By Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
Commentators name the U.S. an empire: sometimes a benign empire, occasionally an empire in denial, frequently a harmful empire. In American Umpire, Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman explores key turning issues in background from George Washington to Barack Obama. She demanding situations the concept that the USA is an empire, and asserts as an alternative that the USA has played the position of umpire in view that 1776, compelling adherence to ideas that gently earned huge approval, although it additionally violated those principles from time to time. over the years, prosperity unfold, wars declined in ferocity, and human existence expectancy doubled all over the world. yet safeguard got here at a value that was once now not shared both by means of all. the U.S. 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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Leading citizens of seven semi-independent provinces met in town councils (the common people could not vote), and each province had one vote in the States-General, the national assembly. The provincial government also elected the stadtholder, a nobleman who coordinated national defense, ran the meetings of the States-General, and intervened as necessary to settle disputes. But the Dutch Republic was essentially aristocratic and suﬀered from the same dysfunctional structure that stymied Poland under the liberum veto.
Although some European nations did not participate in the meetings, the premises of the peace gradually assumed the air of sacrosanct legitimacy, like that once equated with the idea of a transnational Christian imperium. Whereas many Europeans previously associated security with a mer ic a n u mpir e the inclusive embrace of a strong empire or universal church, after the Reformation’s bloodbath, security became identiﬁed with impermeable, unbridgeable, hermetically sealed national borders.
For all these reasons, English migrants who arrived in the northeastern colonies were strongly conscious of striking out into the perilous unknown on behalf of causes greater than themselves. Th is consciousness made them a peculiar subset of the Anglo-European population: concentrated in their moral fervor and personal intrepidity. This lore included the dangers of misunderstandings with Indians, the perilous “seasoning” that killed 80 percent of all immigrants to Jamestown before 1625, and the utter disappearance of every person in the Roanoke Colony—including the aptly named Virginia Dare, the ﬁrst daughter born to English parents who had dared the wilds.
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