M ORAL DI PLOM ACY VS. REALPOLITI K I B History of the Americas M r. Clarke ³The position of Prussia in Germany will not be determined by its liberalism but by its power. [«] Not through speeches and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be decided« but through iron and blood.´ -Otto von Bismarck, Address to the Prussian Parliament September 22, 1862 We shall be the more American if we but remain true to the principles in which we have been bred. ±President Woodrow Wilson, Second I naugural Address, M arch 5, 1917 Two competing theories, both of which trace their origins to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, have often vied for influence in United States foreign policy. On the one hand, Americans like to think that their nation has consistently promoted freedom, democracy, and human rights in world affairs. President Woodrow Wilson used the term ³PRUDOGLSORPDF\´ to refer to a foreign policy dedicated to supporting these ideals. On the other hand, few Americans support sending large quantities of troops and/or money abroad when doing so does not clearly serve the geopolitical interest of the United States. The term realpolitik or, alternatively, ³SROLWLFDOUHDOLVP´ refers to a foreign policy that pragmatically revolves around a nation¶VLQWHUHVWV without regard to moralistic, ethical, and ideological considerations. While the term was coined in 1853 by Ludwig von Rochau, its application is most often associated with the nineteenth-century diplomacy of Germany¶V2WWRYRQ%LVPDUFNWhile we can think of many instances in which U.S. interests have coincided with ethical considerations, the real test comes when there is a divergence between what is morally right and what is good for the country. 1. Has U.S. foreign policy been guided more by moral diplomacy or by realpolitik? 2. What principles should guide American foreign policy?