US Diplomatic history


Examining US entry into foreign wars in 1898 and again in 1917, do you find that the decisions were made more for “idealistic” or “realist” reasons? Or would some other term or category better describe the most important considerations?

The two books assigned in this class are listed below. They are basic history books so if you cannot get a hold of these books i’m sure you can find the necessary information elsewhere.

1) Thomas G. Paterson et al., American Foreign Relations chapters 1 – 3

2) Dennis Merrill and Thomas G. Paterson Major Problems in American Foreign Relations chapters 1 -2


The military history of the United States and the relationship between the country and the outside world shows that United States had refrained from engaging with the rest of the world militarily after gaining independence from European countries. For a long time after the country gained her independence, her relationship with the rest of the world especially military wise had been regulated by the Monroe doctrine. Under the Monroe doctrine, United States had advised European powers to refrain from any interference with the Western Hemisphere and in return, United States would not interfere with what was happening in Europe. This means that after independence, United States adopted a noninterventionist approach to world affairs especially in affairs that had to do with European powers.  The country was devoted to solving her own problems and developing her own civilizations that soon became the wonder of the world. No public money, no arms, no aids or troops that were used on interfering with external affairs. Monroe doctrine became the guide for the American republic but this was not to stay for long..