By Charles N. Edel

“America is going no longer in another country, looking for monsters to destroy”―John Quincy Adams’s well-known phrases are frequently quoted to justify noninterference in different countries’ affairs. but while he spoke them, Adams was once now not advocating neutrality or passivity yet particularly outlining a countrywide coverage that balanced democratic idealism with a realistic realizing of the younger republic’s features and obstacles. America’s upward push from a confederation of progressive colonies to an international strength is usually taken care of as inevitable, yet Charles N. Edel’s provocative biography of Adams argues that he served because the significant architect of a grand technique that formed America’s upward thrust. Adams’s specific mix of rules and rules made him a severe hyperlink among the founding new release and the Civil War–era kingdom of Lincoln.

Examining Adams’s provider as senator, diplomat, secretary of kingdom, president, and congressman, Edel’s learn of this striking determine finds a super yet obdurate guy who was once either visionary prophet and hard-nosed flesh presser. Adams’s targets on behalf of America’s pursuits, mixed with a wise figuring out of ways to counter the threats arrayed opposed to them, allowed him to craft a multitiered coverage to insulate the state from ecu quarrels, extend U.S. territory, harness common assets, strengthen household infrastructure, schooling, and trade, and remodel the U.S. right into a version of development and liberty revered in the course of the world.

While Adams didn't stay to work out all of his method fulfilled, his imaginative and prescient formed the nation’s schedule for many years later on and keeps to resonate as the US pursues its position within the twenty-first-century world.

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John stressed the moral and political obligations that his son had incurred from the sacrifice of others during America’s struggle for independence. 47 Chief among these lessons was resistance to political tyranny. The books John Quincy had been reading, in English, Greek, and Latin, were full of such examples. As early as 1774, we hear Abigail telling John that “I have taken very great fondness for reading Rollin’s ancient History since you left me. . 49 Rollin’s histories urged his readers on with tales of heroic sacrifice and virtuous republicanism, and they were read both as world history and as introductions to the classics.

Ser vice to the state necessitated high moral purpose; and morality was not private, but public. ]. My Opinion of the Duties of Religion and Morality, comprehends a very extensive Connection with society at large, and the great Interest of the public. Does not natural Morality, and much more Christian Benevolence, make it our indispensable Duty to lay ourselves out, to serve our fellow Creatures to the Utmost of our Power, in promoting and supporting those great Political systems, and general Regulations upon which the Happiness of Multitudes depends.

In addition to providing an excellent documentary record, the diary is a good indicator of his character traits: diligence, keen observation, and capacity for self-reflection and analysis. In the 1783 letter in which John Adams had described his view of an exemplary statesman, he explained that the purpose of a formal and broad education was to train a statesman to think. ” 61 Abigail demanded of her son, “you must not be a superficial observer, but study Men and Manners that you may be skillful in both.

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