How was the foreign policy of Woodrow Wilson different than that of Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft?  How was it similar?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The foreign policy of Woodrow Wilson was more similar than different to the foreign policy of Teddy Roosevelt and William Taft. The main difference was that Wilson’s foreign policy ideas were more idealistic than both Roosevelt’s and Taft’s ideas. Wilson didn’t believe in imperialism, and he wanted to stop Dollar Diplomacy. He thought these concepts were morally wrong. Wilson had very idealist goals for the United States upon entering World War I. He wanted to make this the last war ever and to make the world safer for democratic governments. Both Roosevelt and Taft strongly encouraged imperialism and the concepts surrounding Dollar Diplomacy.

The similarities can be seen in the events with which they were involved. While Roosevelt was president, we encouraged a revolt in Panama, sent our navy around the world to show our power, and intervened in the Dominican Republic. While Taft was president, we invested in countries, and when that investment was jeopardized by political instability, we sent in our military to protect the investment. This was done in Nicaragua. While Wilson was president, we intervened in affairs in Mexico when revolts broke out and new leaders assumed office. We tried to remove unfriendly leaders. This led to attacks by Pancho Villa. Wilson then sent in the army to try to capture him. We never caught him, and when World War I began, we had more important issues to face. Thus, Wilson’s foreign policy was more similar than different than Roosevelt’s and Taft’s foreign policy actions.

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