Chapter

Charles A. Beard's Interpretations of American Foreign Policy ⋆

in From Vienna to Chicago and Back

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780226776361
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226776385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226776385.003.0005
Charles A. Beard's Interpretations of American Foreign Policy ⋆

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This chapter evaluates what may well be called the third great concern of Charles Beard's work: the place of the United States in the world, its foreign affairs. It also explores the process which led Beard from internationalism to isolationism, and the various factors or events contributing to it. Then, it covers his analysis of some specific problems of American foreign policy. Beard's conception of human nature remained under the spell of an economic interpretation. Additionally, his economic interpretation of human nature proved incapable of grasping adequately the phenomenon of power relationships. His rejoicing over Franklin Roosevelt's economic foreign policy was dampened by grave doubts regarding his naval policy. The very breadth of Beard's mind and of his interests, his openness to the influence of books and to the impact of deep moral conviction and of the fast moving world around him were bound to produce conflicts and inconsistencies.

Keywords: Charles Beard; United States; American foreign policy; Franklin Roosevelt; economic foreign policy; naval policy

Chapter.  12791 words. 

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