Our Foreign Policy
A Republican View
WHEN the Republican Administration came into power on March 4, 1921, the country had given a clear and unmistakable indication of the line which it desired that our foreign policy should take. The preceding campaign had been fought largely on the issue of whether this country should abandon its traditional policy of independence in foreign affairs and should substitute for it a policy under which our independence of action might be subordinated to the decision of other nations.
Even during the war our traditional policy had been scrupulously maintained. President Wilson had been careful to specify the conditions on which we entered into a limited partnership with other nations for the conduct of the war, and had insisted that that partnership be described as "The Allied and Associated Powers". Having entered the war on our own terms and for certain designated objectives, when those objectives had been attained and peace had been secured, the nation showed that it was ready to put an end to the temporary partnership and in the future to conduct its foreign relations in accordance with the historic American policy.
That policy, which had been firmly established during the Administration of Washington, was well described in the words of Jefferson as one of "peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none." Its underlying principles had always been independence and coöperation. But independence had never meant isolation, nor had coöperation implied alliances and special arrangements with other nations. Even in Washington's and Hamilton's day, when the Farewell Address was first uttered and when the United States was a small and struggling nation, it was recognized that America could neither hope to remain undisturbed by world currents nor expect not to be drawn into wars which threatened her interests or her security.
The War of 1812 conclusively proved this to an earlier generation, as the World War proved it to our own. America was no more directly concerned in the struggle for European supremacy during theRead the full article on ForeignAffairs.com