By Robert Kagan
From the writer of the immensely influential and best-selling Of Paradise and Power—a significant reevaluation of America’s position on the planet from the colonial period to the flip of the 20th century.Robert Kagan strips away the parable of America’s isolationist culture and divulges a extra advanced truth: that american citizens were expanding their worldwide strength and impression gradually for the earlier 4 centuries. Even from the time of the Puritans, he finds, the United States was once no shining “city up on a hill” yet an engine of industrial and territorial growth that drove local american citizens, in addition to French, Spanish, Russian, and finally even British energy, from the North American continent. Even prior to the delivery of the country, americans believed they have been destined for international management. Underlying their objectives, Kagan argues, was once a suite of principles and beliefs in regards to the international and human nature. He specializes in the announcement of Independence because the record that firmly tested the yankee conviction that the inalienable rights of all mankind transcended territorial borders and blood ties. American nationalism, he indicates, used to be continuously internationalist at its middle. He additionally makes a startling discovery: that the Civil struggle and the abolition of slavery—the achievement of the beliefs of the Declaration—were the decisive turning element within the heritage of yank overseas coverage to boot. Kagan's wonderful and finished reexamination of early American international coverage makes transparent why the USA, from its very starting, has been considered world wide not just as a wellspring of political, cultural, and social revolution, yet as an formidable and, now and then, harmful kingdom.
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Extra resources for Dangerous Nation: America's Place in the World, from it's Earliest Days to the Dawn of the 20th Century
The colonial aristocracy led the battles, the taxpayers paid for the battles, and the plain folk fought the battles. Even the evangelical preachers of the Great Awakening did their part, rallying the faithful, warning against sin, and, most important, converting Indians in the hope of bringing them over to the British side. Jonathan Edwards himself had long been aware of the "immense strategic importance" of building good relations with the Mohawks, and the religious boarding school he established in Stockbridge for the education of Indian children was a deliberate weapon in the imperial struggle.
In 1749 George II granted a half million acres of Ohio Valley land to the company, with the stipulation that the shareholders erect a fort and settle at least one hundred families on the forks of the Ohio River. Thus would the interests of the nascent British Empire also be served in its ongoing competition with the French. One can hardly exaggerate the degree to which American leaders, including future leaders of the independent republic, had a direct, personal interest in this new phase of territorial expansion.
There is no simple answer. The colonists at the time insisted the issue was taxes and the right to levy them, and if one understands it in the broadest sense, there is no reason to quarrel with the claim. The problem was not only that Anglo-Americans did not want to pay The First Imperialists 3I the new taxes and duties that the imperial authorities attempted to impose after the war with France. 72 After the war with France, much of which was fought in North America for the obvious benefit of the colonists and at enormous expense, British ministers considered it reasonable that the colonists should pay a portion of the cost both of the war and of the continuing protection they enjoyed from the empire.