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Domestic And Foreign Policies Essay, Research Paper

Domestic and Foreign Policies

Throughout our history, many policies have been made to deal with domestic or

foreign issues or conflicts. One example of domestic policies were the reforms FDR

created called the New Deal. An example of a foreign policy was that of containment

used after WW2.

In the 1930’s our country and many others around the world went through a

financial depression. The Depression was mostly attributed to the stock market crash in

1929. President Hoover who served before FDR tried numerous things to try and help

cure the depression. But by the time FDR was elected in, the depression was still very

much present. FDR was open to many different ideas to try and fix the economy. The

government programs he initiated were part of his domestic policy called the New Deal.

President Roosevelt wasted no time once he got into office. Within the first One-

Hundred days of his first term he made more important changes than previous presidents

had made in the whole 1920’s. The president clearly showed the nation that he would try

and fix the problems with all he could possibly do.Some people called FDR’s, New Deal,

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alphabet soup, because the reforms were new government agencies with acronym

abbreviations. One belief of President Roosevelt was that the government should help the

needy directly. One new government agency implemented in 1933, that demonstrated this

belief was the Public Works Administration or the PWA. The PWA put people to work

by having bridges, highways, dams, and other public projects built. One very important

change that FDR made was establishing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The

FDIC provided insurance on a bank depositors money through the aid of federal funds.

This way the federal government would restore a lost account for up to 100,000 dollars.

FDR was undoubtedly one of the best leaders our country has seen, but it wasn’t

so easy for him. Two of the programs Roosevelt instituted were declared unconstitutional

by the Supreme Court. The National Recovery Administration enabled codes that called

for, or encouraged businesses to agree upon fair prices. One business complained that

these codes were too much like laws. Therefore, the NRA gave legislative power to the

president that he shouldn’t have had. The supreme court declared the administration

unconstitutional. A similar case was brought to the supreme court. It said that the codes

that went along with the Agricultural Adjustment Act that had required a tax were also

unconstitutional. In response to the supreme court rulings FDR tried to raise the number

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of judges that sit in the supreme court from 9 to 15. He wanted to appoint justices that

shared the same views as his on. The congress didn’t approve of the plan.

Directly following world war two the United States and the Soviet Union emerged

as the two super powers of the world. Although the two countries were allies during the

war, after the war they were common enemies. The U.S. strongly apposed the political

advances the Soviet Union was making. Directly after World War 2, The Soviet Union

was quickly supporting communist revolutions within the nations of Eastern Europe.

Eventually, they even gained control of most of these nations. The U.S. saw the Soviet

Union and communism as a threat to free life. Our government quickly developed a policy

of containment toward the spread of Communism throughout the world.

By the United States practicing the policy of containment, it engaged itself into

what is known as the cold war. The cold war didn’t contain actual fighting between the

two nations. It was the practicing of their foreign policies towards each other in order to

prevent or gain world power. Directly following WW2, President Truman instituted the

Truman Doctrine. This doctrine said that the United States would support those countries

that were in danger of be taken over by soviet influence. Using the Truman Doctrine and

Marshall Plan the U.S. sent billions of dollars in aid to European nations to prevent the

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rise of communist parties.

The United States also tried to discourage the Soviet Union from spreading

communism by joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO. NATO was an

alliance between twelve nations with the United States as the key player. The two nations

began to compete against each other in many various ways. In response to NATO, the

Soviet Union created the Warsaw Pact, which was an alliance between the Soviet Union

and the Soviet satellites of Eastern Europe. The Soviet Union beat the U.S. to space

which motivated the U.S. to prove the U.S. space program was far more superior to the

Soviet.All these acts of our government were apart of our policy of containment towards

the Soviet Union and their influence by not succeeding any power to them.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s the United States raised their efforts in their containment

policy. They didn’t want to see Soviet and communist influence move across Asia. In the

50’s the U.S. began a war with the Soviet supported North Korea in an effort to contain

communist influence over South Korea. The U.S. and other nations that were members of

the United Nations sent troops down to South Korea to try and contain the North

Koreans. The South Korean forces were mostly made up of U.S. and South Korean

troops. The U.S. was successful in their containment of Soviet influence but lost over

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50,000 American lives. In the early 60’s the United States and the Soviet Union almost

went to war when the United States learned that the Soviet Union was storing nuclear

missiles on the island of Cuba. Because Cuba was so close to the U.S. it was a direct

threat on U.S. security. During this event called the Cuban Missile Crisis President

Kennedy sent the U.S. Navy to block Soviet ships with nuclear weapons that were coming

into Cuba. The U.S. and Soviet Union were on the brink of war but they resolved the


One of the most influential actions taken in our country’s history in the support of

containment was our countries decision to intervene in Vietnam. Our involvement was

almost an exact repeat our involvement in Korea. Under President Eisenhower we sent

military personnel to South Vietnam to train them in order to defend themselves from

communist North Vietnam. Under The next president, President Kennedy, we were

sending even more aid to Vietnam to try and prevent what the U.S. saw as a possible

communist take over of Southeast Asia. When President Johnson took over after

Kennedy was assassinated our involvement in Vietnam increased. Johnson saw that the

South Vietnam government wasn’t able to defeat the communist on their own. But the

Gulf of Tonkin Resolution is what enabled Johnson to send military aid. From Johnson’s

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presidency through to President Nixon we saw involvement in Vietnam that eventually

ended in United States failure. We left the situation unfinished with the South Vietnamese

to finish without U.S. aid. With Nixon came the beginning to the end of the cold war and

foreign policy of containment. Nixon began to practice a foreign policy called d?tente

which was an attempt to reduce tension between the United States and Soviet Union.

These policies whether domestic or foreign are greatly influenced by our nations

presidents. There effectiveness reflects on the presidents ability to lead, and the character

and attitude of the general public. These policies often have a great impact on our society.

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