Was Roosevelt's foreign policy a success or failure

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Was Roosevelt’s foreign policy a success or failure?

 Roosevelt did many things in his foreign policy including: the building of the Panama Canal, the Spanish – American war. In this essay I will explain the failures and successes and then come up with a conclusion as to whether or not Roosevelt’s foreign policy was a success or failure.

 After Japan showed its strength against Russia the US became distrusting of them; as they were worried about the threat in which Japan showed to the Philippines. However the distrust was mutual and was widened by racial ammonites on the west coast of America. A San Francisco school board ordered that students of oriental descent were to attend a separate school. This ‘yellow peril’ as it was known in 1906 caused relations between US and Japan to become sour. Japanese government protested and eventually Roosevelt managed to change the school boards mind. However this was only after ensuring that Japanese would not issue passports for its labourers.  The gentlemen’s agreement between Roosevelt and the Japanese government halted the influx of Japanese immigrants. “Yellow Peril” is another situation which Roosevelt demonstrated his ability to protect foreign relations and at the same time get what he wanted in terms of what was best for America and himself. However even though Roosevelt dealt with the problem it was still an extremely unsuccessful aspect of foreign policy.

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 One success of Roosevelt’s was the ‘Spanish – American’ war. America defeated a weakening Spanish army fairly easily after 10 undefeated battles and this gave them a strong reputation.

Furthermore, in getting the Spanish out of Cuba they gained themselves the control of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and trade with South America. This gave them added influence in the Atlantic. They had large investments in Cuba: 50 million pound, 80% Cuban exports of sugar and tabocoo. Moreover, they gained Guantanmo Bay as a permanent American Naval base and later on they gained Pearl Harbour: this gave them ...

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On the whole, spelling, grammar and punctuation are good, but there are some mistakes - "tabocoo" should be "tobacco", for example. It is better for you if the examiner spends time marking you on the quality of your knowledge rather than working out what you are trying to say, so always proof-read. The essay makes good use of words such as "however", which are useful because they leave the examiner in no doubt that the student fully understands the need to consider alternative views. They also help the student to organise their information, which stops the essay from appearing confused.

The main problem with this essay is the lack of analysis - it describes what happened but it doesn't do much to explain why or what the effects were. Almost all of the sixth paragraph describes events that happened, and the student makes it sound as though they are telling a story. Most people would be able to do this, but students stand out when they can explain why it happened and what the effects were, because that shows they have thought about what other events caused it. When the student says "Meanwhile in panama tensions were high...", it sounds like a story, and they spend several sentences talking about details. They could improve by devoting one or two sentences to getting some facts in, then using the next two or three sentences talking about the causes and the effects. However, the student uses statistics well, such as "spent nearly $300 million", which is better than if they had said "spent a lot of money" because it shows they understand what makes a figure large or small. The conclusion does not give both sides of the argument, which is necessary all the way through (see section 1). It isn't enough for the student to say "Overall Roosevelt’s foreign policy was just as successful as unsuccessful." because they haven't said why they think there was an equal split between success and failure. Anyone can make a statement but without evidence there is no point. This sentence also seems pointless because in the next sentence the student argues the opposite by suggesting it was mostly a failure. Always leave a minute at the end to re-read and make sure you aren't arguing one thing then arguing the opposite.

This essay answers the question quite well (before the conclusion) by dealing with several examples of successes and failures: this is necessary because it shows the student is thinking widely and understanding that historians have developed different views on Roosevelt's foreign policy. The student could improve by grouping together all of their arguments that his foreign policy was a success, then grouping all their arguments that it was a failure together as well. This would create a clear contrast between the two interpretations, showing they understand the need to point out both sides of the argument. Most of the introduction is unnecessary: there is no need to say exactly what you are going to do because you will not be marked for it - you will be marked for actually doing it rather than saying you will. It would be better to give an example of one of the failures and one of the successes you will use, because that immediately shows the examiner you can organise your knowledge. That way, if at any point in the essay you're not sure what to write next, you can glance back at your introduction as a guide.