Motivations behind United States Involvement in the World since the Late


Motivationsbehind United States Involvement in the World since the Late 19thCentury


July4, 2014

Asmuch as it is clearly observable in the present world, the UnitedStates has continually indirectly, if not directly influenced most ofthe matters concerning the world nation’s political and socialexistence. Apparently, this influence logically dates back as fromthe final periods of the 19thcentury when the nation became a pre-eminent power at the face of thewhole globe. The semantics of this fact are complicated consideringthat bearing the top-list name “The Super-Power”(, 2014) does not only come with privileges ofhaving an eye on matters concerning the whole globe, but also comeswith some eminent and consistent difficulties. A world super-powerhas not only the task of dealing with the overall foreign relationaffairs, but also has the task of maintaining global security, a taskwhich is overly very difficult.

Thesefacts of the literature are the main reasons that rose the centraldiscussion of this paper. Why would the United States be engrossed tosuch an involving matter? Or which enduring tensions or attitudes ofAmerican society did persons, companies, and the military carryoverseas with them? And what should the U.S role in the world be?Why? Well, various scholars have risen with articles that try tojustify, or else provide an answer to the above query. Some holdingon the need to hold morality in the foreign policies and othersarguing on the “greatest good for the biggest number.” However,this paper is on a more critical view a view that of all concernsthat the U.S might have in thought while engaging in matters of theglobe, military and security (Belmonte, 2011) concerns were the mostprevalent. Correspondingly, it is vital to note that the UnitedStated projected such a military basis that ensured understanding andequality among all persons in all nations.

Come the mid-20thcentury in 1941, when the political and psychological warfare hadentered the world, the United States had not actually joined any ofthe warring sides, and it is at this time that Franklin Roosevelt wasin power. However, his view to the war was very clear. All along,Roosevelt was taking his time to support “The Four Freedoms,”freedoms that say equality in all of the other four continents. It isthe basis of these “Four Freedoms” that the nation evaluatedwhich of the warring nations were to be considered allies and whowere the enemies. Similarly, this period was signified with a lot ofnon-military actions where the traditional forms of propaganda,threat of force, covert operations, economic and trade aid(socialists versus the communists (Belmonte, 2011), diplomacy, andeducational and cultural exchanges were very vibrant (Osgood, 2002).These aspects of the psychological, continually shaped the need forthe nation to confer and advance their foreign policy properly inorder to control the influences and impacts it had on the publicopinion.

Anumber of social and judicial outcomes can help reveal the foreignpolicies that the U.S was ready to project to rest of the world. Inthe 1954 judicial declaration , (The Brown versus Board of Educationof Topeka, Kansas 347), an equality declaration was made “separateeducational facilities for difference races are inherently unequal.”The judicial declaration made in this time became one of the manyother that followed, all fight for general societal equalityregardless of the race, gender, origin, or even color.

Similarly,the Gallup polls conducted an even year’s long research todetermine the social and economic status of the American men andwomen. The firm released its results on 12thof September, 1947 in an article named “Mr. and Mrs. America(Belmonte, 2011).” The objective of the poll was not only supposedto give the nation a notion of the life its people were living,rather, it was supposed to review the attitudes that its Americanimmigrants would take to the rest of the world. As such, the outcomethat came out was relatively satisfactory, American citizens were allreadily armed with the capitalist’s mind that its government hadbeen fighting for all along. Probably, this is one of the primereason that drove Lyndon Jonson to declare war on poverty. In his1964 speech, Lyndon declared that he had “called for a national waron poverty. Our objective: Total Victory.” It is the ambition thatnot most of the new world’s political leaders would remember toincorporate in their prime objects given that Lyndon was not speakingonly on view to aid his country, but also to address the whole world.

Thepath that these great leaders were taking is an evident continuationof what Roosevelt had established earlier along, and if anyone wouldstill have a question on which enduring tensions and attitudes theAmerican people carried along to the rest of the world, then theybetter pay keen attention to President Kennedy’s speech he madewhile addressing the Berlin people in 1963. Regardless of hisshort-lived seat on the presidentship, Kennedy left such anoutstanding history that served as a common interest to unit Americato the rest of the world. As mentioned earlier, America was objectedin maintain three things over-hold on international security,project equality, and finally, unify all nations of the world, andthis is simply what Kennedy objected in his speech. The presidenteven made an effort to go up to Berlin himself to make his speechwhich incorporated a German phrase, “I am Berliner.” It is aspeech that went viral in a degree that one could wonder the magicthis three-worded phrase carried, it won the nation gratitude andrespect of the new European generations that came along.

Ifone pays a close review of the occasion that have been discussedabove, he or she can clearly see that the United States engages andinterfered in almost all of the matters that affected the globe andmore so, or the security aspects, but for what? What could the nationprobably benefit with if all nations achieved national security andpolitical stability? And for that, what were the primary concerns forsending the nation’s military into foreign disputes?

Tothe effect, Martin Luther King responds to this query on a relativelyperilous approach during his conscience to the Vietnam War in 1967.The President says, “I cannot speak about the great themes ofviolence and non-violence, of social change, and of hope for thefuture, without reflecting on the tremendous violence of Vietnam.”James (1991). What Martin Luther King simply wanted to say is thatpeace and civil rights can perfectly mix, or else, there is unendinginstability, both social and political, in all of the world’snations. Similarly, he stressed that a man can never achieveprosperity if his neighbor is in dire failure. First, America had tosee prosperity of all the other global nations if at all it had tosell out its capitalist’s economic theorem and in the same hold onas the global political and economic superpower.

Actually,it might become a matter of absolute importance to review on whichrole the United States should be actually playing in the overallglobal context. On the other hand, Errol Morris (2004) made a film“The Fog of War” addressing most of the significant occasionssuch as the “cold war and its height” and the Vietnam War, whoseinvolvement cost America a lot of repercussions. In essence, the filmis objected to discuss the “war, rationality, and the nature ofhistory itself (Danner et al., 2004).” Indeed, the film portraysthat history does not actually repeat itself, rather, the currentdeeds within which human act along pay close respect to history.Therefore, if at all any leader would like to make a significantchange in the current world it is upon him or her to decide whetherhis current situation pays any close reference to any of those thatcould have occurred in the ancient times, such that they can be ableto twist it and make a new move, and with it, a new victory. This isan ideal role that the United States should adopt considering thatmost of the conflicts happened on its watch, and then it better knowswhich should be the best strategic military and political action itshould take before affecting matters concerns any of the globalnations. At this, better chances of escaping violence andappropriately identifying the best means to achieve social, economicand political stability to all nations are made and effectivelyimplemented.


BelmonteA. Laura, 2011. “A lynching should be reported without comment:Images of race relations.” Sellingthe American Way.The University of Pennsylvania Press, Chapter 6, pg. 157.

BelmonteA. Laura, 2011. “Sellingcapitalism: Images of the economy, labor, and consumerism.”Sellingthe American Way.The University of Pennsylvania Press, Chapter 4. Pg. 117.

BelmonteA. Laura, 2011. “TheRed Target is Your Home: Images of gender and family.”Sellingthe American Way.The University of Pennsylvania Press, Chapter 5, pg. 136.

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FranklinD. Roosevelt, 1941. “TheFour Freedoms,”1929–1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999) 386.

HarryS. Trumman, March 12th,1947. “HarryS. Truman’s address before a joint session of Congress.”

JamesMelvin Washington, 1991. ATestament of Hope: The essential writings and speeches of MartinLuther King, Jr.ed. New York: Happer Collins Publishers, p. 634-640.

KennethA. Osgood, spring 2002. Heartsand Minds: The Unconventional Cold War.Journal of Cold War Studies, Volume 4, Number 2, pp. 85-107. The MITPress.

LyndonJohnson, 1964. “Thewar on poverty.”

MarkDanner, Robert McNamara, and Errol Morris, 2004. [Web] Available at&lt July 4, 2014.

PresidentJohn F. Kennedy, June 28, 1963. PresidentKennedy’s address to the people of Berlin.