Impact  of U.S  presidential decrees and doctrines  on military policy in the early years of  the 20th century


The American military and its mission are shaped , in large part ,by the American political system. Describe the impact  of U.S  presidential decrees and doctrines  on military policy in the early years of  the 20th century. Describe the actions of one of the following presidents.

  • President Theodore Roosevelt
  • President Woodrow Wilson

Impact  of U.S  presidential decrees and doctrines  on military policy

United States military has gone through several military revolutions through the years to become one of the most strong and efficient militaries in the world today. The history of these revolutions spans for a period of over two decades since its inauguration.  In these two centuries, the United States evolved from a young nation fighting for its independence from Britain through the monumental American Civil War and after collaborating in triumph during the World War II to world’s sole remaining superpower from the late 20th century to present. As of 2015, the United States military consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and the air force which are all under the command of the United States department of defense with the president the commander in chief (Allison, 2016). This assignment will widely focus on the major revolution in the United States, especially during the reign of President Theodore Roosevelt and President Woodrow Wilson.

President Theodore Roosevelt

Having assumed an empire in the making and the office of the president in 1901, Roosevelt is regarded as one of the presidents who significantly contributed to the expansion of the American empire as well as the revolution of the American military. President Roosevelt wanted to increase the influence and prestige of the United States on the world stage and make the country a global power. Moreover, he had a belief that the exportation of American values and ideals would have an ennobling effort in the world.  As a result, he developed a diplomatic maxim that focused on speaking softly and carrying a big stick and maintained that the authority and those in power must be willing to use force while practicing the art of persuasion (Schmidt, 2014). To exercise all his ideas, he had to assemble one of the strongest and powerful armies in the world to avoid conflicts with enemies who might prey on their weaknesses. It is worth noting that President Roosevelt would act aggressively in foreign affairs often without the support or consent of the Congress all in the attempt of expanding American empire in the rest of the world. During his tenure, Roosevelt ensured that the American political system and social values were considerably adjusted the military policy’s considerations as well as ensuring that American defense policies were built upon pluralistic military institutions constituting of professionals and citizen-soldiers to ensure that these policies were effective and efficient to conquer their enemies.

President Woodrow Wilson

President Woodrow Wilson assumed office in 1914 declaring that the United States would never again seek to secure foreign soil. Despite his efforts to remain neutral to the World War I, President Wilson was forced to review his position and stand after several attacks from Germany as well as sea blockage by Britain which prevented them from trading with other countries. As a result, he has no option but rather joining the war and helping her allies and widely relied on officers trained in civil war tactics that included night attacks. President Woodrow Wilson left an everlasting effect and shaped American foreign policy for the remainder of the century where he transformed the country from isolation to internationalism. His wartime mobilization program became a model for the new deals, fights against Franklin Roosevelt’s mobilization policy during World War II (Schmidt, 2014). However, Wilson is known for his strong character of tolerating no dissent during the war and authorized serious violations of American’s civil liberties in his quest for victory, and this had a significant effect on the military policies of the country.


Allison, W. T. (2016). American Military History. Routledge.

Schmidt, H. (2014). Maverick Marine: General Smedley D. Butler and the Contradictions of                    American Military History. University Press of Kentucky.

Related: Connect the concept of the U.S. military during times of peace and war and how the concept of the United States as an imperialist power in the twentieth century developed.