Essay on Americas Changing Domestic and Foreign Policy in the late 19th Century

This paper is meant to discuss that the latter half of the 19th century was prevalent with economic and social and alterations, which would form the evolvement of US domestic and foreign policy between 1890 and 1928. This paper describes that the policies were created at the joining together of several of events. These comprised the lasting impacts of the Reconstruction and the Civil War, demographic growth, industrialization and imperialism. These aspects contributed to the evolvement of US foreign and domestic policy that was far more practical and invasive by 1928 than it had been in 1890.

The US Domestic and Foreign Policy in the Progressive Period

From 1890 to 1928, the US domestic and foreign policy changed radically. The country became an imperial authority after many years of the isolationist foreign policy, whilst years of conservative administration and bribery were substituted by the progressive administration of reformers. Whilst these policies had crucial impacts, the political and social accomplishments of the Progressive administration had farther reaching impacts than the development of the US empire.

In a social context, the USA was in its transition era during the ending of 19th century as the concepts of Populism thrived and then gave rise to the Progressivism. The Progressivism lasted approximately from 1880 until 1900 and represented the final hurrah of the American agricultural economy, emphasizing the farmers’ notions. Dissimilarly, Progressivism was motivated by the educated urban intellectual people who brought novel socialist values to the US policy during that time period. Simultaneously, the USA – like lots of other countries – became obsessed by the imperialist awareness. The populace and the officials began to think that US control should be unlimited. Together with the already discussed alterations, this tendency facilitated crucial shifts in the foreign and domestic policy.

Before 1890, the USA was extremely isolated from the foreign affairs, but by 1909 it had become a strong imperial power. Motivated by a struggle for novel markets, patriotism, and the image of the powerful navy, it was the matter of time before the USA became a main player on the international scene. The initial important imperial act of the nation was the war with Spain. While it was comparatively short, it initiated US involvement in the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Cuba, the three areas, which were destined to play a vital role in the recent future.

Whilst the USA was quite aggressive abroad, at home calls for reform were starting to be perceived. After conservative President McKinley was assassinated, Teddy Roosevelt, a progressive reformer, was made the president. After the tragedy, many people started to fear the anarchists, causing a scream for stronger administration dedicated to human welfare. The reformers were capable to reinforce the people with the help of the referendum, recall, initiative and the direct election.

Roosevelt officially changes the US foreign policy when he became the president. As the president, Roosevelt interpreted the doctrine of the exhausting living into the active foreign policy. In 1904, Roosevelt Corollary to Monroe Doctrine made the USA the police of Latin America. The policy provided the USA with the exceptional rights to interfere in Latin American nations, apparently to guarantee their steadiness. The President is also known for the “big stick” diplomacy that the nation still utilizes nowadays. Fundamentally, he thought all negotiations would be far simpler with a strong army behind him so he extended the military forces and gave special stress to the Navy. Roosevelt’s imperialist policies comprised the occupation of Hawaii and suppressing the revolt in the Philippines. Taking the policies all together, Roosevelt turned the USA into a major player in the international affairs (Brinkley 155-286).

On the whole, the trend in foreign and domestic policy alterations was toward the expansion of the role and influence of the American administration in the country and abroad. Nationally, policy altered toward amplified statism. Under Woodrow Wilson particularly the American administration obtained new power, which permitted it to perform with even greater impact on the US soil.

The Progressives’ domestic policies have had an extremely important impact on the evolvement of the USA. Whilst the influence of the USA can not be rejected, the pure amount of reforms that were evolved by the Progressives that are today considered essential to US life guarantee the meaning in history. They made enormous gains in female’s rights, labor reform, consumers’ rights defense, public projects, conservation, and, finally, the fiscal reform (Brinkley 155-286).

The social alterations, which happened in the beginning of the Civil War during the Reconstruction time period, are well-known. Lately emancipated slaves altered economic and social circumstances in the South, slaves’ liberty created the plantation-based agricultural economy. Simultaneously, nevertheless, the industrialization was taking influential hold in the North””especially in the Northeast. By the year 1894, the USA has been changed from a previous British land in the biggest manufacturing country in the globe.

Fuel for the industrial change was an arrival of new employees. After the War, the American populace counted approximately 39 million, with many of those individuals still inhabiting the country places. Nevertheless, the First World War and natural development had distended the county’s populace to 100 million, seventy percent of whom already inhabited in urban districts. Add to that quantity an incredible amount of immigrants in this time period. Only between 1890 and 1914, fifteen million of immigrants came to the USA seeking a job and new home.


Generally speaking, the foreign and domestic policy from 1890 to 1928 was influenced by several factors. These include the long-lasting outcomes of the Civil War, Reconstruction, imperialism, demographic development and industrialization. These factors contributed to the evolvement of the foreign and domestic policy that was far more invasive and realistic by 1928 than it had been in 1890.

The era from 1890 to 1928 was one of the most vital time periods in the shaping of the American policy due to the continuance of many of the policies initiated then. The shift from an isolationist country to an imperial authority, and the quick alteration from the conservative to progressive administration assisted in shaping the USA to be what it is nowadays.

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