The Atlantic System: The Story of Anglo-American Control of the Seas

The Atlantic System: The Story of Anglo-American Control of the Seas

The Atlantic System: The Story of Anglo-American Control of the Seas

The Atlantic System: The Story of Anglo-American Control of the Seas

Excerpt

Unlike the axis blueprints for a New World Order, a sterile prisonhouse inhabited by robotlike heroes and faceless subject races, the Atlantic System is old, rational, and pragmatic. Growing organically out of strategic and political realities in a congenially free climate, its roots run deep and strong into the American tradition. It was Henry Adams, endlessly seeking form and design in history, who first gave a name to the community of interest binding the self-governing peoples around the Atlantic basin. That was as recently as 1906. But back of Adams stood the great nineteenth-century forefathers of the Atlantic System. In the Americas they were Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe as well as that reluctant progenitor, John Quincy Adams, and the Venezuelan liberator Simon Bolivar, who brought independence to one-quarter of South America. George Canning, the English Foreign Secretary who professed himself alternately fascinated and repelled by the "hard features of trans-Atlantic democracy," was likewise a forefather, although his parenthood had a cynical cast.

Jefferson, terming it the "American system," was foremost in accepting England's adherence. To all these wise gentlemen it was apparent--as it is again today--that the Atlantic world, pre-eminently the legatee of the liberal revolutions of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, had a set of political institutions and interests essentially in conflict with those of Central and Eastern Europe. It was not lost on the Presidents of the Virginia succession, and on Adams, Bolivar, and Canning, that modern democracy was flourishing best in the states of the Atlantic seaboard--in both . . .

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