4 Key Milestones of Theodore Roosevelt’s Foreign Policy

When Theodore Roosevelt succeeded William McKinley as President in 1901, he was aware that America was in a different international position than it had been a few years earlier. The United States had been a continental empire from its founding, but following the Spanish-American War of 1898 it had ventured beyond its land borders. He claimed Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines as U.S. territories, made Cuba a U.S. protectorate, and annexed Hawaii.

America was now an overseas empire, and Roosevelt believed it was important for the United States to wield the kind of power in world affairs that European empires had. He believed that American interests were global interests, and that it was in fact good for “civilized” nations – among which he counted the United States – to intervene in the affairs of other countries.

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