Erasmus university rotterdam


Chapter 3: The navy- an instrument of America’s strategic vision



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Chapter 3: The navy- an instrument of America’s strategic vision

When focusing on American diplomatic engagements at the dawn of the twentieth century, one should not neglect to analyze the role and importance of naval matters. For the navy had an unmistakable effect on Theodore Roosevelt’s strategic thinking and foreign policy decision-making. Scholars have suggested that “the precept of US power is anchored to the recognition of the reality that power is the single most significant factor determining the course of international relations… a nation needs to be strong militarily in

order to defend its inhabitants and uphold its interests.”141 The remarkable naval buildup by the United States during my periodization is thus essential to my analysis. In this chapter, I seek to explore the backdrop to Roosevelt’s naval passion, and the navy’s prominence in the military affairs of the era. I have also chosen to include a section on the deployment of the U.S. naval squadron –later branded “The Great White Fleet”- and discuss the strategic factors behind the ambitious decision. This chapter will also analyze the motivations behind the decision, and include a section on the state of other metropoles navies, with a comparison of spending figures from the period.




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