US Foreign Relations
Links to sites providing overviews of US foreign policy and foreign relations. Links to sites exploring a particular aspect/event. Links to key documents/texts in US foreign relations.
The motherlode of documents and articles - sorted by period or theme. A vast number of documents dating back to the colonial era. Health warning: the scope of this site means you will only use it well if you know what you want. Start your search once you know what you're looking for.
Yale Law School's archive of primary sources exploring the evolution of US Foreign Relations. Less comprehensive than the Ferraro site, but more focussed on key documents as a result.
The National Security Archive at GWU has produced a large number of declassified documents sets exploring all aspects of US foreign policy - including State Department & CIA briefings - from the early Cold War, to 9/11 and beyond. Each of 9 headings contain over 20 document sets with introductory reading. Health Warning: If you're new to a subject, read some background first before attempting these. A great resource for student research.
This is chronology page of this LoC site that explores the event that signalled the United States arrival as a modern imperial power. Start here and then follow the links to other pages of documents and analysis covering the different theatres of war.
PBS' companion site providing analysis, chronologies, source material and analysis of this critical event in modern US history.
Beveridge is known as one of the great American imperialists. He supported the annexation of the Philippines and along with Republican leader Henry Cabot Lodge he campaigned for the construction of a new navy. How does this speech explain the imperialist agenda in Congress? How does it reflect the belief in Manifest Destiny?
The United States occupied Cuba for five years after 1898. In 1901 Secretary of War Elihu Root drafted a set of articles (later known as the Platt Amendment) as guidelines for future United States-Cuban relations. Despite considerable Cuban resistance, they became a part of the 1902 Cuban Constitution. In following years the United States used the amendment several times to send troops to maintain or place friendly governments in power and to protect investments. The amendment was effective until 1934.
If the Monroe Doctrine (1823) staked the United States claim for pre-eminence in the western hemisphere, Theodore Roosevelt's addendum - delivered in 1904 - stated what was already palpable fact: the United States believed it had the right to act as a continental policeman. The statement reflected an agenda first acted on in 1898, and followed until the advent of the Good Neighbor policy of the 1930s. How does Roosevelt explain and justify the agenda?
Here, Taft sets out the value and power of finance and commerce as tools of US foreign policy. How did this differ to Roosevelt & Wilson's approaches?
Interactive Map exploring the Wilson Administration's interventions in the region during the period of moral diplomacy.
Here U.S. President Woodrow Wilson addresses Congress and makes public the U.S. policy of neutrality. During his address, he warned U.S. citizens against taking sides in the war for fear of endangering the wider U.S. policy. Worth comparing to Wilson's later speeches contained here when considering the development of his foreign policy.
A key factor in the US decision to enter the First World War in 1917 was this document. This site presents both the coded and decoded versions of the telegram from German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann to the German Minister to Mexico, von Eckhardt, offering United States territory to Mexico in return for joining the German cause.
Having tried to keep the United States out of the war, in 1917, Wilson asked Congress to take the nation into it. How did Wilson frame his request? How does the speech reflect either the Progressive spirit or a belief in Manifest Destiny?
Edited highlights of Wilson's plan for a post-war world.
Key speech repudiating the activist progressive foreign policies of the early 1900s. Is this a a call to 'isolationism' or something else?
Not the most stirring of speeches. Still what does this speech - and the pact - tell us about the nature of US froeign policy during the years of 'isolation'?
An interactive website that asks you to guess the correct/actual course of American foreign policy in the pre-war decade. Has options for both Europe and the Pacific to help students understand exactly how foreign policymakers reached decisions during this period and the presures they faced.
With the USA still neutral, but war raging across Europe & Asia, FDR critiqued the neutrality faction in Congress. How did FDR explain the relationship between and active foreign policy and America's domestic security?
This 17-page pdf contains key documents from the Roosevelt Administration exploring exactly what was known prior to the attack.
Text and audio of the 'date that will live in infamy speech' in which the President asked Congress to declare war.