Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of History

First Advisor

Patrice E. Olsen


This thesis examines President Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy and his administration’s campaign to promote the ratification of the Panama Canal treaties from 1977 to 1978. I argue that President Carter’s administration developed a coherent foreign policy vision that was inspired by moral convictions and aimed to promote international peace. The fundamental aspects of this vision are reflected in the Panama Canal treaties. During the turbulent Senate debate over the treaties, opposition arguments attacking President Carter’s moral policy encouraged the Carter administration to favor more pragmatic arguments in support of the treaties, which ultimately obscured President Carter’s overarching foreign policy vision. This study demonstrates how the efforts of a single president can significantly change the direction of American foreign policy, yet also reveals the tentative nature of such changes.


Imported from ProQuest WelshdePaula_ilstu_0092N_10802.pdf


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