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American Foreign Policy in the Early 20th Century Essay

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Updated: Jun 6th, 2021

At the beginning of the 20th century, the American government faced a wide array of challenges that were caused by changes in the socio-economic and political life of the country. The described issue concerned not only the tension in foreign political relations but also in home politics. Due to the increasing pressure from the working class, the unfairness of racial profiling becoming increasingly more evident, and the development of the women’s liberation movement, the atmosphere within the American society was rather tense at the beginning of the 20th century. By creating the legal standards that promised protection to workers and introducing the basic principles of capitalism into society, the American government managed to address at least some of the social issues that were brewing within the U.S. at the time.

The introduction of new economic principles allowed boosting American economic growth and, thus, expanding its power overseas. The regulations issued by Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and especially Woodrow Wilson led to the creation of the capitalist principles by which the interactions within the American market were performed (Foner 691). For instance, the management of the tariff issue suggested by Wilson and the transfer of employees from a caste of people with very few rights to wage earners who could demand fair treatment created an unprecedented spur in the industrial and economic development of the U.S. (Foner 695). As a result, the setting of the American market was changed forever, representing the workforce as people with a loud voice in the community, whose needs had to be satisfied for organizations to perform properly.

While the approaches that Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson utilized in boosting the economic development of the U.S. were different, at their core, they shared the same idea of increasing the influence of the U.S. as an economic power. Specifically, Roosevelt placing emphasis on the rights and needs of the working class as the foundation of the industrial development of the country led to the same outcomes as Wilson’s focus on federal oversight as the basis for managing economic relationships. Moreover, the presidents seemed to share the same sentiment about the necessity to provide assistance and additional opportunities to disadvantaged members of the population (Foner 697). As a result, prerequisites for massive economic upheaval in the U.S. were created successfully, encouraging every citizen to participate in new, equality-based relationships within the American market. The described semblance of proto-capitalism allowed establishing the market relationships that can be observed in the modern economic context.

The creation of the legal system that established clear standards for economic relationships between an employee and an employer, as well as other regulations that helped to b build the foundation for the capitalist structure that can be observed in modern American society, helped the American government to address social concerns. As a result, the extent of the social tension experienced within American society was minimized, even though certain problems such as racial profiling or gender equality were yet to be managed. The reorganization of the relationships within the economic system of the U.S. and creating a single system according to which they were managed was principal to the further economic development. Moreover, uniform standards for employment and the further relationships between a company and its employees allowed avoiding the cases of unfair treatment. Therefore, the American government managed the social tensions emerging at the beginning of the 20th century quite effectively.

Work Cited

Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! 3rd ed., W. W. Norton & Company, 2016.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "American Foreign Policy in the Early 20th Century." June 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-foreign-policy-in-the-early-20th-century/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'American Foreign Policy in the Early 20th Century'. 6 June.

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