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American Foreign Policy by Frank Ninkovich Essay

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According to Ninkovich, how did Franklin D. Roosevelt’s foreign policy evolve toward Wilsonianism during the 1930s?

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s foreign policy evolved towards Wilsonianism during the 1930s by reviving Wilsonian thought on collective security. For instance, when the US was promoting neutrality in the 1930s, Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany were busy advancing aggression against Africa, Asia, and Europe. When the Munich Agreement failed in 1938 to maintain peace, the United State policymakers advised Roosevelt that the country was not capable of preserving its security, without the support of other nations.

In this regard, the US sought the support of its allies such as China, the Soviet Union, and the UK. This alliance took place in 1939-41. Such kind of alliance acted as a postwar model, which the United States used for replacing the already damaged league. Just like Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt was aware that victorious world powers, such as the policemen would dominate global affairs.

What does Ninkovich mean when he writes that “World War II was, in a literal sense, the product of America’s historical imagination”?

Frank Ninkovich reported that “World War II was, in a literal sense, the product of America’s historical imagination” (Ninkovich 121), which implied that the USA’s history and its social science were mainly fixated on its “exceptionalism”, such as the effects of the successful start of the American Revolution as well as its constitution. In this regard, it was argued that the exceptionalism was devoid of meaningful movement in the US socialist system.

To this end, it is evident from the statement that American political history escaped from ideological battles. Moreover, the US political history did not revolve around religious or liberalism doctrine, but it concerned pragmatism emergence, which took place in the 20th century.

according to Ninkovich, how did “the strange manner in which the United States got into” World War II reflect a Wilsonian approach to foreign relations?

According to Frank Ninkovich, “the strange manner in which the United States got into” World War II (Ninkovich 128) reflected a Wilsonian approach to foreign relations by promoting the idea that intervention destroyed power balance in the concerned two regions of the world (Ninkovich 128). Indeed, such intervening efforts rendered the concerned countries ineffective. Wilson’s argument was centered on promoting collective security to maintain peace between countries.

In Ninkovich’s view, how did Kennedy’s response to the Cuban Missile Crisis demonstrate a non-realist, Wilsonian foreign policy?

In Ninkovich’s view, Kennedy’s response to the Cuban Missile Crisis demonstrated a non-realist, Wilsonian foreign policy by making a stronger case for Vietnam. For instance, “after the invasion of the Bay of Pigs, which was the Berlin War’s passive response, Kennedy’s administration supported Vietnam’s government to invoke confidence among its allies” (Carroll 1). However, efforts to neutralize Laos and to search for confidence among neighboring countries did not make the US allies happier.

Besides, tension existed among varied nations, each of which was petrified by mistrust, which in turn fuelled the desire to amass weapons and develop strong armies. Notably, militarism became the most sensitive ideology, which unhelpfully spawned hatred, bitterness, and suspicion among countries from the two divisions. Every country tried to dominate the international scene, besides the incessant competition over colonies, which hardly augured well for international cooperation and friendship. For example, Germany and mighty Britain drove each country to establish strong navies.

The state of militarism that existed in Europe before World War II can be put down to the deeply sat hatred and rivalry between the two divisions of Europe. A situation, which when coupled with the belligerent attitudes of both sides served not only to start the war but also sustain it for years. In this regard, it can be argued that ethnocentrism, imperialism, nationalism, militarism, and antagonism were among the primary causes of World War II. These factors led to regional conflicts and diplomatic tensions among great nations.

Works Cited

Carroll, Francis, 2000, . Web.

Ninkovich, Frank. The Wilsonian Century: US Foreign Policy Since 1900, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1999. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2021, February 19). American Foreign Policy by Frank Ninkovich. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-foreign-policy-by-frank-ninkovich/

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"American Foreign Policy by Frank Ninkovich." IvyPanda, 19 Feb. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/american-foreign-policy-by-frank-ninkovich/.

1. IvyPanda. "American Foreign Policy by Frank Ninkovich." February 19, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-foreign-policy-by-frank-ninkovich/.


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IvyPanda. "American Foreign Policy by Frank Ninkovich." February 19, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-foreign-policy-by-frank-ninkovich/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "American Foreign Policy by Frank Ninkovich." February 19, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-foreign-policy-by-frank-ninkovich/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'American Foreign Policy by Frank Ninkovich'. 19 February.

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