The US foreign policy culture



Thus far we have considered some of the underlying assumptions figuring into US foreign policy culture. In this thread I would like to draw these things together with the history you have been going through over the past week and will be exploring during the next two.

We can make the argument that the development of this culture can be clearly seen in the formative wars of expansion in 1812, 1848, and 1898 with the prototyping of hegemony taking place during 1916-1918. In each of these wars (and the Civil War) the tension between realism (and realpolitik) and American ideals is heightened.

Let’s look at the history of these moments of expansion and ask whether or not the US did all the wrong things for the right reasons (or vice versa) and whether or not the development of US power undermines the commitment to its ideals. Finally, how are we seeing this reflected in our contemporary debates?

Have at it!