From Social Engineering to Democracy Promotion: An Examination of 125 Years U.S. Political and Economic Policy

by Ricker, Jennifer K

Abstract (Summary)
This essay examines the economic and political importance of democracy promotion in both United States foreign and domestic policy. The examination traces the origins of the theory of modernization to the Gilded Age in the United States, when the economy became the centripetal force through which all other interactions took place. This is evident through the political reforms, established research centers, and federal policy throughout the United States during the Progressive Era. After World War II, the theory of modernization advanced in United States foreign policy this social engineering to all parts of the world. After the Vietnam War, modernizers styled their rhetoric in more human friendly words (i.e. democracy and freedom) to continue the policy. The essay is divided into five chapters. The first of which discusses some of the myths in historical narrative concerning the United States. The following four trace the advent of modernization from the late years of the nineteenth century to the present. It presents the importance of the market in United States policy decisions through the last one hundred years. The analysis demonstrates that democracy has been reinvented to pertain to what one consumes, instead of what one creates. Finally, it reveals that democracy promotion in United States foreign policy is not altruistic, but rather, an essential ingredient to maintaining a global, regulated market. iv I dedicate this essay to my dad, who taught me everything I needed to know. v ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am heavily indebted to the kind and thoughtful tutelage of Professor Gary R. Hess, whose patience and wisdom guided me through many of my intellectual discoveries along the way. His exceptional knowledge of United States history was not only inspiring, but immensely supportive in crafting this narrative. Any mistakes in the text, however, are the fault of my own inadequacies.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/2007

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.