By Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
Commentators name the USA an empire: sometimes a benign empire, occasionally an empire in denial, frequently a damaging empire. In American Umpire, Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman explores key turning issues in background from George Washington to Barack Obama. She demanding situations the thought that the USA is an empire, and asserts as a substitute that the United States has played the function of umpire considering 1776, compelling adherence to principles that delicately earned vast approval, although it additionally violated those principles occasionally. through the years, prosperity unfold, wars declined in ferocity, and human existence expectancy doubled all over the world. yet safeguard got here at a price that used to be no longer shared both by way of all. the us is the world's strongest country--and one among 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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Nations had to guard their autonomy or risk losing precious liberties. 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.
From the reign of reformist Henry VIII (1509–1547) to the reign of Catholic James II (1685–1688), England witnessed a parade of monarchs with competing visions of the domestic religious character of the United Kingdom. When Parliament disappointed, the king dissolved it. Charles I, who many believed was too tolerant of Catholics, ruled for eleven years without calling a single session of the legislature. He was eventually beheaded for his refusal to accept curbs on monarchical power. Indeed, rejection of Catholicism gradually became twinned with a rejection of absolutism in Britain, though not of monarchy per se.
Another way of putting this is that Locke and Jeﬀerson were part of a slowly emerging consensus about human rights, stimulated by the Reformation, that would eventually become global. Locke penned and reﬁned Two Treatises of Government during the turbulent years in which James II was enthroned and deposed, William and Mary were installed, and Parliament approved the Bill of Rights. Although Locke wrote in the language of eternal, philosophical truths, his essay was a defense of contemporary events.