(原文) Roosevelt was a sophisticated analyst of the balance of power. He insisted on an international role for...|
Roosevelt was a sophisticated analyst of the balance of power. He insisted on an international role for America because its national interest demanded it, and because a global balance of power was inconceivable to him without American participation. For Wilson, the justification of America’s international role was messianic: America had an obligation, not to the balance of power, but to spread its principles throughout the world.
During the Wilson’s Administration, America emerged as a key player in world affairs, proclaiming principles which, while reflecting the truisms of American though, nevertheless marked a revolutionary departure for Old World diplomats. These principles held that peace depends on the spread of democracy, that states should be judged by the same ethical criteria as individuals, and that the national interest consists of adhering to a universal system of law.
To hardened veterans of a European diplomacy based on the balance of power, Wilson’s views about the ultimately moral foundations of foreign policy appeared strange, even hypocritical. Yet Wilsonianism has survived while history has bypassed the reservations of his contemporaries. Wilson was the originator of the vision of a universal world organization, the League of Nations, which would keep the peace through collective security rather than alliance. Though Wilson could not convince his own country of its merit, the idea lived on. It is above all to the drumbeat of Wilsonian idealism that American foreign policy has marched since his watershed presidency, and continues to march to this day.