Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Volume 16, Number 3, October 2003

‘The Terms of the Connection’: Geopolitics, Ideology and Synchronicity in the History of US Foreign Relations
Michael Dunne University of Sussex
Abstract Since the very beginnings of the United States as an independent international actor, observers no less than American citizens have reflected upon and sought to influence the role of the new nation towards the rest of the world. Paradoxically in a country that prides itself upon its modernity, the consistency of such descriptive and prescriptive analysis is striking. This essay seeks to show some of the main lines of intellectual as well as popular debate, particularly in their geopolitical and ideological forms, wherein the United States is figured both as an oppositional force to other states and political systems and as embodying transcendent, supranational values applicable to all humankind. This particular form of globalization, represented in successive American claims to introduce ‘new world orders’ and demarcate ‘American centuries’, raises afresh the political question of whether the cultural values of the United States are susceptible to appreciating the challenges of paradigmatic change in international relations.1
The un-transacted destiny of the American people is to subdue the continent—to rush over the vast field to the Pacific Ocean—to animate the many hundred millions of its people, and to cheer them upward, to agitate these Herculean masses, to establish a new order in human affairs, to regenerate superannuated nations, to stir up the sleep of a hundred centuries, to teach old nations a new civilization, to confirm the destiny of the human race, to carry the career of mankind to its culminating point, to cause a stagnant people to be reborn, to perfect science, to emblazon history with the conquest of peace, to shed a new and resplendent glory upon mankind, to unite the world in one social family, to dissolve the spell of tyranny and exalt charity, to absolve the curse that weighs down humanity, and to shed blessings around the world. (Gilpin 1873) There is a value system that cannot be compromised, and that is the values that In composing this essay I have been encouraged by colleagues, mainly but by no means all historians, who have allowed me both formally as well as informally to develop some of the themes sketched out here. I refer with gratitude to Dick Arndt, Thomas Buckley, Diane Clemens, Alexander DeConde, Justus Doenecke, Judith Ewell, Marsha Frey, John Harper, Dick Howard, Gene McCarthy, Nick Sinclair-Brown, Don Ritchie and Gaddis Smith. I would like also to thank the journal’s anonymous reviewers for their practical and disinterested help–and their tolerance of a rather different approach to the subject matter. Finally, a very special word of thanks is due–and most warmly given–to Nando Fasce, who in the last few years has hosted me at the University of Bologna as I have tried in front of his outstanding students in the Department of Political Science to connect the lines on the map, literally and metaphorically. Perhaps the mechanical pen is mightier than the piece of chalk?
ISSN 0955-7571 print/ISSN 1474-449X online/03/030463-19  2003 Centre of International Studies DOI: 10.1080/0955757032000132371

464 Michael Dunne
we praise. And if these values are good enough for our people, they ought to be good enough for others, not in a way to impose because these are God-given values. They aren’t United States-created values. (Bush 2002b)

History, Historiography and International Relations Theory A layperson may be tempted to suggest that, if History with the proverbial capital ‘H’ (or the incomprehensible totality of past events) is the limitless expanse of trees in time, then historiography (or the practice and discipline of writing history) is the attempt to see a path through a particular wood, however long the path, however wide the wood. Using the same image we may fairly say that the discipline of international relations (IR) is in part the attempt both to categorize several woods—usually in the recent past and contemporary world— and to describe common and disparate features, invariably with a view to establishing the dynamic forces that have produced the studied landscape. The following pages were first drafted on the eve of the Second Gulf War of March–April 2003 in response to direct questions about the wider American belief system that forms the dynamic context within which issues of state policy are framed and decided.2 The presumption here is not that ideology causes policy in some straight-line, unproblematical way (Hunt 1987; Hogan and Paterson 2003). On the contrary, the study of American ideology demonstrates irrefutably that the many Great Debates on American foreign policy are conducted and alternatives presented within a remarkable consensus, the successful policy having been shaped by similar ideological forces to those which have been temporarily overcome (Dunne 1998). Rather the purpose of this essay is to show the interplay between (a) Americans’ conceptions of their territorial location, with all that this space implies for their historical peculiarity, and (b) their belief in the supremacy and categorical uniqueness of their political and social system; together with (c) the paradox that American nationalism is characterized by a conviction not only that this same unique system is the model for the world but that non-Americans in the furthest corners of the globe yearn to be its beneficiaries, even participants. If one or more of these elements, hypothetical or taken as uncontentious, is accepted, then two conclusions would seem to follow. The first is that the waging and military success of the Second Gulf War will have little effect upon the content of the American ideology as described and analysed in the following pages. The other conclusion is more disturbing. Given the lack of clarity in the war aims of the latest US-led armed coalition, the lessons to be drawn from military victory may be based upon false premises. The success of overwhelming military force marshalled by the United States and deployed against a traditional state-actor, Iraq, may have no bearing upon its utility in the categorically different ‘war on terrorism’, which ostensibly prompted the Second Gulf War (Dunne 2003, 273–77). Thus unlike the First Gulf War, which coincided with and was an expression of the end of the Cold War, this Second Gulf War may more properly be conceived as an indicator of a paradigm shift in international relations; yet it remains at best an open question whether the hugely influential ideology of the world’s military superpower has adjusted to this reality.
The Iran-Iraq War of 1980–1988 is sometimes referred to as the (first) Gulf War, by which count we are currently at number three in the modern wars in the Persian Gulf involving Iraq.

‘The Terms of the Connection’ 465 To return to our opening metaphor: the essay that follows offers some pathways through the woods that constitute, figuratively speaking, the complex history of US foreign relations. The hope is that when we come to the edge of this particular wood we shall have a clearer sense of where the United States has gone in its dealings with the rest of the world and where, according to the trajectory here established, it is likely to go. On a related, professional level, the discursive analysis presented here may complement the material contained in some more general and recent studies within the IR discipline, particularly works not primarily concerned with the United States (Carlsnaes et al. 2002; Fry et al. 2002; Weigall 2002; cf. Jentleson 2000). Federalist Foundations: The Legacy of Madison and Hamilton In the introduction to their famous anthology documenting the ‘foundations of British foreign policy’, Harold Temperley and Lillian Penson explained that their principle of selection had been to epitomize not a presumed ‘international standpoint’ but rather the ‘British or national standpoint[:] in a word … the British mentality’. The aim of this essay—si parva licet componere magnis—is to attempt something similar in the case of the United States of America, one obvious difference being that the following pages will offer a discursive analysis of the American ‘mentality’ rather than present the unembellished raw material characteristic of documentary collections. Yet such has been the potency of this American foreign-relations ‘mentality’ that much of the primary or textual evidence, especially presidential pronouncements, is familiar even to nonspecialists: James Monroe’s Doctrine, Theodore Roosevelt’s related Corollary, Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms. One further qualification is in order. Temperley and Penson explicitly stated their purpose as seeking to reveal the ‘continuity of ideas in British diplomacy’, with their editorial eyes concentrated upon official ‘policy’ and the putting of ‘ideas into action’ (Temperley and Penson 1938, xxvii–xxx). The following paragraphs have a somewhat wider remit within a much more limited space: to understand US policy we need to consider US foreign relations, including popular attitudes to the world beyond the borders of the USA, not least insofar as these attitudes condition official policy framed in Washington. Yet chronology, at least initially, joins the present study to that of Temperley and Penson. As prelude to the narrative of this essay, we may note that our story begins rhetorically and argumentatively within a few short years of Pitt the Younger’s opening contribution to the British saga in 1792. In the American version the crucial period is autumn 1787 to spring 1788: the months that saw the publication of The Federalist, that far more famous anthology of 85 essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay to recommend to the voters of New York ratification of the Federal Constitution recently drafted at Philadelphia. Arguably the most influential—at least to later readers—of The Federalist Papers is Federalist X: James Madison’s series of syllogisms which reaches the conclusion that ‘the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy, in controlling the effects of faction, is enjoyed by a large over a small republic—is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it’. Thus, innumerable political scientists and historians have deduced, the principle of Madisonian pluralism laid the intellectual foundation for the territorial expansion of the United States.

466 Michael Dunne As Thomas Jefferson asked rhetorically in his Second Inaugural, ‘Who can limit the extent to which the federative principle may operate effectively?’ (Onuf 2000, Chapter 2, 53–79). But before we return to the theme of expansion we should note that Madison’s implicit call to extend the Union, and thereby find ‘a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government’, needs to be read alongside the succeeding Federalist XI. In this contribution to the ratification debate, Alexander Hamilton dilates on the ‘commercial’, especially maritime, advantages to be won by the proposed Union, which would unite and maximize to mutual advantage the regional and sectoral interests of manufacturers and farmers, merchants and consumers, from north to south and east to west. Then, in his peroration, while rhetorically turning his speculations from ‘the regions of futurity’, Hamilton ‘briefly observe[s] that our situation invites and our interests prompt us to aim at an ascendant in the system of American affairs.’ Continuing his identification of the new United States with the continent of which it was but a fraction, Hamilton draws his global political map:
The world may politically, as well as geographically, be divided into four parts, each having a distinct set of interests. Unhappily for the other three, Europe, by her arms and by her negotiations, by force and by fraud, has, in different degrees, extended her dominion over them all. Africa, Asia, and America, have successively felt her domination. The superiority she has long maintained has tempted her to plume herself as the Mistress of the World, and to consider the rest of mankind as created for her benefit.

With irritated comments on the ‘arrogant pretensions’ directed scornfully at all things American by self-styled European ‘philosophers’, Hamilton calls on his would-be fellow citizens ‘to vindicate the honour of the human race’. ‘Union’ under the new Constitution would make their challenge possible; ‘disunion’ would ‘add another victim to [Europe’s] triumphs’. With his final words Hamilton’s peroration merges into prophetic exhortation:
Let Americans disdain to be the instruments of European greatness! Let the thirteen States, bound together in a strict and indissoluble Union, concur in erecting one great American system, superior to the control of all transatlantic force or influence, and able to dictate the terms of the connection between the old and the new world.

The form of this essay is to relate in necessarily summary terms the history of American expansion as sketched by Madison in Federalist X to the geopolitics envisaged by Hamilton in Federalist XI along with the more overtly ideological (or ‘mental’) features of this expansion. Such a type of triangulation will, it is hoped, give a series of reference points for understanding some of the traditional elements that continue to characterize the gamut of American foreign relations and, in particular, official American foreign policy. Historiographical Parameters: Politics in the Writing of American History While Hamilton divided his contemporary political world into four geopolitical quarters, retrospection gives us other frames of reference to analyse the history of US foreign relations since the foundation of the Republic. Some methods or approaches (to adopt rather colloquial terms) are overtly dynamic: economic or material explanations, for example, which combine macroeconomics and sociology to identify the particular class interests that have driven US foreign

‘The Terms of the Connection’ 467 policy publicly through the federal government and privately behind the scenes (Combs 1983; Hogan 1995; 1999). For a century or so such socioeconomic analyses have often been couched in the language of the ‘section’, that particularly American term to combine notions of competitive, even antagonistic regional and sectoral interests whose conflictual presence is virtually coterminous with the history of the British in North America. Undoubtedly the archetype of this binary is seen in the distinction between a slaveholding South and an anti-slavery North, the fundamental division that both pre-dated and generated the Civil War of 1861–65. Indeed the Constitution so dear to the writers of The Federalist both contains and itself reflects a number of the ‘compromises’ that mark the divisive history of the ‘peculiar institution’ of slavery until its ending in the course of that most bloody American war (Stampp 1956). For the compromises within the Constitution, we need think only of the clauses governing the enumeration and taxation of slaves and the double repression of the slave trade and of slave revolts. The ‘Great Compromise’ was, of course, the Connecticut Compromise determining the principle of differential representation in the two chambers of Congress. Almost on the very day of the Connecticut Compromise, the Continental Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance which, inter alia, forbade slavery in the territory between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The much later Missouri Compromise of 1819–21 and the Compromise of 1850 are simply two more examples in the series of sectional bargains marking the history of slavery. Moreover such compromises are a vivid reminder of the interplay between domestic and foreign policy in US history, with the divisive issue of slavery projected into foreign lands. To the west and south the most obvious example was Texas, where the slave-holding American secessionists of the ‘Lone Star’ state laid the foundations for the US-Mexican War of 1846–48; while further south and to the east Cuba (via the Ostend Manifesto of 1854) was the locus classicus in the Caribbean (Pletcher 1973; Stuart 1988). A generation after the Civil War, in what became one of the most influential writings on American (not just United States) history, Frederick Jackson Turner sought to shift the geographical lines of American historiography from a latitudinal to a longitudinal axis in his insistence upon the expanding West and the presence of a constantly moving ‘frontier’ as being the keys to understanding the American past (Turner 1894; Bogue 1998, Chapter 4, 91–118). These two connected if rather imprecise regions of ‘frontier’ and ‘the West’ would combine to constitute the section par excellence in the Turnerian model. Turner himself had one foot in the camp of that broad movement of ‘Progressive’ historians of the late 19th and early 20th century who brought conflict, especially class rather than regional conflict, back to the centre of American historiography (Hofstadter 1968). It could hardly be otherwise, given the ‘Great Debate’ on American imperialism accompanying the Spanish–American War, when some contemporaries saw the first short war of liberation in Cuba during 1898 transformed in the Philippines during 1899–1902 into a militaristic drive for American colonies and overseas markets to prevent a repetition of the Great Depression of the 1890s. Other contemporaries urged the virtues of forceful expansion to purify an American race softened and mongrelized by the influx of immigrants from the Mediterranean, Balkans, Asia Minor and the lands between the Baltic and Black seas, the so-called ‘new immigrants’ who now arrived in much greater numbers than the ‘old immigrants’ from Northern and Western Europe, those earlier groups who in the 1960s would be dubbed the ‘White Anglo-Saxon

468 Michael Dunne Protestants’ or ‘WASPs’ (Beisner 1968; Healy 1970; LaFeber 1963; Perez 1998; ´ Pratt 1936; Schirmer 1972; Tompkins, 1970). The Progressive historian who quintessentially combined a class analysis of American domestic history with a critical approach to the making and the effects of American foreign policy was Charles Austin Beard, who made his scholarly reputation with his study of the political economy of Hamilton, Madison and the other Founding Fathers. In his two chief works on the material interests that first prompted the writing of the Federal Constitution and then shaped the foreign policy of the Early Republic, Beard brought his version of Realism into the analysis of American diplomacy (Beard 1913; 1934; Kennedy 1975). So influential has been Beard’s historiography and, a fortiori, the legacy of the Founders that the double dichotomy between (a) realism and its antonym, idealism, together with (b) the foreign policies these ideologies purportedly and equally schematically generated, namely internationalism and isolationism, has dominated the contemporary discussion and historical analysis of US foreign policy since at least the 1920s. President Woodrow Wilson contributed to this debate from beyond the grave, in the words of those who depict the dead hero as having embarked on a great but failed campaign to reorientate US foreign policy from outmoded and dangerous isolationism to a new and appropriate internationalism (Ambrosius 1991; Fleming 1932; Osgood 1953). Woodrow Wilson continues to excite controversy and his, at best, ambiguous policies have become a short-hand for a form of diplomatic practice (Malatesta 2003; Ninkovich 1999). But the Wilsonian legacy was more problematical than this dualism suggested. What emerged from the ashes of the League of Nations in the phoenix of the United Nations was an American combination of isolationism and internationalism; or, in more exact language, a post-1945 programme of acting generally through multilateral means but never abandoning the unilateral option (Dunne 2000; Patrick and Forman 2002). A disinterested observer might regard this diplomatic strategy as enviably adapted to a difficult and dangerous political environment. What tends to confuse the issue is the continuation of a cultural bias towards couching American national interests (as defined, of course, by Aristotelian ad hoc framers of these terms, rather than Platonic philosopher-kings inhabiting a meta-world of disinterested politics) in the language of universal and transcendent values. To locate this peculiar diplomatic penchant we need to turn from the traditional historiography of American foreign relations to other frames of reference. Before we undertake this shift, a few words by way of exculpatory parenthesis may be in order. Even non-specialists are aware of the ‘open door interpretation’ of US foreign policy, a broad thesis associated with William Appleman Williams and other members of the so-called Wisconsin School of Diplomatic History, which was classically expressed in Williams’s late 1950s study of the Tragedy of American Diplomacy and elaborated a decade later in his study of the Growth and Shaping of Social Consciousness in a Marketplace Society, his gloss on the Roots of the Modern American Empire (Williams 1959; 1969). Likewise there is a large volume of writing on the governmental and philanthropic promotion of American ‘culture’, and, more recently, cultural imperialism (Iriye 1997; Ninkovich 1981; Rosenberg 1982; Tomlinson 1991). In their different ways, especially when collated with the literature on the role and ideology of ‘business’ (Rosenberg 1999; Wilson 1974), these studies have helped to undermine the

‘The Terms of the Connection’ 469 power of Realist thinking; for Realists tend to emphasize the boundary between foreign and domestic politics. (This generalization applies to more recent work and to lesser lights in the scholarship: the interplay of foreign and domestic is seen clearly in the Cold War classics of Morgenthau [1951] and Gilbert [1961].) Those pejoratively dismissed by later critics as pre-1941 ‘isolationists’ (senators such as William Borah of Idaho or Hiram Johnson of California, international lawyers of the calibre of John Bassett Moore and Edwin M. Borchard) were fully alive to the reciprocal effects of foreign and domestic issues; and each of this quartet would have claimed the name of ‘Realist’ to distinguish himself from the contemporary Wilsonian internationalists (Dunne 1988; Moore 1937). As the Vietnam War intensified in the mid-1960s it became perhaps more obvious that recovering the conceptual insights and the political programmes of the scorned isolationists was a major element in the writing of Williams, his inspiration Fred Harvey Harrington and the ‘third generation’ of the Wisconsin school, notably Walter LaFeber, Thomas J. McCormick and Lloyd C. Gardner (Gardner 1964; Harrington 1961; LaFeber 1963; McCormick 1967), the latter trio combining in a joint analysis entitled Creation of the American Empire (Gardner et al. 1973). If we also stand back we can see that two related themes connect the earlier work of Charles Beard and the Progressives to this more recent and diverse scholarship dealing with commercial expansion, cultural projection, the role of big business, the impact of Christian missionaries, and the traditional dichotomies of isolationism vs. internationalism and realism vs. idealism. These themes are the symbiosis between the foreign and domestic spheres (what in the 1980s was dubbed the ‘intermestic’) and the synergy of moral ideals and material interests in the making of American foreign relations. The American System and Political Cartography: From Hemisphere to Globe Hamilton in Federalist XI first divided the world politically into four quarters and then into two halves: ‘the old and the new world’. Such political cartography was the frame of reference in the more familiar injunctions pronounced by Washington in his Farewell Address of 1796 and Jefferson in his first Inaugural of 1801, those classic foundational texts in the canon of American diplomacy and the rhetorical and argumentative basis of the policy of American isolationism. In Jefferson’s aphorism, the foreign policy of the United States had been and should remain ‘peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none’ (Dunne 2001). The next and equally famous contribution to the ‘record of American diplomacy’ came with the second generation of Early Republican leaders: President James Monroe and Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, who between them fashioned what became known as the Monroe Doctrine (Bartlett 1947, Chapter X, 168–87). In his Message to Congress in December 1823, Monroe reprised the bipartite division of the political world marked out by Hamilton and reserved the northern and southern ‘American continents’ to the stewardship of the United States, while disclaiming any intention to ‘interfere in the internal affairs’ of Europe. This was the proposition, the deal stated unilaterally by the United States: the palladium built to protect the western ‘hemisphere’ would equally act as the barrier to American involvement across the Atlantic. The scholarship on the background and early years of the Monroe Doctrine is

470 Michael Dunne vast, suitably multilingual and relatively uncontroversial. The debates have concerned the degree of American presumptuousness and the Doctrine’s ultimate reliance upon the Royal Navy and the shared interests of Washington and London vis-a-vis the Holy Alliance. Real debate settled during the 20th century ` on the scope and legitimacy under Monroe’s doctrine of US intervention in hemispheric affairs. The classic instances of such justification came either side of the turn of the 20th century with the complementary corollaries of Secretary of State Richard Olney in 1895 and President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904: the former intruding the US government into a boundary dispute between the republic of Venezuela and the British colony of Guyana, the latter deriving from the Monroe Doctrine a regional right of intervention in the Dominican Republic. Even when such Monrovian reasoning was rejected as not establishing a right of hemispheric intervention, as in the historically little-known but legally important Clark Memorandum of 1928, the Department of State was advised that customary international law (leaving aside a series of specific bilateral treaty provisions with countries such as Panama and Cuba) offered suitable grounds for US ´ intervention to protect the rights of American citizens and defend the American national interest (Bartlett 1947, 341–45, 539, 546–49; G. Smith 1994; Young 1942). Such was the power of Washington, Jefferson and Monroe in the minds of American politicians and pundits that the Great Debate on American imperialism at the turn of the 20th century was frequently conducted in terms of following or abandoning their injunctions (Baldwin 1901; Jones 1899; Olney 1898). Were the Hawaiian islands, over 2,000 miles from San Francisco, were even the Philippines, more than twice that distance from California, within the western hemisphere? If so conceived in the American mental map, then annexation of the former archipelago and acquisition of the latter might be considered to be in keeping with the Monroe Doctrine, especially given that aspect of Monroe’s text which repeated an earlier congressional determination not to permit the transfer of European colonies from one Old World power to another (Logan 1961, Chapter 4, 97–139). (Hawaii had been, of course, formally an independent monarchy, then a republic controlled by an American junta before its annexation to the United States in 1898 and was never part of the Spanish empire.) Half a generation later, during the course of the Great European War (World War I), Woodrow Wilson spoke paradoxically of extending the Monroe Doctrine to the wider world, a bizarre formulation for the reasonable proposition that the ‘peace and safety’, once sought for the United States by Monroe through his notional division of the globe into two hemispheres, now in an age of submarines and nascent airpower required the United States to push its strategic boundaries across the Atlantic to the shores of Europe. A generation later still, proponents of American entry into World War II drew their maps to include first Greenland, then Iceland and finally the British Isles within the western hemisphere (Logan 1961, Chapter 11, 296–395; Perkins 1941, 686–702). And so the process continued even after World War II: the area to be protected by the North Atlantic Treaty alliance of 1949 was extended to Asia Minor by the accession of Turkey in 1952. Paralleling such political cartography, the senatorial and extracongressional debate on the North Atlantic Treaty showed participants invoking the Founding Fathers on both sides of the argument—a repeat of the process President Harry Truman had himself employed shortly after pronouncing his own eponymous doctrine two years earlier (Kaplan 1958; 1993).

‘The Terms of the Connection’ 471 The Truman Doctrine of March 1947 was so called by contemporaries for two major and interconnected reasons: one was its deliberate attempt to define a new American geopolitics; the other was that it implicitly challenged the hemispheric categories that were the premise of Monroe’s political division of the globe. In the developing Cold War, protecting the ‘national security’ of the United States required a worldwide strategy and the first theatre of conflict was Greece and Turkey. Without a mention of Monroe, any more than the specific indictment of the Soviet Union, Truman’s famous message to Congress implied that the geopolitical conceptions of the 1820s were not simply irrelevant in the post-1945 context but positively inimical to the ‘peace and happiness’ sought by Monroe for his fellow citizens. (It may be remembered that the ‘peace and happiness’, and alternatively the ‘peace and security’, of the United States—not of the countries of Latin America—were the ultimate goals of the Monroe Doctrine.) Historiographical debate on the Truman Doctrine has more recently and surprisingly settled on the proposition that the Truman administration deliberately inflated the communist threat in order to commend to Congress the economic and military aid packages proposed for Greece and Turkey; but there can be no serious challenge to the analysis that identifies the doctrine’s key importance as proclaiming a worldwide struggle to be fought in particular locations. Thus the ‘American system’ (to echo Henry Clay’s evocative and elastic term of the 1820s for a continental political economy) was to be defended through control of the Old no less than the New World (Dunne 1994). Earlier, it was remarked that the ‘Wilsonian legacy’ and dominant interpretations of the ‘transformation’ brought about in American diplomatic practice during and immediately after World War II added multilateralism to the political inventory but did not balance this new value by subtracting unilateralism from the equation. Likewise with the doctrines of Monroe and Truman: extending the defensive lines of the United States from the western hemisphere until they were coterminous with the globe did not entail any corresponding abandonment of the privileged position of the United States within the Monrovian domain. Both the political and territorial aspects of this ‘principle of aggregation’ can be seen in a succession of multilateral treaties entered into by the United States in 1945–49 (Dunne 1998, 175–76). The four leading examples are US membership of the United Nations in 1945, the International Court of Justice in 1946, the Organization of American States in 1948 and NATO in 1949. These legal and explicit opportunities for selecting regional or global instruments for pursuing national objectives were therefore combined with a diplomatic as well as popular rhetoric identifying American with supranational interests. Such a combination of (a) textual justifications for selective action and (b) verbal conflation of national with international goals characterizes the practice and rhetoric of American foreign policy: of this there can be no doubt. It remains to be seen what role unofficial elements play in the peculiar drama of American foreign policy specifically and foreign relations more generally. American Hegemony and Hegemonic Values: Projecting American Ideals Abroad The previous sections have given rather more weight to the official language of American ‘diplomacy’, to borrow the term many American academics continue

472 Michael Dunne to use in describing the combination of governmental actions and broader unofficial relations and attitudes regarding the outside world. Of course, even under the rubric of ‘diplomacy’ in its more traditional sense our account has not been complete. Consider the ‘Open Door’ policy, which was classically expressed by Secretary of State John Hay in 1899–1900 as the administration of William McKinley sought to commit the foreign powers in China to eschewing both privileged commercial ‘spheres of interest’ and furthering the political division de jure of a China increasingly falling under the de facto control of old and new empires run from London, Berlin, St Petersburg and Tokyo. Effectively repudiated at the time, Hay’s proposals continued to influence US policy for decades, as can be seen, for example, in the shaping of the treaty of Versailles; the Nine-Power treaty fashioned at the Washington disarmament conference of 1921–22; the American demarche prompted by the Manchurian crisis of 1931; the ´ failed negotiations preceding Pearl Harbor; and in the wartime agreements concerning Guomindang China. Such a list may be extended to the present day as the early-20th-century understanding of the Open Door for China became transmuted into the late-20th-century American pursuit of ‘open markets’ worldwide and unrestricted entry into foreign economies. Yet of even longer duration and much wider scope have been unofficial ideas, ideals in truth, of a special mission and privileged experience for the American people over successive generations. These are the beliefs and the corresponding values that are intertwined in the terms ‘manifest destiny’ and ‘American exceptionalism’, terms at one and the same time ubiquitous and slippery. The belief in a providential, even divine mission for the American people goes back to the earliest Puritan settlements in present-day Massachusetts. (Even historians can forget that the first permanent settlement of British, predominantly English, colonists was at Jamestown in present-day Virginia in 1607, not in 1620 at Plymouth; but the factual adjustment provides a more positive story for the traditional myth of the American founding.) With the idea of a special, indeed unique mission goes the belief in the exceptional quality of the American past, its present and its future: in short, of American history. Succeeding generations have alluded countless times and rather loosely to words used by the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony, John Winthrop, to express this idea: like a city upon a hill, the eyes of the world would be turned upon the American people (Winthrop 1630; Tuveson 1968). It would be otiose to offer an exegesis of Winthrop’s actual meaning; for the modern interpretation of these phrases is that American society, colonial no less than republican, would be a model for the world (Baritz 1964; Davis and Lynn-Jones 1987). How this model would affect others, by inspiration or imposition, has remained a question since the creation of the Republic (Augelli and Murphy 1988; McDougall 1997; Mead 2001; T. Smith 1994). The period from the Great Debate to the rejection of the League of Nations registered a new intensity in this contestation, with those arguing for inspiration appearing to have won the argument in 1919–20, invariably with language borrowed and reasoning derived from the Founding Fathers. During the 1940s, as one hot war ended and the Cold War began, those calling for imposition gained the upper hand. And so the secular battle continued in the various arguments deployed for the second US-led modern war against Iraq, the imposition of ‘regime change’ in this particular country being the early 21st-

‘The Terms of the Connection’ 473 century correlative to late-20th-century ‘democracy promotion’ in a host of authoritarian states (Carothers 1991). (The ‘Iraq Liberation Act’, PL 105–338 of 31 October 1998, authorized inter alia almost US$100 million in FY 1999 for aid to ‘Iraqi democratic opposition organizations’.) The notion of American exceptionalism, which informs the model of the ‘city upon a hill’, can also be found in the theme of ‘manifest destiny’. Here, too, historians can reach into the past to cite particular uses of the term, beginning with the 1840s and the era of the Mexican War (1846–48). The writer credited with coining the phrase ‘manifest destiny’ was John L. O’Sullivan, a New York editor, journalist and lawyer. In one of many similar formulations, O’Sullivan called for all ‘cobweb tissues of rights of discovery, exploration, settlement, contiguity, etc.’ to be swept away in the looming contest with Mexico and the diplomatic struggles with the British over westward expansion. Americans should assert (O’Sullivan insisted) that their territorial claims were based upon the ‘right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the Continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federative self-government entrusted to us’ (Graebner 1968; Hietala 1985; Merk 1963, 31–32; Weinberg 1935, Chapters 4–6, 100–89). As President Eisenhower’s famous ‘falling domino’ image of 1954 had its metaphorical precursor in Dean Acheson’s ‘rotten apples in the barrel’ that was the Middle and Near East unless Americans took the initiative we have come to call the Truman Doctrine, so we may confidently describe O’Sullivan’s particular phrase as expressing not just his view, or even the Zeitgeist (’mentality’ in the language of Temperley and Penson) of the expansionist ante bellum period (when the North and South struggled to extend their respective visions of the ‘American system’ to the northwest and the Oregon Territory, the southwest and Mexico, and westwards to California and the Pacific). Rather, O’Sullivan handed on a phrase to succeeding generations which crystallized that aspect of the American mission, self-assumed or imposed from on high, which gave Americans the conviction that their task and their privilege was to extend the ‘American system’ first to its fullest continental extent and then beyond the shores of North America (Turner 1896; Vevier 1959–60). So, when during the Great Debate the proponents of expansion searched the American past to find the true trajectory for the future, they found that the ‘manifest destiny’ of the 1840s now directed the American people to cross the Pacific Ocean, acquire the Philippine islands and thus establish the bastion from which they could stand upon the shores of Asia. In the words of Henry Cabot Lodge, kindred spirit of Theodore Roosevelt:
[D]uty and interest alike, duty of the highest kind and interest of the highest and best kind, impose upon us the retention of the Philippines, the development of the islands, and the expansion of our Eastern commerce … [Americans’] mighty movement westward, building up a nation and conquering a continent as it swept along, has not been the work of chance or accident … I do not believe that [the American nation] is the creation of blind chance. I have faith that it has a great mission in the world—a mission of good, a mission of freedom. I believe that it can live up to that mission; therefore I want to see it step forward boldly and take its place at the head of the nations. I wish to see it master of the Pacific. I would have it fulfill what I think is its manifest destiny. (Lodge 1900)

474 Michael Dunne Not long before, Lodge’s partisan colleague, Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana, had spoken to the same effect to his fellow senators:
We will not renounce our part in the mission of our race, trustee, under God, of the civilization of the world … [O]f all our race [God] has marked the American people as His chosen nation to finally lead in the regeneration of the world. This is the divine mission of America, and it holds for us all the profit, all the glory, all the happiness possible to man. (Beveridge 1900)

Henry Cabot Lodge, champion, biographer and editor of Alexander Hamilton, was not unaware that Hamilton had wondered in public whether the young United States would be able to escape the fate of all previous societies, be blessed, in other words, with an exceptional history, exempt (as he wrote in Federalist VI) ‘from the imperfections, weaknesses, and evils incident to society in every shape’. Thus Hamilton inadvertently made his contribution to the circular debate over American exceptionalism. Since this latter term is so problematical, perhaps even more so than ‘manifest destiny’, some comments from ‘outside the loop’ regarding the circularity that bedevils the notion of American exceptionalism may be useful. At a logical, definitional level the United States has experienced an exceptional history: each and every state has (McCrisken 2002). But Americans and like-minded observers mean something else, something more than this truism. They have in mind, first and somewhat prosaically, the belief that, judged by various criteria, the United States will emerge as significantly, usually most favourably, different from other societies. Thus we find studies evaluating the similarities and contrasts between the US and its putative analogues, with economic statistics and social indices deployed to register points in favour of the American experience (Adams and van Minnen 1994; Lipset 1996; Nelles et al. 1997; Shafer 1991). Such an evaluation is used to show that History has been kind to the United States; even though the facts and figures—the institution of slavery, the virtual extinction of the indigenous peoples, the increasing maldistribution of wealth—could be read to produce a different judgement. The belief in American exceptionalism means more than this, and here we need to return briefly to the idea of ‘manifest destiny’. For believers in American exceptionalism also and more importantly insist that the aggregate of these comparative benefits constitutes a sign, indisputable proof indeed, of the providential American mission to be the exemplar to the world. No amount of facts and figures, no temporary dip in the brute statistics nor any international setback can undermine this fundamental, a priori belief. A reverse only acts as an opportunity for believers to insist upon the permanence and inviolability of American core values, the Vietnam War being the most obvious example from recent history (Baritz 1985; Cobb 1998; Fulbright 1966; Pessen 1993). The February 2003 letter of resignation from the Foreign Service tendered by John Brady Kiesling, Political Counselor in the US Embassy in Athens, over US policy towards Iraq and the United Nations, corroborates this analysis (Kiesling 2003). There is a third consideration, different from the numerical correlations, distinctive even from the cultural return to the basic idea of American mission. This is the nature of American thinking about the past, especially as such thinking is part of the warp and weft of official US diplomatic practice. The

‘The Terms of the Connection’ 475 substance of the thinking and the method of thinking itself combine to give us the core of American exceptionalism. The dominant American historical consciousness, and a fortiori American diplomatic practice, displays a remarkable characteristic, which may be called in a single term its ‘ahistoricism’. To elaborate this theme and thesis we need to speak rather anthropomorphically, with all the attendant risks; but in a relatively brief essay, perhaps this rather traditional (though, it is hoped, not completely discredited approach) may be permitted. Other states build into their own self-conception a sense of change over time: the French can incorporate the Revolution into their collective vision of the past; the Russians can look back through and beyond the Soviet period and, indeed, during the Soviet years scholars could see in their own diplomacy powerful continuities with Tsarist practice; Germans trace patterns through three major wars to a pre-Bismarckian era. The Chinese and the Japanese can think in a comparable way. Americans do something similar, as the earlier references to American diplomatic historiography suggest. But alongside this sequential or diachronic perspective lies a far more powerful tendency in the American retrospect: the emphasis upon the synchronic features of the past. The classic and clearest case lies in the widespread belief in the timeless relevance of (a) the American Revolution, from Independence to the writing of the Federal Constitution, and (b) the role of the Founding Fathers, who today represent an extended cohort which overlaps with the second generation of James Monroe, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson (even James K. Polk) as successors to Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton and Madison in the first ranks of the Revolutionary pantheon (Buchanan 1999; Dunne 2001, 228–29). In diplomatic terms the synchronicity (the diminuendo of the differences between moments in the sequence, the diachronic of historical events) characteristic of American culture reveals itself in the doctrinal aspects of foreign policy from Monroe’s geopolitical hemispheres to George W. Bush’s strategy of global pre-emption, the latter currently operationalized in the Middle East, first in Afghanistan and now towards Iraq, but with dark hints already levelled at Syria and Iran (Bush 2002a; Ikenberry 2002, 56–59; Stein 2002). (Shocking to some, Bush’s doctrine of pre-emption was expressed in the Cold War classic of 1950, NSC Memorandum No. 68; but the history of pre-emption as an American doctrine would take us back at least to the early 19th century: Graber [1978]). Such pronouncements, along with their various corollaries, such as Theodore Roosevelt’s, and associated principles, such as Hay’s Open Door, express a consensus that the broad policies of successive administrations are manifestations of immanent and permanent American foreign policy interests. At a formal, quasi-legal level such fiats serve as legitimating premises for unilateral action; and in this respect they are powerful diplomatic tools, with particular leverage for domestic audiences. (Richard Olney’s demarche of 1895—his notori´ ous fiat—was classic Machtpolitik.) In the larger picture of American culture we can see the blending of exceptionalist and providential, even missionary, beliefs. The promulgation of doctrines and their implicit mutual reaffirmation constitute a particular example of the theme of rebirth and recapitulation, which is central to the synchronicity (the ‘timelessness’) of Americans’ vision of their history. In this sense the diplomatic tradition is the foreign-policy version of the renewal of American society which Frederick Jackson Turner discerned on the moving

476 Michael Dunne Western frontier.3 In the formula that emerges from the various semi-dependent variables we see that synchronicity is peculiarly characteristic of American culture; that this synchronicity expresses and is itself an expression of the exceptional character of American history; and that the unifying theme of American history is its providential quality with a concomitant obligation to extend this state of grace to humankind, either through inspiration as the ‘city upon a hill’, the beacon to a benighted world, or by imposition. It was this fateful choice which John Quincy Adams put before the American people in his famous 4 July address in 1821, when Henry Clay sought to rally the ‘two Americas’, north and south, in his American system against the Holy Alliance.
Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will [America’s] heart, her benedictions, and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet upon her brow would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit. (Adams 1821)

The fine words of Adams constitute a rhetorical, forensic counterpoint to the vision of Henry Cabot Lodge, Albert J. Beveridge and latter-day expansionists; and such has been their selective, argumentative use (Lang and Russell 1990; Tucker and Hendrickson 1990; Weeks 1992). But this very selectivity on the part of Americans in their search for a morally ‘usable past’ is further evidence of the synchronicity so characteristic of American political culture in general and the debates over foreign policy in particular (Commager 1967, x). Moreover this single but representative example shows also how close are the areas of foreign policy making and the broader terrain of American foreign relations. The values that are so powerful, hegemonic indeed within the United States inform the discourse of American hegemony as projected outside the United States towards the world at large (Bacevich 2002). Yet Another American Century: What’s Past Is Prologue The 20th century opened with speculations upon the ‘Americanisation of the world’ in the years ahead (Stead 1902). At the political halfway point and before the United States entered World War II, Henry Luce published his famous essay on ‘The American Century’ (Luce 1941). The final decade of the century was
3 The so-called consensus years of the mid-1940s and 1950s showed the historiographical theme of American recapitulation at work, often in most subtle form. See, for example, the work of Daniel Boorstin, particularly his The Genius of American Politics, a classic Cold War text on the non-ideological nature of American history and society: Boorstin [1953].

‘The Terms of the Connection’ 477 marked historiographically and politically by first the language of George Bush, senior, and his putative New World Order and then by analysis of the decades past as the imminence of the 21st century prompted retrospection and forecasting (Dunne 1994, 719–20; 2000, 25–26, 39–40; Stephanson 1995). Somewhat out of the public, even scholarly, view was a more self-consciously political enterprise, the ‘Project for the New American Century’, led by such figures as Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, senior members of the administration of George W. Bush, whose brother and governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, is yet another activist. Their programme, expounded in the June 1997 Statement of Principles, calls for a ‘Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity’, and their literature harks back nostalgically and explicitly to the ‘conservative internationalist’ legacy of Theodore Roosevelt. In defining their ‘mission’ to the world, a mission that is now being accomplished in the Middle East (most obviously in ‘the liberation of Iraq’ but with Iran and possibly Syria in their sights) these proponents of a New American Century invoke the heroes and the language of those who have written one version of the ‘record of American diplomacy’ (Bartlett 1947). In parallel and more recent phrasing, the ‘Bush Doctrine’ of pre-emption is the remedial means to ‘engag[e with] the world in accord with American principles’ and thus ‘export … the American creed in keeping with [the American] heritage’ and thus ‘create a [new] balance of power that favors human freedom’ (Kristol and Kaplan 2003; cf. Kagan and Kristol 2000). We may confidently predict not only that their domestic opponents will equally draw their own counter-arguments from the same canon but that they too will share a belief in the transcendence of American values. What remains far less certain is whether such values are appropriate for a world where globalization is so often seen as the projection of the American way of life—and is, accordingly, highly contested. References
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