American Foreign Policy

Kimi Kreifels

2 May 2014


American Foreign Policy


Isolationism: This was the belief that the best way to protect American from the problems of Europe and the rest of the world would be to shut everyone else out and focus on domestic policy only.


  • Monroe Doctrine: this came out of the post-War of 1812 nationalism; the Monroe Doctrine warned Europe against messing with the territories of the Western Hemisphere and promised to stay out of European wars. This made American s feel safe from Europe’s problems merely because they stated they wanted to be.
  • Emergency Quota Act of 1921- an example of isolationism at home, the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 limited the number of immigrants allowed in to the United States to 3% of the amount of people of that specific nationality that had been living in the U.S. in 1910
  • Immigration Act of 1924- replaced the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 by limiting the percentage to 2% and the reference year to 1890 meaning very, very few Southern or Eastern Europeans were allowed in since very few were in the U.S. in 1890.
  • Hawley-Smoot Tariff- Isolated America economically and worsened the depression. The Hawley-Smoot Tariff was the highest protective tariff in peacetime history (nearly 60%) that international trade was all but stopped.


Imperialism: The policy of one country exerting their power over other nations or areas by military force, or diplomacy. It was historically not awesome in the eyes of America, at least until they were the ones calling the imperial shots.


  • Hawaii:

o   1840 America warned other nations to keep their hands off Hawaii

o   1887 America signed a treaty with Hawaiian native government to allow U.S. naval bases at Pearl Harbor

o   1890 Fearing the high prices of international trade, American planters and military overthrew Queen Liliuokalani

o   1898 Hawaii becomes a state

  • Cuba:

o   1895 Cubans rise up against the oppressive Spanish

o   1898 U.S. send the warship the Maine which spontaneously combusts and send the American people into a Spanish-hating-yellow-pressing frenzy

o   1898 U.S. declares war on Spain

o   1989 War is over, even though the Teller Amendment said the U.S. would grant Cuba independence it wasn’t so easy, and they moved on to conquer


International Organizations: organizations of multiple nations whose representatives meet to discuss the regulation, and implementation of political or economic policies


  • International Monetary Fund IMF (1944): The IMF sought to regulate and encourage world trade by regulating currency exchange rates.
  • United Nations (1945): The U.N. replaced the League of Nations and was much more effective than the League had been, it helped bring peace in Iran and Kashmir, and it’s smaller branches UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) WHO (World Health Organization), and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) brought help to many nations around the world
  • NATO (1949): An organization of 12 nations (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, U.K., & U.S.) that agreed that an attack on any one of the signatories would be met by attacks from the other 11. This showed that the Cold War was heating up and suiting up with armies.


Cold War: The era of tension (1946-1991) between the USSR and the US that started with the spread of atomic weapons to the USSR after World War 2, and ended with the breakup of the Soviet Union.


  • Containment Doctrine (1947): George F. Kennan’s synthesis of Truman’s actions against the soviets that said that Russia and its communism would be allowed to exist but not to spread.
  • McCarthyism (1950-1956): McCarthyism was an attack on all persons suspected of being sympathetic to the communists, it began with McCarthy announcing that he had a list of 100 communists in the Federal Government
  • INF treaty (1987) this treated banned the missiles from all of Europe and was the manifestation of 3 summits between Reagan and Gorbachev. It was the last step towards ending the Cold War since in disarmed the Soviets of the weapons that had started the panic in the first place. It also marked the beginning of a tentatively stable relationship between Russia and the U.S.