American Foreign Policy
An analysis of the argument for internationalism in American foreign policy.
This paper argues that the United States of America should practice internationalism and not isolationism nor a combination of the two as its dominant political value system. To demonstrate this and to provide evidence for this thesis, the paper analyzes the essay published in 1941 entitled “The American Century” by Henry Luce. In addition, the paper looks at American international relations since World War II, and American influence throughout the world.
“Luce wrote his essay on February 17, 1941 for the popular periodical Life Magazine. He wrote in the face of the massive destruction wrought upon the United Kingdom during Battle of Britain. In years before, America had held fast to the words of Founding Father George Washington, who warned against entangling foreign alliances, as practiced by most of the European nations. For much of America’s history, this council had seemed wise. Yet after World War I, this advice began to seem less effective. The United State Senate’s refusal to allow the U.S. to enter the League of Nations, even though its own President, Woodrow Wilson had been critical in the construction of the League, had resulted in the League’s inefficacy. Prime Minister of Britain Neville Chamberlain had pursued an isolationist policy as part of Britain’s ideology, only to see that nation collapse under its dead weight, under the wake of Hitler’s attempt to dominate Europe and bomb England to destruction.”