A History of United States Foreign Policy


Declaration of Independence

July 4, 1776

The colonies declared independence from Great Britain.

Louisiana Purchase

April 30, 1803

The United States bought a large tract of land from France.

War of 1812

1812 - 1813

A conflict between the United States and countries in Europe.

Mexican American War

1846 - 1848

Mexico and the United States fought over territory.

Civil War

1861 - 1865

Conflict between the free, Northern States and the Southern, slave states.

Alaska Purchase

March 30, 1867

The United States acquires Alaska from Russia.

Spanish American War

April 25, 1898 - August 12, 1898

Conflict between Spain and the United States over involvement in Cuba.

Building of the Panama Canal

1903 - 1914

The United States built a canal in Panama to facilitate trade.

World War I

1914 - 1918

The first global war that was sparked by a complex system of alliances.

Treaty of Versailles

June 28, 1919

The peace treaty that ended World War One, blaming Germany for the whole thing.

World War II

1939 - 1945

The second world war that involved the first use of nuclear weapons. This war had massive amounts of civilian casualties.

United Nations Charter

June 26, 1945

This document created the United Nations, a group of allied world powers.

The Cold War

1947 - 1981

A time of military and political tension between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Berlin Blockade

1948 - 1949

The Soviet Union tried to control Berlin by supplying necessities. The allies air lifted supplies in to counter their efforts.

The Marshall Plan

April 1948

The United States provided economic aid for the war torn European countries.

NATO Formed

April 4, 1949

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The group aims for peaceful negotiations to avoid another world war.

The Korean War

June 25, 1950 - July 27, 1953

A war between North and South Korea. South Korea was supported by the United Nations.

The Vietnam War

1959 - 1975

South Vietnam (aided by the United States) fought North Vietnam and their communist allies.

The Cuban Missile Crisis

October 14, 1962 - October 28, 1962

A nuclear crisis between Cuba and the United States.

Persian Gulf War

August 1990 - February 1991

Armed invasion of Iraq in response to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq.

Bosnian War

April 6, 1992 - December 14, 1995

An international armed conflict that was caused by the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Afghanistan War

2001 - Present

Intervention by NATO in the Afghanistan civil war.

09/ 11/ 2001

September 11, 2001

Terrorists attack the Twin Towers in New York. This resulted in the United States declaring a war on terror.

Iraq War

2003 - Present

A two- phase war in which American troops defeated Iraqis and created a new government.