How did the United States refashion its relationship to the outside world in the early nineteenth century?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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During the early 19th century (I'm looking at the time up to the 1820s here) the US acted to try to have more of a presence on the international stage.  They did not really try to compete with the superpowers of the day for world influence, but they did try to become much more important than they had been.  I will look at three ways in which this happened:

  1. The Louisiana Purchase made the US a large nation in terms of territory.  This was important because it asserted that the US was going to be dominant on the continent of North America.
  2. The War of 1812 declared that the US would protect what it saw as its rights.  It would be willing to go to war even with a superpower in order to enforce its territorial integrity and its trade rights.
  3. The Monroe Doctrine asserted a sphere of influence for the US in the Americas.  It declared that the US would not tolerate new incursions by European countries in an area that it saw as its own back yard.

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