Sample International Relations Paper on United States’ Role in World Affairs from the Late 19th Century to Present

United States’ Role in World Affairs from the Late 19th Century to Present

The history of American foreign policy provides a glimpse of the significant trends concerning international engagements of the U.S from the American Revolution to the current era. The dominant themes of U.S foreign policy include a liberal empire, advancing democracy, global expansion, advocating liberal internationalism, preventing global confrontation, industrializing the Third World, and producing a formidable global economy marked by low tariffs. These elements define America’s role on the global front and describe the character, objectives, and direction of the U.S involvement in global matters and relationships with other countries.

For a long time since the 1930s, the international surface has been enabling. With old rivals collapsing the crumbling of communism and the Soviets, other challenges were almost negligible to distract President Bill Clinton from addressing domestic issues. Although the external interactions were not a primary concern for Clinton’s administration, the United States managed to consolidate the Cold War triumph by reconciling three previous Warsaw Pact members into one alliance (Poushter, 2020). This union shored up ties in East Asia and prepared the country for the probable competition from growing China though challenging Beijing to concede the status quo that leans favorably to the Americans. The unilateral demonstration of sovereign power is the hallmark of Clinton’s strategy in the context of global sustenance and overall international benefits.

The September 11, 2001, World Trade Center surprise terrorist attack inspired a standard modification in U.S foreign policy. The concentration on national success fostered a trend of autonomous pursuit under president Bush to address the mounting concern of fundamentalist terrorism, more so in the Mideast. However, recently, there has been a global transition from a unilateral state to a multilateral world. Despite maintaining a significant lead in economic and military supremacy, emerging countries, including China, Brazil, India, and Russia are challenging America’s global superiority. A serious problem for the U.S is the simmering religious detestation and Arab bitterness towards Israel in the Mideast (Stanzel, 2018). The U.S foreign policy takes the position that the risk for strife increases with the nuclear proliferation and nations’ open defiance, for instance, North Korea and Iran, of the global community to continue producing nuclear weapons. This imminent threat calls for a collaborative global approach t suggest tough solutions for tough diplomatic issues.

The former regime under President Donald Trump has been characteristic with disagreements on numerous policy matters. During Trump’s tenure, the United States endured high controversies, for instance, his rejection of the previous Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement signed by President Obama. Notably, the United States withdrew from the Paris climate statute and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) to regulate Iranian production of nuclear weapons. Further, new tariffs were imposed on Mexico, Canada, Europe, and other countries besides triggering and intensifying trade war with giants China. The relationship with North Korea’s autocrat Kim Jong Un was marked by extreme hostility. The Trump administration is popular for the repeated attempts to reduce Mexicans’ and Muslims’ entry into the United States alongside Latino refugees. President Trump openly displayed his bias towards Israel and Saudi Arabia and agitated against Venezuela and Iran. The trade protectionist policy that escalated the business conflicts with China drew sharp criticism from the business community that approved domestic tax cuts and deregulation policies.




Poushter, J. (2020). U.S. public, foreign policy experts differ over role in world economy. Retrieved from

Stanzel, V. (2018). New realities in foreign affairs: Diplomacy in the 21st century. Retrieved from