Tragedy Of American Diplomacy Analysis

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Tragedy of American Diplomacy Review
William Appleman Williams’s essay The Tragedy of American Diplomacy centers around American expansion, and the idealistic and economic motivators which inspired it. Williams frames his narrative using a critique of expansionist goals, focusing on America’s attempts at extending its virtues in the world and create a new era of peace. He decides the true tragedy of American diplomacy is that actions undertaken in the name of humanitarianism, self-determination, and peace actually work in opposition to those ideals. Instead of making the world a better place, the United States turns into an oppressive force abroad. While the United States may desire to help others, the only way they will is if they maintain
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Woodrow Wilson justified this by claiming that this was how they would make the world safe for democracy (92). Williams argues that this statement was an equivocation. By insisting the world be safe for democracy, the United States was instead forcefully implementing democracy throughout the world. Consequently, many people began to question whether democracy needed saving, or whether people needed saving from democracy. Not only did this increase tensions between the U.S. and smaller countries, it additionally put more strain on relations with larger countries as well. It was only until another world superpower entered the conflict that the U.S. faced a serious opponent.
Towards the end of his history, Williams emphasizes the relationship between Russia and America. He argues that Cold War rhetoric was a tool heavily utilized by politicians in their justification of imperialist policies. By making the Soviet Union public enemy number one, the United States rationalized their harsh response to the revolutionary impulses in other nations. Williams places a great deal of emphasis on U.S. accountability in the Cold War. While this does not accurately depict the power of the Soviet Union, for the purposes of his argument it is quite
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Moreover, he exposes the sophisms behind U.S. expansionism. Nevertheless, his argument is not infallible. Williams argues that American leaders were not acting with malice or hate, but were actually earnest in their attempts at peaceful world domination. This would mean the terror they caused did not arise from a desire to inflict harm upon other countries, but rather a sincere belief that the policies they were enacting were the key to a happier world. While it would be unfair to assume that all of the decision makers behind foreign policy had bad intentions, it would also be naive to ignore the fact that greed, racism, and classism run rampant in our society and thus have a major influence on how our politics work. When these things run rampant, it paves the way for future tragedies. Ultimately, Williams does a strong job at convincing the reader of the hypocrisy and irony present in U.S. diplomatic relations, and how far reaching the tragedy truly

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