By Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
Commentators name the U.S. an empire: sometimes a benign empire, occasionally an empire in denial, usually a damaging empire. In American Umpire, Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman explores key turning issues in heritage from George Washington to Barack Obama. She demanding situations the thought that the us is an empire, and asserts as a substitute that the United States has played the function of umpire due to the fact 1776, compelling adherence to principles that delicately earned extensive approval, although it additionally violated those ideas infrequently. over the years, prosperity unfold, wars declined in ferocity, and human existence expectancy doubled around the world. yet defense got here at a price that was once now not shared both via all. the us is the world's strongest country--and one in all its richest--but extra uncovered to feedback and dangers than ever. Umpiring is a weighty accountability. With all eyes upon them, umpires can't win.
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Across the long, hot, humid Philadelphia summer, the delegates debated the future structure of a general government that not everyone agreed ought to exist. Diminutive, bookish James Madison, often called the Father of the Constitution, was one of the participants most ambitious for its powers (at least until he became leader of the opposition during George Washington’s ﬁ rst administration). ” Madison was not arguing for a king, but for what he explicitly called a “dispassionate umpire in disputes”— a higher government to which the states would send representatives and that would, in an ambiguous sense, rule over them.
What navy or army would enforce American claims to the right of passage on an international waterway? The cash-poor Congress had sold its last naval ship to a private buyer in 1785. States that did not border the Mississippi were hardly eager to hazard their militias or spend their own limited funds to liberate the river for the beneﬁt of other governments. New Yorker John Jay, asked by Congress to reason with Spain, found that the best deal he could wangle was the right to trade in Spanish colonial ports, if Americans promised to stay oﬀ the Mississippi.
Citizens had no further appeal on legal matters to any higher authority outside the country—namely, the pope. The realms of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland gradually came under a single central government as the United Kingdom. Despite internal diversity and outbreaks of rebellion, they were one state. In Europe itself, wracked by religious schism, the ﬁrst plank for peace was laid in Augsburg, the ancient Bavarian town built by Roman troops at the woodsy conﬂuence of the Lech and Wertach Rivers.
American Umpire by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman