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America in the World War

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University of Toronto St. George
Dr.Liamvan Beek

HIS271 America in World War I February 2 2011 What impact did the coming of war have on domestic reform movements? th Why was a country so concerned with expanding its empire in the late 19 and early 20 centuries reluctant to engage in international conflicts in 1914? Was Woodrow Wilson too much of an idealist when it came to justifying war? Did he succeed in his lofty goals? Legacy from the Progressive Era: sense of responsibility of the people to act on behalf of the community? The coming of WWI caused the Progressive Era, shifting focus from social reform The coming of war offered some reformers the first great opportunity to put these reforms into action Woodrow Wilson saw a civilization in crisis and felt reform was necessary Today: the reasons why Americans first resisted calls to join WWI and the forces that finally compelled them to join, as well as the ways in which participation in the war helped shape American foreign policy and outlook American intervention took on three new trends, as mentioned in the last lecture: 1. More aggressive nationalism at home and abroad. 2. Americans were finding new ways to rationalize intervention. Social Darwinism, racism, calls for global hemispheric stability, etc. 3. American foreign and domestic concerns reflected a desire for expansion. Oversees markets for example. Very often these three trends were intertwined Roosevelt and Taft shaped foreign policy William Taft and Dollar Diplomacy He believed that instability would breed conflict www.notesolution.comHIS271 America in World War I February 2 nd2011 In some ways, he was building on some of Roosevelts strategy Taft proposed that the US could substitute dollars for bullets The emphasis was on economic rather than military sanctions The goal was to use private investments to promote American diplomatic goals abroad For example, 1909-1913 saw increased investments in the Caribbean, the idea being that it would tie weaker nations to the US (like Roosevelt and the Dominican Republic) He attempted in varying degrees to apply his dollar diplomacy throughout Latin America and Asia, was rejected in China and caused Americans to ridicule him Critics of these kinds of approaches and of imperialism in general were really hopeful with the election of Woodrow Wilson Wilsonian Diplomacy Entered office on a platform of anti-imperialism He promised in 1913 to: 1. Prove that the US was a friend to Latin America 2. Wanted to show that it was dangerous to determine American foreign policy only in terms of material gain 3. Suggested that the US should have a goal in protecting constitutional liberty, human rights, national integrity, and human opportunity 4. Emphasized community, not competition Actually set this in to motion. A different outlook than Roosevelt and Taft However, Wilson eventually started to reverse himself on issues of foreign policy His policies eventually werent that different from Taft or Roosevelt Isolation?
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