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Foreign Policy

Throughout the first 150 years of America's independence, political leaders and the public alike sought to keep the country out of armed conflicts that did not have direct relevance to the nation's security. Two episodes in particular, the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War, were major conflicts that in the minds of some historians directly threatened the security of the American homeland. America's casus belli for the War of 1812 was the British Royal Navy's seizure of American merchant ships and the impressment of U.S. sailors, punishment for its continued trade with Napoleonic France, then Britain's adversary. The Mexican-American War commenced more than 30 years later, after Mexico attacked American troops following the American government's annexation of Texas, then an independent state. Despite ...

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