The figure of John Adams looms large in American foreign relations of the Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary years. James H. Hutson captures this elusive personality of this remarkable figure, highlighting the triumphs and the despairs that Adams experienced as he sought-at times, he felt, single-handedly-to establish the new Republic on a solid ...Read MoreThe figure of John Adams looms large in American foreign relations of the Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary years. James H. Hutson captures this elusive personality of this remarkable figure, highlighting the triumphs and the despairs that Adams experienced as he sought-at times, he felt, single-handedly-to establish the new Republic on a solid footing among the nations of the world. Benjamin Franklin, thirty years Adams's senior and already a world-respected figure, was his personal nemesis, seeming always to dog his steps in his diplomatic missions. The diplomacy of the American Revolution as exemplified by John Adams was not radically revolutionary or peculiarly American. Whereas the prevailing progressive interpretation of Revolutionary diplomacy sees it as repudiating the standard European theories and practices, Hutson finds that Adams adhered consistently to a policy that was in fact basically European and conservative. Adams assumed-as did his contemporaries-that power was aggressive and that it should be contained in a balance, so his actions while in diplomatic service were generally directed toward this goal. Adams's basic ideas survived his turbulent diplomatic missions with undiminished coherence. For him the value of the protective system of the balance of power-having been tested in the harsh theater of European diplomacy-was indisputable and could be applied to domestic political arrangements as well as to international relations.Read Less
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Very Good with no dust jacket. 0813114047. Library stamps/marks/labels/pocket/slip, otherwise light wear. Crisp hardcover.; "If eighteenth-century European diplomacy was, as Felix Gilbert claimed, "entirely dominated by the concept of power, " the same can be said of the foreign policy of Revolutionary America, as formulated by John Adams and his colleagues. That the conventional European doctrines of the balance of power and of the interest of states should have dominated their thinking is not surprising. These were modes of analysis on which they, as citizens of the British Empire, had been born and raised. When the time came to craft a foreign policy for the new American nation, they quite naturally employed them." Contents: Acknowledgments; Chapter 1: Formulating an American Foreign Policy; 2: France, 1778-1779; 3. France Again, 1780; 4. The Netherlands; 5. Dutch Recognition; 6. Peace Negotiations; 7. John Adams and Revolutionary Diplomacy; Notes; A Note on Sources; Index.; Ex-Library; vii, 199 pages.
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