How Has National Interest Shape Foreign Policy?

Key terms:
1. Policy – A plan of action that has been deliberately chosen to guide or influence future decisions.
2. Domestic Policy – A plan of action that guides a government’s decision about what to do within a country. In Canada domestic policy decisions may include changing federal laws, setting aboriginal land claims, and spending tax revenues.
3. Foreign Policy – A plan of action that guides a government’s decision about its official relations with other countries. Also called foreign affairs or external relations.

Foreign Policy decisions can have relatively short-term effects on a limited amount of people and long-term decisions may affect millions of people. For example, some foreign policy decisions that where made at the end of World War 1 are still affecting the world today. A large amount of people believe that the turmoil in Middle Eastern countries relates directly to foreign policy decisions of the U.S and European countries as they pursued their national interests at the end of the first World War.

National Interest and World War 1 Peace Settlements

World War 1 was composed of 2 sides. One side were the central powers, led by Germany; on the other side were the allies, led by Britain. WW1 took place in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. This was one of the biggest wars the world has ever faced in these times. Millions of people died, and the financial costs where enormous.
Before all this, Nationalism had flourished in Europe. Historians believe that nationalism and peoples beliefs about national interest played a key part in this war.
For example, European governments believed that expanding their territory in Europe, as well as their colonial possessions, was in their national interest. This belief is the foundation of their foreign policy which led them to form alliances with other European countries.
This alliance system was quite basic. If one country was threatened, its allies would be pulled into the dispute. Because of this when the war broke out many countries where pulled into the war because of this. Most people had no say in this, sadly these people where the people that where mostly affected. Four years later after brutal fighting and bloodshed a truce was declared at 11 am. On November 11, 1918
The war was over.

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