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Comparison of the foreign politics of the United States and France

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This document deals with the relationships between the way in which one conducts foreign policies in France and in United States and the comparison between the foreign policies of the two countries from 1945 till the present day. Before starting, it is necessary to understand what a sovereign state is.

Three attributes make it possible for a state to be a sovereign: justice, the armed forces, and symbols of sovereignty like the flag. One needs a second condition to develop a foreign policy in a country: there has to be a vision, i.e. to have the collective feeling within a territory to share the same destiny. One thus needs a vision of oneself. It can be described on the level of the nations.

The States may find it beneficial only to intervene in the businesses of the other countries: the policy of the states, and the ones in respect to the others, is stripped of pragmatic interests. There are no feelings in the international relations and one should not make foreign policies or geopolitics without considering the geography. Napoleon Bonaparte once said: ?the States make the policy of their geography?.

Let us take the American example: around United States, there is the vacuum. It is a colossal advantage for the United States, and France is far from profiting from this advantage since it is surrounded by other countries. The geography not only determines the foreign policies of a country, but it also contributes to influence it.

First, it must be remembered that France is one of the rare European states never to have been at war with the United States of America. Great Britain, Italy and Canada have already been at war against the United States, Germany two times, but never France.

In France and the United States, there is no foreign policy on an ideological fashion. Foreign policy is neither right nor left. The U.S. Democrats are the most interventionist: Roosevelt, Harry Truman (Cold War against the USSR), Kennedy (Vietnam War), Johnson, Clinton (bombers in Serbia) are all Democrats.

The French left is that which, in the late nineteenth century, sent slaves to fight colonize territories: Clemenceau (first GM), Mitterrand (in Africa, Chad ). Whether in France or the United States, they are more interventionist left. The American Republicans (Richard Nixon, for example) are less interventionist in foreign policy.

The end of slavery in France was early as it was one of the leading countries in the world to abolish slavery. Bonaparte restored slavery around May 11, 1802, in part, for the love of Josephine (the white girl of Martinique origin living in the Caribbean) because his parents had many interests in Martinique.
In 1848, the Americans abolished slavery. This also applies to foreign policy because it will maintain for a long time a guilt complex. Finally, both countries are on either side within logic of Nations and not within logic of an Empire.

The President of the Republic determines the broad lines of foreign policy of a country. Since De Gaulle, Prime Minister has never had enough time to determine these lines. The Prime Minister usually does not spend it. The National Assembly does not deal with either of Foreign Affairs.

Tags: United States ; France; comparison; foreign policies; a sovereign state;

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