U.S. History/Foreign Policy


Mr. Troy,

I was curious about the similarities and differences between American foreign policy during the nineteenth century with that of the twentieth century? Thank you.

Hi Kaylee,

For most of the 19th Century the US followed the foreign policy that started with George Washington.  That is the policy of neutrality.  The US tried to maintain friendly relations with other countries but was loath to enter into treaties that would end up involving the US in foreign wars.  As a result, most US fighting in the 19th century was limited to expanding US borders in the west, and the Civil War between the States themselves.

That began to change in the early 20th Century.  The Progressives sought to have the US play a larger role in world affairs.  Expansion beyond North America began with the Spanish American War at the very end of the 19th Century.  WWI saw even more US involvement abroad.  By the end of WWII, policy was that US would be involved actively all over the world.  Soldiers fought around the world and US treaties bound the US to support allies.

I hope this helps!
- Mike  

U.S. History

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Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.


I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.


J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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