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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

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

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 338

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, 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." (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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.