America in the World

Emily Zwolfer

Jacob Wilson

APUSH Themes



America in the World


1962: Cuban Missile Crisis- The U2 plane discovered that Cuba was preparing Soviet nuclear bombs, which America saw as an unacceptable provocation.  For a week, the world was on the brink of nuclear war, until the Soviet Union finally backed down and offered a treaty.  This showed the U.S. as a dominant, firm country in the world that could stand firm without aggression against the world.


1947: Truman Doctrine- It was issued to contain communism, and containment remained the foreign policy for decades to come, which eventually led to the Korean, Cold, and Vietnam wars.  It was significant to the world because this was the dominant American power trying to grow while containing the expanding communism.  America was clearly trying to spread democracy over the growth of communism.


1941-45: WWII (American involvement)- WWII was the largest war in history with two major fronts in America fought in Europe and Japan.  The war was fought against the Axis Powers, and ended with America dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Through this, America came completely out of isolationism and established itself as the leading nation of the world.  It resulted in America and the Soviet Union as superpowers-communism vs. democracy.


1803: Louisiana Purchase- It doubled the side of the U.S., allowed the U.S. to gain full control of the port of New Orleans, and was bought by Jefferson from the French through Napoleon Bonaparte.  The Purchase was bought bloodlessly, without a war, which was a huge achievement.  After it was attained, America wanted to embrace isolationism because they had successfully rid non-Americans from the part of North America they had settled on, and in hopes of staying out of wars they had successfully avoided.


1823: Monroe Doctrine- It warned other countries not to colonize in North America, but was an empty threat because America had a weak military and no real way to keep intruders out.  It did, however, show that Britain was on our side because it was clear that Britain’s navy would do our dirty work.  This was a cornerstone in American isolationist foreign policy by limiting European influence in the Western Hemisphere.  After this, America fell behind in technology and industrialism as Europe thrived.


1812: War of 1812- It was a war against Britain that lasted 2 ½ years in order to stop Britain form interfering with American shipments.  There was a major victory for the U.S. in New Orleans, which promoted a sense of nationalism, and the war ended with the Treaty of Ghent.  The war helped American entrepreneurs move toward industrialism, as well as making it clear to the world that America was independent from Britain.  Britain was no longer much of a world power-and the U.S. was becoming one.


1783: Treaty of Paris- It ended the Revolutionary War and declared American independence from Britain.  The United States of America was recognized as a country, and not an England colony.  It also granted America all the land south of Canada and north of Florida.  It showed Europe that Britain was not as powerful as they had thought since its colonies were able to overthrow its rule.


1842: Aroostook War- It was a conflict between Britain and America in Canada and Maine because Britain wanted to do business close to the mainland, but both countries had actually claimed Maine.  Dispute followed and was fought by the countries’ lumberjacks.  Britain gained the Halifax-Quebec route, but the U.S. gained more land, which showed the world that the United States was growing and was a real power.


1917: WWI (American involvement)- America joined the war due to the Zimmerman telegram which was a German attempt to turn America’s neighbor against them, and due to unrestricted submarine warfare by Germany.  The war was fought between the Allies and the Axis powers over the spread of communism.  The war made America realize that isolationism was not a successful tactic, and brought us out of our shell.  America came together and helped provide France and England with men, food, and supplies, reestablishing itself as a superpower.


1845: Annexation of Texas: Through the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, America gained the state of Texas from Mexico, as well as the area stretching westward to Oregon, and California in exchange for $15 million.  To get to this point, war had broken out with Mexico and many different views over which side was right came about, such as the “spot resolutions.”  This gain led to America feeling high off of land and the intoxication of manifest Destiny, making the U.S. begin expanding its empire more rapidly to include Hawaii and Alaska, involving deals with Hawaiians and Russia.