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The American Government and the World Affairs

TheAmerican Government and the World Affairs

The American government has often been forced to intervene when othernations tried to interfere with its issues. For instance, the Germanssunk the American vessels during the World War One and the PearlHarbor incidence also reveals how the Japanese forces bombed theirships. In this case, their government was forced to intervene andsettle the issue in the best way possible. More important, each ofthe American presidents and the leaders tend to have certainideologies that define a certain way they look at a problem. Morespecifically, this paper will evaluate how the political philosophiesof William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilsonhelped them in dealing with the world affairs such as engaging in waractivities. The paper will look at their individual ways of lookingat their enemies and if they supported the wars that the nationfought. More specifically, Theodore Roosevelt was more focused on thedomestic issues but, he insisted that the US should respect othernations and call for war if the circumstances need such a decision.On the other hand, William Jennings Bryan preferred the use oftreaties rather than war. He even criticized the idea of imperialismand referred to it as an evil practice instead. Woodrow Wilson couldnot take any of those ideologies, and he decided that America willfind peace through war. His philosophy stressed on war to scare someof their enemies, and he began with sinking the German vessels. Infact, most of the other presidents that came after Wilson’s termhave often used such ideologies in handling the world affairs such asthe wars and diplomacy. However, America would have been moreeffective if they could have adopted Bryan’s philosophy since noneof the Islamic militants would have attacked the nation. All in all,this paper will evaluate how William Jennings Bryan, TheodoreRoosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson handled the world affairs and the waymost leaders have embraced Wilson’s philosophies even if Bryan’sideologies seemed more effective.

Woodrow Wilson’s Philosophies

Woodrow Wilson believed that the government was supposed to use thewar in finding peace. In particular, the ideology insisted that somenations might believe that the Americans are weak and they will usethat opportunity to intimidate them instead. Hence, even the WoodrowWilson, speech (2nd April 1917) reveals that the government willnot be scared by any violent acts. In fact, they showed that theywould respond with all the effort and the equipment they have. Forinstance, the speech was the same time when the forces had sunk theGerman vessels since they had provoked them. In the process, theyavenged the act and placed a warning to other nations that might havethe slight idea of attacking the US. Besides that, he did not wantthe amateurs to handle the complex operations that the governmentdealt with. He knew that he would be able to use a few selectedexperts to make rational decisions that will influence the success ofthe government even if it means disagreeing with what the entirenation had in mind. The Elihu Root, Speech (5thJanuary, 1917) is one example of the people that criticized hisideologies yet, Wilson did not respond to those concerns. In thespeech, Root condemns the idea of seeking peace by preparing for war.The controversial clause showed how Wilson insisted that the simpleagreements were not enough in earning respect from the other nations.Instead, Wilson said that they had to be ready for war if thesituation calls for such measures. All in all, he believed that usingviolent to find peace was the most important part that the governmentshould focus on implementing. He also wanted the government to be runby professionals rather than the amateurs that did not have enoughexperience to undertake their responsibilities.

Theodore Roosevelt’s Philosophies

Often, Theodore Roosevelt did not focus on the foreign affairs sincehe wanted to improve the local issues. However, in a few scenarios,he addressed the issues of war and how he expected the government torelate with others. For instance, the Theodore Roosevelt, AConfession of Faith (August 6, 1912) speech insisted on theinternational affairs that showed how they should relate with theother nations. In the speech, he insists that “we should do nowrong to any nation, weak or strong, and we should submit to nowrong.” The statement shows that he respects other countries and hewishes that he will maintain better relationships and avoid anyissues that might undermine their future. He also asserts that “weshould never in any treaty make any promise which we do not intend ingood faith to fulfill.” The scenario questions the nation againstany treaties that might have any objectives that they will be able toachieve. In the process, he considered the likelihood of wars andtreaties too. Besides that, Theodore Roosevelt, America at War(1918) clarifies that “we believe that the large majority ofAmericans are proudly ready to fight to the last for the overthrow ofthe brutal German militarism which threatens America no less thanevery other civilized nation.” The speech was supposed to call forunity as the nation fought against its enemies such as Germany. Infact, he considered the ones that were unwilling to participate inthe war as traitors. Even the Franklin D. Roosevelts&nbspFirstInaugural Address&nbsp(1933) shows how “theonly thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless,unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts toconvert retreat into advance.” The statement shows how hewants to protect the nation against the foreign forces that mightwant to intimidate them. In the process, Roosevelt was more concernedwith the domestic issues but, also wanted the citizens to respectthe laws and support the army when it wanted their help. He looked atthe scenario as patriotism that needed everyone to participate in theprocess of defending the nation instead.

William Jennings Bryan’s Philosophies

William Jennings Bryan often promoted the Christian values, and hewanted the government to adopt the same approach while dealing withits people. More important, he wanted the government to respect thepeople and govern them in a way that is respectful and comply withthe Biblical scriptures. For instance, William Jennings Bryan:Imperialism (8 August 1900) reveals how the Americans have themoral to respect the other nations. In this case, Bryan tried topersuade the government into supporting his ideologies of peace andharmony. He even showed that imperialism was evil and the nation hadto initiate other ways to settle their difference, and the treatiesare one of the means to minimize the likelihood of conflicts betweenthe sides. He even went ahead to serve as the Secretary of state fortwo years under Woodrow Wilson’s era and left in 1914 since hecould not agree with the policies initiated by the government. Inparticular, Bryan often criticized the idea of imperialism and thewar against other nations. The William Jennings Bryan: Imperialism(8 August 1900) also shows that he was able to criticizeMcKinley’s Philippine policy and insist that was a way of controlother nations, which was wrong. In contrast, Andrew Carnegie’sThe Gospel of Wealth (1889) state that people should seek wealthsince it is the only way to succeed. Hence, he might have supportedthe imperialism that will use any means to generate wealth. Apartfrom that, as a Secretary of State, he promoted the use of treatiesand conciliation as an approach to handle the conflicts betweenvarious nations. In fact, the Bryan ended up drafting nearly thirtytreaties that enhanced peace with other nations. He wanted thegovernment to assemble enough facts and understand the truth beforewaging war on another nation. He resigned from his position when thegovernment wanted to start a war with Germany because of theLusitania sinking. The scenario proves how he adhered to theideologies of peace and the Christian ideologies since he did notwant a war to occur in his presence.

The Philosophy that the Current Government uses

The America’s global actions during the 20th and the21st century were based on the progressive ideologies, andthey were more consistent with Wilson’s philosophies instead. Moreimportant, the governments serving in the period of 20thand the 21st centuries have tried to adopt Wilson’sideologies to a larger extent. The Woodrow Wilson, speech (2ndApril 1917) illustrates the way that the current governmentsinfluenced the wars, relations, and the diplomacy too. In this case,Wilson argues that he decided to initiate the new policy of usingviolent measures to launch peaceful correlations with its neighbors.For instance, he insists that “all vessels, irrespective of cargoand flag, have been sent to the bottom, without help and withoutmercy.” The scenario shows that Wilson knows that they have to seekpeace through war and they will not negotiate in order to find peace.Instead, war will be the proper way to find peace and earn respect.In fact, the speech also asserts that “Germany`s submarine warfareis no longer directed against belligerents, but against the wholeworld.” The statement shows that Wilson was ready to fight anynation that tried to interfere with the American affairs. Thedeclaration helped in paving the way for America as the power sinceit justified its ability and capacity. At that particular time, noneof the nations were ready to face America since they had faced theGermany forces and did what other states were unable to do. TheWoodrow Wilson, Fourteen Points (October 1918) presented theissues that other nations had to respect in order to achieve thepeaceful co-existence instead. For instance, the points insisted onthe number of countries where they plan to intervene in ensuring thatpeace exists. More important, the speech mentioned Russia, Belgium,France, Serbia and Austria-Hungary that had issues with theirsovereignty. In this case, Wilson showed that the world needs to bepeaceful, and they will do anything to achieve that. The speech alsoproved that they would use war if the situation suggests so.

The governments that have served America during the 20thand the 21st centuries have adopted Wilson’s approach todeal with any nation that interferes with its affairs. In this case,the Bush government waged war on the Taliban forces and Iraq afterthe 9/11 attack. The Taliban and the Al-Qaeda had claimed that theywere the ones that had orchestrated the attack. More specifically,the declaration was an act of disrespect to the nation that hadstrived to protect its people. Hence, the government had to attacktheir enemies as a way of securing the trust of the Americans anddestroying the terrorists. Wilson’s philosophies insisted that heis ready to face any nation that tries to intimidate the Americans.As a result, Bush government had to respond regardless of theopposition that he faced. Some even thought that it was a worse ideabut, the government had to proceed with the attacks to scare theterrorists. The US government has also supported the NATO forces inthe process of countering any activities by the Islamic militants. Infact, the attack on the Muammar Gaddafi’s government in Libya isone of the common important ways that the US government used indealing with its enemies. The military forces have also moved toSyria where they are trying to fight the government forces andensuring that the nation finds the peace that it used to haveearlier. The scenarios prove the way that the US government wasfocused on ensuring that the region is more peaceful and it willundermine the correlations even if it means engaging in war.

The Philosophy that would have been Effective

Based on Bryan’s philosophies, America would have been moreeffective if they had adopted his approach. William Jennings Bryandid not support the idea of attacking other nations. He arguedagainst the imperialism since the Christian values often criticizedsuch ideologies. In fact, he wanted America to respect thesovereignty of the other nations and avoid any activities that mightundermine their freedom. For instance, the William Jennings Bryan:Imperialism (8 August 1900) speech captured his real feelingsabout the wars that America waged on other states. In this case,Bryan insisted that the government should give the other nations thefreedom that they want. He also warned the government againstinterfering with the domestic interests of the countries. In thiscase, he criticized the supporters of imperialism and stated that“let them censure Washington, who declared that the colonists mustchoose between liberty and slavery.” More important, it was a wayof reminding the supporters of the war that even the forefathers wereagainst the idea of imperialism. The speech also proceeds to assertthat “a war of conquest would still leave its legacy of perpetualhatred, for it was God himself who placed in every human heart thelove of liberty. He never made a race of people so low in the scaleof civilization or intelligence that it would welcome a foreignmaster.” Clearly, he wanted the American government to consult theDeclaration of Independence that prioritized the issues offreedom and it criticized issues to do imperialism and waging war onother states. Instead, Bryan wanted America to be a nation thatrespected others and considered their freedom and rights.

In this case, some of the problems have arisen because of the warsthat the US has waged on other nations. For instance, the Islamicmilitants have often claimed that they want the US to stopinterfering with the activities of the Arab states. More important,Wilson’s philosophies insisted on ensuring that the world ispeaceful and the governments do not oppress their civilians. In theprocess, the American government was forced to intervene when it feltthat some of the Arab nations were undermining others. For instance,the terrorist attacks would have never happened if America haddecided to ignore the foreign affairs. Instead, the ISIS, Al Qaeda,Taliban, and Hamas are just some of the Islamic groups that havevowed to attack the US since they had interfered with their domesticissues. The government is also spending huge amounts of money incatering for the expenses that the army need in terms of thesalaries, upkeep, equipment, clothing as well as the vehicles.Instead, they might place it on the education, healthcare, jobcreation or even intensifying the local security measures. Inparticular, the government has other ways that it can use in ensuringthat the country does not engage in war activities.


In conclusion, the US government currently works using Wilson’sapproach while Bryan’s philosophy could have restored peace andremoved the likelihood of the terrorist threats that the nation iscurrently facing. In this case, each of the presidents had a certainway of looking at the world affairs. Wilson and Roosevelt preferredusing violence while dealing with their enemies. More important,Wilson had embraced the ideology fully and used it to scare anynation that tried to interfere with America’s issues. For instance,his popular Fourteen Points illustrate how he felt about some nationsin Europe. He clearly specified how he wanted the nation to relatewith some of the nations. Most governments that took over the officerafter his tenure ended up using his ideologies while handling thewars and diplomacy issues. However, the approach has not beenfruitful at times since the government has been forced to deal withthe terrorist attacks that might occur anytime. To some extent,Bryan’s philosophy might have been the perfect one for the nationsince it insisted on peace and using treaties to settle anydifferences. The ideology would have given the government a chance tofocus on its domestic issues and create new ways to make the economystronger and improve the livelihood of the civilians.


Theodore Roosevelt,America at War (1918)

Franklin D.Roosevelt’s&nbspFirstInaugural Address&nbsp(1933)

Andrew Carnegie’sThe Gospel of Wealth (1889)

William JenningsBryan: Imperialism (8 August 1900)

Theodore Roosevelt,A Confession of Faith (August 6, 1912)

Elihu Root, Speech(5th January, 1917)

Woodrow Wilson,speech (2nd April 1917)

Woodrow Wilson,Fourteen Points (October 1918)