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By Tony Smith

The energy and status of democracy around the globe on the finish of the 20th century are due in strong degree to the effect of the US on overseas affairs, argues Tony Smith. the following for the 1st time is a publication that files the intense background of yankee international coverage with admire to the promoting of democracy around the globe, an attempt whose maximum triumph got here within the occupations of Japan and Germany yet whose setbacks contain interventions in Latin the USA and Vietnam.

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Extra resources for America's Mission: The United States and the Worldwide Struggle for Democracy in the Twentieth Century

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With no Monroe Doctrine to prevent other nations from interfering”—by which he meant either Germany or Japan. Or the United States could keep Manila as a naval base and commercial entrepot, much as Britain held Hong Kong, but that seemed politically infeasible unless America took the entire archipelgo and established a serious foothold in the Orient. Should it make the archipelgo a colony, it would be the first time the United States had ever exercised sovereignty over a populous foreign people, raising difficult questions of how to rule them—to what end and with what means.

This New Deal outlook was not typical of the Americans who took the Philippines in 1898 or who were in power under what was deservedly called the “progressive” presidency of Woodrow Wilson. These Franklin Roosevelt Democrats were also different from liberal reformers like Jimmy The Struggle for Democracy ⅐ 19 Carter, who favored a strictly human-rights approach to democratization. The most interesting contrast comes with Ronald Reagan, however, whose insistence on the contribution free markets could make to democratic government shared with the New Dealers the notion that political life depends in good measure on the structure of power socioeconomically (even if the two approaches differed on the need for governmental regulation and social redistribution).

In effect, the FDR, Truman, and Kennedy years bore some similarity to the thinking of those Radical Republicans whose ideas of emancipation involved socioeconomic reform directed at the disadvantaged sectors of society as a complement to political change. Correspondingly, the occupations of Japan and Germany and the plans (never realized) for the Alliance for Progress were relatively radical attempts by the United States to promote democracy abroad. By contrast, Wilson and Carter appear more closely related to the thinking of Northern liberals rather cautious in what they would force on the South and hence easily satisfied by an essentially political understanding of democracy.

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