The Man in the Street: The Impact of American Public Opinion on Foreign Policy

By Thomas A. Bailey | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIXTEEN
DOLLARS AND IDEALISM

"Civilization and profits go hand in hand."-- CALVIN COOLIDGE, 1920


1

SHORTLY BEFORE the middle of the nineteenth century, the British philosopher and economist, John Stuart Mill, referred unpleasantly to the United States as a land where "the life of one sex is devoted to dollar hunting, and of the other to the breeding of dollar hunters." The pursuit of the almighty dollar has long been something of an obsession, partly because in America there were more dollars to be pursued--and the race was to the swift. The American also worships the goddess Success, and money is unquestioned proof of his devotion. We are in fact quick to admit this failing, if it is a failing. Mr. Dooley (Finley Peter Dunne), in describing the patriotism of the people of the sixth ward, once remarked: "They love th' eagle on the back iv a dollar."

We may have a reputation for money-grubbing, but despite a certain congenital callousness, we are not the most indifferent of peoples to the sufferings of our neighbors. In any cross section of any population one will find the greedy and the selfish, the generous and the unselfish. The humanitarian standards of a nation cannot be expected to rise above the level of its melting pot, but in some measure we have defied the laws of physics.

The truth is that our national conduct, with a few notable lapses, has on the whole been honorable, at least on a relative basis. The infant United States started with a clean slate in 1776, and was not bound by the precedents of deviousness that had so long characterized monarchical courts. No other major power publishes its diplomatic documents so completely and recently, and no other great foreign office permits scholars such unrestricted access to relatively current archives. Partly because of our democratic professions, the world has come to expect a higher standard of conduct in Washington than elsewhere. A thinly disguised coup like Theodore Roosevelt's "taking" of Panama, which would have passed almost unnoticed among European imperialists at the turn of the century, was received with raised eyebrows in foreign capitals. Most right-thinking Americans were aware of this at the time, and were distressed that the good name of their country should have been blackened with the brush of Old World intrigue.


2

If it is true that we have an international conscience more sensitive than that of some other nations, what is the explanation?

First of all, many of the early settlers in America, especially those who

-186-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Man in the Street: The Impact of American Public Opinion on Foreign Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 338

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.