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American Foreign Policy Map

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The 20th century was marked by two world wars in which Allied powers, along with the United States, defeated their enemies, and through this participation the United States increased its international reputation. President Wilson's Fourteen Points was developed from his idealistic Wilsonianism program of spreading democracy and fighting militarism to prevent future wars. It became the basis of the German Armistice (which amounted to a military surrender) and the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The resulting Treaty of Versailles, due to European allies' punitive and territorial designs, showed insufficient conformity with these points, and the U. S. signed separate treaties with each of its adversaries; due to Senate objections also, the U. S. never joined the League of Nations, which was established as a result of Wilson's initiative. In the 1920s, the United States followed an independent course, and succeeded in a program of naval disarmament, and refunding the German economy. Operating outside the League it became a dominant player in diplomatic affairs. New York became the financial capital of the world, but the Wall Street Crash of 1929 hurled the Western industrialized world into the Great Depression. American trade policy relied on high tariffs under the Republicans, and reciprocal trade agreements under the Democrats, but in any case exports were at very low levels in the 1930s.



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