche

  • Frontier Thesis (JW Powell)

  • Massive influx of European immigrants

  • Violence against non-Anglo–Saxon immigrants

  • America for Americans

  • But, KKK disappeared in 1871

Pre-Great War Era (1890-1920)

  • The frontier was settled

  • The Frontier Thesis was shown wrong

  • Our foreign policy was MCA (except for Wilson)

  • Why no change in designation, but big change in our actions?

  • This was the age of the Spanish-American War, the Philippine War, and the Great War

  • This was the age of American colonialism

  • We gained non-continental territory in this age

  • Cuba (1898)

  • Puerto Rico (1898)

  • Philippines (1898)

  • Guam (1898)

  • Hawaii (1898)

  • Samoa (1899)

  • Wake Island (1899)

  • Virgin Islands (1917 purchase)

  • BUT, what could we constitutionally do with any of it?

  • This was also the age of foreign interventions:

  • Mexico (Vera Cruz)

  • Colombia/Panama

  • Nicaragua

  • Haiti

  • Dominican Republic

  • The Banana Wars

  • Prosperity

  • The second half of the Gilded Age

  • Monopolies became extremely powerful engines of the economy

  • These required cheap natural resources

  • Latin America was close at hand

  • US policy towards LA focused on installing and supporting governments that were friendly with our MNCs

  • Security

  • Interventionism

  • Open Door Policy (China)

  • Our versions of diplomacy in this period

  • Big Stick Diplomacy

  • Dollar Diplomacy

  • Gunboat Diplomacy

  • Community

  • The Progressive Movement began in 1890s and continued for at least two decades in response to the immigrants

  • The KKK was reborn in 1915 to deal with the immigrants


  • Wilson was different from his immediate predecessors

  • He was the quintessential follower of Idealism

  • National Self-Determination

  • Commitment to international institutions

  • MCA

  • BUT, how different was he from traditional US foreign policy?

From the Great War to the Great Depression

  • What was our foreign policy?

  • Our presidents were

  • Harding

  • Coolidge

  • Hoover

  • Our motto was: “The business of America is business”

  • We were living in the “Roaring 20s”

  • What kind of foreign policy should result?

Out of the Depression

  • What was our foreign policy?

  • Our president was

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • We were working our way out of a depression

  • The depression was global, not national

  • The rise of totalitarian philosophies was also global

  • Could democracy and capitalism survive?


  • Remember that we are using Chittick’s framework to better understand our foreign policies throughout the ages.

  • We have not always been “isolationist”

  • In fact, I cannot think of a time when we were

The Purpose of Theory

  • Chittick’s framework also exposes what he thinks are the most important things to look at when analyzing foreign policy

  • We also call this theory

  • Without theory to guide our thinking, we end up not thinking at all

  • Too many things happening in the world

The Purpose of Theory

  • Theory helps us answer the question: What should we focus on?

  • Does it matter if America is a wealthy state?

  • Does it matter that I prefer to wear Nikes?

  • What really matters?


  • Read:

  • Chapter 2 (Hook)

  • Pages 116 – 133 (Chittick)

  • No class Wednesday

  • Mass of the Holy Spirit

  • Friday’s Topic:

  • From Hot War to Cold War

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