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America's Role in the World: Empire vs. Peaceful Democracy

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America’s role in the world over the past two and a half centuries has been characterized by complex political processes, public opinion, territorial expansion, trade, immigration, and an ongoing debate about what is America and what it should be. Is it an empire? Is it a peaceful democracy? Do we need a police force for the world? Or should he be friendly? The various answers and approaches to these questions offer competitors a vision of American foreign policy. In the history of American foreign policy, the area of ​​tension between separation and intervention has become a major issue. Because of the advice George Washington gave in his farewell speech to avoid bankruptcy in other countries, many thought it best to keep America to himself. In the twentieth century, however, America intervened in politics and wars in countries around the world, from the Dominican Republic to Vietnam and from Nicaragua to Korea. Prolonged riots such as the Vietnam War often led to public backlinks and increased support for the separation policy. Major security threats, such as terrorist attacks, have led to widespread support for foreign intervention.

American leaders follow more than Washington’s advice and will become the center of US foreign policy over the next hundred years. With the exception of the War of 1812, which considered the final solution to the War of Independence, the United States had no major military conflicts with the European powers until the Spanish American War of 1898. Instead, the country turned its attention inward. The United States has attempted to extend territorial control over the continent and political influence across America. Obvious fate, the belief that the United States should spread across the North American continent, has become a driving force in national politics. Americans are increasingly realizing that European powers have no place in the New World.

The Americans were not entirely satisfied with the limits laid down in the Treaty of Paris of 1783. The original colonies claimed that their territory continued to expand to the west, even if it worked. Until the beginning of the 19th century, the population was rarely distributed in the highlands of the Appalachians. Knowing that expansion was inevitable, the drafters of Congress authorized the addition of new states to the Union, and the laws of the Northwest of 1787 and 1789 established the model for the integration of new areas into the structures existing government agencies.

In 1803, the United States doubled. The accession of Vermont, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio increased the number of states from thirteen to seventeen, and in July of this year, American diplomats signed an agreement with the Napoleonic government to cover the entire French territory of the New World for only 15 million. Take a dollar. At just under three cents per hectare, buying in Louisiana is one of the worst land purchases in history. The French accepted the treaty because Napoleon had waged costly wars all over Europe. While Britain was waging a great economic war against the aggressive French regime, the Napoleonic government needed all the means it could find. Over the next twenty years, seven new countries will be accepted into the Union and new territories from Great Britain and Spain.

After reaching a new level of power and stability, America established its first official foreign policy framework in 1823. In international relations, a ‘doctrine’ is a guide, perspective or belief that a ruler or a country is tackling a particular or international problem. system. As Europe recovered from the Napoleonic wars, American leaders feared that European nations would turn their attention to the New World. In light of this concern, President James Monroe set the basic standard for American foreign policy: the new world was separate and the United States was opposed to all forms of European intervention in North, Central and from South. Monroe made it clear that the United States would not allow a new colonization by the Old World powers in America. The Monroe doctrine confirms American neutrality in the ongoing European troubles.

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Latin American leaders such as the Venezuelan Simon Bolivar appreciated the view of the Monroe Doctrine when it was first announced. However, relations between the United States and these countries have become more complex over time. During the 19th century, Americans increasingly lived in the west in areas belonging to Mexico. Meanwhile, American idealism developed and the discussion of the manifesto of American destiny became more passionate. Over time, this led to atrocities such as the Indian Elimination Act of 1830, which resulted in the forced resettlement of tens of thousands of Native Americans. The expansion of the United States also led to a war against Mexico in the 1840s. But after its victory in the American-Mexican War of 1848, America’s open destiny was reached. The United States has conquered the entire area between the Atlantic and the Pacific. The Latin American nations believed that the Monroe Doctrine was only a political instrument in the hands of an emerging empire and not a declaration of sovereignty for the American nations.

Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and George Washington are often listed as the three highest presidents among historians. The remaining places in the top 10 are often rounded off by Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Harry S. Truman, Woodrow Wilson, Andrew Jackson, Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. New presidents like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton are often ranked in the best public polls, but not always among scholars and historians. The top 10 often included James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Ulysses S. Grant, Zachary Taylor, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Because William Henry Harrison (30 days) and James A. Garfield (200 days, disabled after 119 days) both died soon after taking office, they were often removed from the presidency. In addition, Zachary Taylor died after being president for only 16 months, but is generally included. These three do not know whether they received low marks because of their behavior with the President or because they were both assigned to the office for a limited time without allowing them to be examined in more detail.

Political scientist Walter Dean Burnham noted the “dichotomous or schizoid profiles” of presidents, which can make it difficult to rank them. Historian Alan Brinkley has stated that ‘there are presidents who can be considered failures as well as good or near-great (for example, Nixon). Scientist and political scientist James MacGregor Burns said of Nixon: “How can you assess a president so stubborn as brilliant and morally inadequate?”. As we celebrate the start of the centenary of the American Civil War, it is worth remembering and reflecting on the most important figure in the fight against pre-war slavery: John Brown. When Brown was hanged for burglary in 1859, Harpers Ferry in Virginia was seen by many as a harbinger of the future. For Southerners, he was the embodiment of all their fears, a white man ready to die to end slavery, and the strongest symbol of the aggressive sense of the existence of the anti-slavery North that exists at this day. For many North Americans, he was a prophet of justice who struck with a swift sword against the immorality of slavery and the arrogance of the ruling class. At the time, domestic terrorism was a growing problem. Bombings, raids and attacks on women’s clinics and doctors have been carried out in several locations. A bomb used in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics killed one person and injured more than 100 people. In 1995.

Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, where 168 people were killed and more than 680 injured. During this bicentennial, many historians and others have questioned whether John Brown was the first American terrorist. Is she a model for the cowards who put bombs in clinics, in public parks or in buildings? Significantly, at least one modern terrorist, Paul Hill, compared himself to John Brown after being arrested for killing two people who worked at a women’s clinic in Florida. A year after Brown’s bicentennial, the United States suffered several terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The importance of terrorism has changed. It is no longer the result of the accidental attack of one or two people. Now it is linked to a global plot, foreign contacts and comprehensive planning. The American response was a ‘war on terror’. In the wake of the growing terrorist attacks, many researchers and most of the public have again questioned whether John Brown was the ‘first terrorist’ in America.

In conclusion, this does not mean the space where the head of the United States works. This is the position and the power of the President of the United States. Sidney Milkis is with the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. He and others at the Miller Center specialize in political history in the United States. George Washington was the first president of the country. Harry Rubenstein, curator of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, said that the constitutional drafters had created the post of president in relation to Washington. George Washington was the first president of the country. Harry Rubenstein, curator of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, said that the constitutional drafters had created the post of president in relation to Washington. Milkis said that the U.S. presidency was unlike any other position in world history at the end of the 18th century. Millennia before the American Constitution, people believed that a strong executive and a democracy – what Jefferson called self-government were incompatible. How can a capable person manage a large share of responsibility towards an individual while considering himself as a democracy, even a representative democracy.


  1. American Experience John Brown’s Holy War’. PBS. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  2. Bremer, Francis, J., John Winthrop: America’s Forgotten Founding Father, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 171.
  3. Winthrop, John, The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630-1649, Harvard University Press, 1996, p.1.
  4. E. Virginia Oswald and Michael Hill (October 1985). ‘Bennett Bunn Plantation’ (pdf). National Register of Historic Places – Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office.
  5. Stivers, C. (2009). A Civic Machinery for Democratic Expression: Jane Addams on Public Administration. In M. Fischer, C. Nackenoff, & W. Chielewski, Jane Addams and the Practice of Democracy (pp. 87–97). Chicago, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.
  6. Shields, Patricia M. (2017). Jane Addams: Peace Activist and Peace Theorist In, P. Shields Editor, Jane Addams: Progressive Pioneer of Peace, Philosophy, Sociology, Social Work and Public Administration pp. 31-42.
  7. Brown, Victoria Bissell (2003). The Education of Jane Addams. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

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America’s Role in the World: Empire vs. Peaceful Democracy. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from
“America’s Role in the World: Empire vs. Peaceful Democracy.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022,
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