broad terms, America's foreign policies are aimed at maintaining
and promoting the favorable position and security of the United States
in the international arena. The goals of American foreign policy, however,
are not always clear. How involved should the United States be in the
affairs of other nations? Should it only use its military might to
defend its borders or should it be involved in peace-keeping efforts
around the world? Should the United States attempt to trade "freely" with
other nations, or should it enact restrictive tariffs to protect American
companies and manufacturers?
the United States faces the new millennium, there are familiar calls
to become more isolated from the rest of the world while others argue
that the nation must remain an active participant in the world community,
even as the world becomes a more uncertain and dangerous place.
Who Makes Foreign Policy?
The Constitution of
the United States gives the President the clear upper-hand in the conduct
of foreign policy. The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the nation's
armed forces. As the single officer of the United States charged with
receiving the leaders of other nations and with negotiating treaties,
the President is also the nation's Chief Diplomat.
President, however, does not have the authority to make foreign policy
independently. The Constitution gives the Congress the power to check
the President's foreign policy powers in important ways. While the
President can order the United States military into action to respond
to emergencies and threats to the security of the nation, only the
Congress has the authority to officially "declare war." Ultimately,
it is the Congress' power of the purse that allows it to cut off funding
to presidentially ordered military ventures of which it does not approve.
Proclamation of Neutrality George Washington
The Monroe Doctrine James Monroe
First "Open Door" Note Sec. Stae John Hay
Fourteen Points Speech Woodrow Wilson
Four Freedoms Franklin D. Roosevelt
The Truman Doctrine Harry S. Truman
The War Powers Resolution
1812 War Message James Madison
1898 War Message William McKinley
1917 War Message (WWI) Woodrow Wilson
1941 Message (WWII) Franklin Roosevelt
FDR's Radio Address to the Nation
Statements of Military Action (Undeclared Wars)
Peace without Conquest Lyndon Johnson
Serbia 1999 Bill Clinton
September 11, 2001 George W. Bush
Treaties, Pacts & Agreements
The Atlantic Charter
UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
No. 2, No.
4 and No.
5 - Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force
No. 29 - Concerning the Militia
No. 74 - The Command of the Military and Naval
Forces, and the Pardoning Power of the Executive
No. 75 - The Treaty Making Power of the Executive
No. 8 - The Power Vested in Congress of Sending Troops For Suppressing
Insurrections Will Always Enable Them to Stifle the First Struggles of Freedom
No. 24 and No.
25 - Objections to a Standing Army
No. 29 - Objections to National Control of
No. 75 - A Note Protesting the Treaty-Making
Provisions of the Constitution
Reasearch and Study Helps
Congress has been debating a bill that would "normalize" trade
with China. What are the major arguments
on each side of the debate?
A Memorial Day Salute
Headlines & Editorials
Washington Post Special
Report on National Security
on Missile Defense Washington