Us Rise To Power Essay

The man who had not mentioned foreign policy at all in his inaugural address four years earlier now had only one subject on his mind: war."We are provincials no longer," he assured his listeners, noting that the struggle for Europe had made the Americans "citizens of the world." Finally, less than a month later, he asked Congress to declare war on Germany.The Germans, who had not been opposed to the idea of peace talks until then, responded nine days later with the resumption of unlimited submarine warfare.

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Treasury Secretary William Gibbs Mc Adoo, a son-in-law of President Woodrow Wilson, was already forging plans to replace the pound sterling with the dollar as the foremost international reserve currency.

The Nerve Center of the World But his father-in-law, a lawyer and political scientist, and America's only president to enter politics after serving as the president of a university, had no such prosaic intentions.

After the Bolsheviks had overthrown the czarist regime in Russia, Wilson spoke of a war between democracy and the forces of absolutism.

German historian Karl Dietrich Erdmann characterized 1917 as an "epochal year in world history." Washington's entry into the war and the October Revolution in Russia, Erdmann argues, ensured that Europe had lost its role as the principal player in world history.

Wilson, the descendent of Scottish Presbyterians and a staunch idealist, and yet down-to-earth and in many respects, such as his racism, a son of the South, wanted to save the world and end war once and for all.

He failed, of course, with peace lasting only 20 years after World War I.America, he said, was fighting to liberate the peoples of the world, including the Germans.And then he uttered a sentence that US presidents have used again and again to justify military intervention -- no one more clearly and with less credibility than George W. "The world must be made safe for democracy," Wilson said.At the same time, China is staking its claim to natural resources, intimidating its neighbors and developing massive naval power to secure its trade routes.In taking these steps, China could easily become a rival to another world power, the United States of America, which would assume the role once played by Great Britain in this historical comparison."Wilsonian foreign policy" is premised on the notion, established in the Puritan days of the founding fathers, that the United States should emulate the Biblical city on the hill, a role model for all other nations.The country has a mission to fulfill: that of bringing light into the darkness of bondage and dependency.On the one side were the "realists," who believed that America's most important task was to balance the interests of different countries to achieve the most stable equilibrium possible.Light into the Darkness The other side consisted of idealists; it was an approach which would later be named after Wilson himself.For the next century, the old continent was more or less at the center of American policy.Only today -- under a president who, like Wilson, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and has a penchant for idealism and stirring speeches -- is Europe apparently sinking into the background once again as Washington responds to the allure of dynamic Asia.


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