Before the practice of diplomacy had become apparent within the borders of the United States, the country relied on the use of imperialism on many third world countries. The term American Imperialism was even created to describe the demonstration of such a grand influence the United States has had throughout the 20th century. The United States has always found any little way to assert their dominance and make them seem like superheros.
Beginning with a war where diplomacy was successful was the Cold war. This was a time in which both the United States and the Soviet Union were two opposing superpowers that emerged after the end of World War. The major difference between the two was their governments. It was capitalism versus socialism. The Cold War began as each superpower strived to spread their influence throughout the world. Although ultimately the war was simply a war based on intimidation, propaganda, a series of proxy wars, and espionage. Each country’s strategy was to attempt to be one step ahead of their enemy. Because of this war the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created. On the other hand, the Warsaw Pact which is officially known as the treaty of friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance was created by Khrushchev on the other side of the world. The Red Scare popped up in the United States which made Americans paranoid of communism being prevalent in America and that it would eventually take over their country. The 1950’s were a back and forth of nuclear missile testings. Once again with the Space Race was a competition between the United States and the Soviet Union. In 1962 the Soviets placed nuclear missiles in Cuba to pressure the United States. An agreement between John F. Kennedy and Khrushchev agreeing to remove the missiles prevented a total nuclear war. The possibility of a nuclear war war was eventually called off of the table and thankfully no force or action had to be taken. During Detente in the 1970’s the war was in a period of thawing. As relations began to improve between the east and the west, this was also a time in which the Soviet Union’s military built up arsenals and overtook the United States in the Arms Race. Gorbachev and Bush then signed the start one arms control treaty. This actively decreased nuclear weapons. In 1989 Bush declared the Cold War over. The Soviet Union was banned in the USSR leading to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which marked the end of the war. The war was ultimately a back and forth bicker between the two nations over who thought who was better. Neither side wanted one another to gain too much power because it would then undermine their own.
On the other hand was a war where diplomacy was ineffective. That war being the War of 1812. To begin with there were many thousands of British sailors working aboard ships that were American. That being said, many of the ships that the British captured were quite frankly their own people. During this time the topic of citizenship wasn’t concrete. On the seas papers were often forged and tattoos of American icons determined Americanness. Another reason for this war and the biggest cause of ineffective diplomacy is expansion into territory occupied by Native Americans. By the beginning of the war more than 400,000 settlers moved into territories west of the original thirteen colonies. Some Native Americans assimilated and became “civilized”. Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa resisted the invasion of their land and culture. They convinced those around them to abandon the practices of the whites. Americans then received word that the British were in favor of and sided with Tecumseh’s reasonings. The War of 1812 was the first time the United States had declared war on anybody. The Native Americans believed the land should be shared and not robbed. The United States military had no chance against Britain’s and the defeat of Napoleon put an end to impressment. America was eager to attempt to take Canada because they believed the Canadians would help them but they didn’t want to. The strategy of the U.S. was not very well planned out. The battleship U.S.S Constitution broke the myth of British naval invincibility when canon balls bounced off of it. This gave the ship the nickname iron sides. The treaty of Ghent with Britain which ended the war goes to show that the war was never necessary to begin with. No territory change had been made so negotiations were constructed starting in 1814.
The British asked for northern Maine, demilitarization of the Great Lakes, and some territory which would be used to create an independent nation for the Native Americans. None of this occurred because it would not have been the best idea for Great Britain to determine how to divide up the United States. The Native Americans were provoked by United States soldiers and suffered significant casualties along with giving up more of their territory. In the end they lost which launched Andrew Jackson’s career and solidified the conquest of land east of the mississippi river. The United State’s lack of success in Canada reinforced Canadian nationalism. It also ensured that instead of joining together and becoming one great and strong nation, Canada would hold a higher status than the United States. The end of the Federalist party arose from the war and the Hartford Convention proposed to eliminate the clause where in the African American population, they were only counted as three fifths of a person and required a two thirds congressional majority to declare war. Because the convention occured right before Jackson’s victory at New Orleans not much progress was made and they appeared to be unpatriotic and out of touch. The Americans definitely felt like they had won the War of 1812. After 1812 the United States saw itself not just as an independent nation but as a large player on the world stage.
Altogether diplomacy has generally been of advantage and led to peace. Wars have been prevented and arguments settled. On the other hand life isn’t always rosy and sometimes war is inevitable no matter how much negotiation is made.
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