Skip to main content

tv   John Quincy Adams Debate  CSPAN  November 12, 2016 9:00am-10:01am EST

9:00 am
there's also a calendar with links to see all of their appearances on c-span as well as many other videos available on demand. follow the supreme court as c-span.org. announcer: up next on american history tv, a debate focused on the question was john quincy adams a realist? an author of pierce on stage with columnist robin kagan to discuss the legacy of the sixth president. [applause] >> thanks very much. tonight bob and i are having a debate, but it won't be that kind of debate.
9:01 am
i promise not to ask you not to publish your tax returns if you ask me not to publish my e-mails. >> and i won't deny things i said in the past. i will admit everything i said. >> we will try to work our way towards shedding light on something we both think about and write about and talk about a lot. i'm going to take the privilege, since it is my book of going first and saying a few things and bob will tell you why what i said was wrong. our subject, is was john quincy adams a realist? we are talking about his worldview. in my book, i say not only did john quincy adams have a worldview, but he probably was
9:02 am
the first statesman to have a coherent view, which brought together a sense of domestic policy and foreign policy. i should give a brief shadow -- shout out because there was a very good short book about atoms that came off while i was writing my book. i mostly, though not wholly agree with what he says. if i had to summarize what my sense of his world view was, it would be something like extent that expansion at home and restraint abroad. if you try to think of a modern analogy to that, it is something
9:03 am
like the language that the chinese used to use and the last no longer do. that is the sense that here was this immense continental power with huge latent strength, and in order to work out all of the internal dynamics and contradictions, it was essential to have a tranquil world abroad. i think that briefly summarizes adams' views. the first great document that lays out the strategy of american foreign policy was george washington's farewell address. and washington cautioned against having standing alliances are antipathies. the part we tend not to notice as much was his statement that thanks to our detached situation, the period is not far off when we make a fine material
9:04 am
injury. meaning the united states had a lucky location. because of that someday, maybe someday soon it would become a great nation. it was very important it keeps self remote from all of these european royals. i think of adams as someone who needs these principles with the doctrine. he was a senator in the early 19th century. he was a supporter of the louisiana purchase at a time when virtually everyone else saw a rightly that it would dilute
9:05 am
the power of new england. it was this incredible gift that america had received that would allow it to fill its destiny as a continental nation. when he was secretary of state 12 years later he drove a ruthless bargain. a line across the pacific. it was a hypothetical thing. he thought it was the greatest achievement of his life in america had made its connection to the pacific ocean. if you think of his time as president, very ambitious domestic agenda of a government
9:06 am
driven expansionary policy. on the one side of adopting policies that drive america and would achieve greatness. we can talk later about what that word means. is this deep sense of and need for prudence and restraint. in the 1790's when he was a diplomat, both england and france had navigated the fervor.
9:07 am
adams was counseling his americans from falling prey to that and basically ending this lucky situation. a good or a safe foundation for policy measures, fewer americans would have to be disposed to go further than i would. passion is the most treacherous. prudence is the most faithful. this idea really comes to a head during adams' tenure as secretary of state and that is the moment where we dispute how thinking about his foreign policy becomes the most acute. the question was what should america do with its power now that it was no longer cowering behind the atlantic? many leading figures of the day, especially henry clay felt that
9:08 am
america needed to champion the cause of liberty abroad in south america where spain's colonies had declared independence and declared themselves as republics. adam's most famous speech was a july 4 oration he gave, which was his intended answer. this is where he said the thing for which he is most famous, america has abstained from interference and the concerns of others, even when the conflicts have been to principles of which she clings. and then she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.
9:09 am
she is the champion and vindicator only of her own. america should limit its role abroad to that of well-wishers, even when the values that america holds dear are being threatened. this issue then becomes part of the debate inside the cabinet in 1823 when monroe decides to deliver the address we now know as the monroe doctrine. this is the advantage of keeping a diary. the only person whose description we are reading today is adams'. it is clear there is no disagreement that the united states must make a strong statement that no colonies will be permitted to be established in the new world, either in north america or south america.
9:10 am
the big debate is what shall we say about events that are specifically in europe. monroe and john calhoun, the secretary of war, were eager to speak out against the french. the french had overthrown republican rule in spain. they felt it was crucial as the great leader of republicanism to stand up and speak out, as well as this ongoing question about greece's role with turkey. adams sharply disagreed. he said doing that would be seen as a summons to arms against all europe and exclusively european policy. he then describes his pursuit of monroe, practically pinning him to the wall to get monroe to agree that this was the thing he must not say -- indeed he
9:11 am
finally succeeded. he succeeded in getting monroe to camp down. monroe does allude to spain, but he doesn't mention france or the holy alliance, which is the alliance of autocratic nations. he said in the language adams used two years before of events in the quarter of the globe, we have always been anxious and interested spectators. nevertheless in the wars of the european powers in matters relating to the cells, we have never taken any part nor does it conform with our policy to do so. when i use the word realism and when others look back to adams as a realist, they are thinking of this idea that america should follow its national interests,
9:12 am
if those national interests should be separate from the values we hold dear and home, and the balance between adams own passion and prudence, one should lean towards prudence. would you say either i've mischaracterized how you understand adams or maybe that would be a correct characterize of adams but not a correct characterization of realism? bob: or some combination of the two. let me just say this debate is an excuse to talk about this wonderful book that jim has written. i'm a big fan of talking about john and history now. i want to congratulate you for being here. i basically wanted to be put into a coma and roused on
9:13 am
november 9. this is the closest -- jim: i'm so touched by the idea that this is coma inducing. bob: this is preferable to a coma. i will admit we have done this before. he has honed his argument. one of the things i particularly like about this book, there is a tremendous amount of space given to john quincy adams postpresidential career. it is really the most extraordinary postpresidential career anyone has ever had, which is to say he entered congress as a member of the house and spent most of his life fighting -- fighting slavery, which was an extraordinary thing
9:14 am
for an ex-president to do. it tells you a lot about what kind of person he was and certainly why he was not anyone's definition of a realist. a realist would not have devoted his life to fighting slavery. a dissolution of the union because of slavery followed by a war between two separate portions of the union, it seems to me to be the extrication of slavery from the continent, his progress must be -- so glorious would be its final issue that i dare not say it is not to be desired. he said that in 1819. if you look at many decisions he
9:15 am
made, he placed the moral question of slavery over the national interest. it's about economic well-being. most realists look at the western expansion including the acquisition of the former mexican territories of the southwest as in the national interest. they are perfectly willing to ignore the fact that those acquisitions led directly to the civil war and half a million dead and how that is in our interest i will never understand. this is something adams had on his mind a great deal. there are many ways to define realists and realists are very clever. if you love to be called a realist because you are realist and that makes the rest of you guys unrealistic, it is great to be a realist.
9:16 am
there is offensive realism, there is defense of realism, neorealism. but at the core of realism is a conviction that moral answer may -- ends may or may not be something for individuals to pursue. but they are not what nations should be focusing on. and people who are stewards of the nation foreign policy must focus on what realists referred to as national interest. and not just crusades, as they would put it. much less ideology at the center of one's decision-making. in that respect i would say that is not the way of describing john quincy adams.
9:17 am
he had a very strong sense of expanding the power of the country. but he also had a clear and strong moral sense about the purpose of the united states. this quotation he has used is the realist mantra. we go not abroad in search of bob's -- in search of bombs to destroy. this particular speech, which was pulled out to make a point about the way we ought to be thinking about foreign policy is as so often the case with these wonderful perfect quotations taken out of context and misleading, really, if you think about what is going on both in terms of what adams was thinking and in what americans in general were thinking.
9:18 am
the line is from a july 4 speech. most is an attack on great britain. i'm pretty sure no one at the time paid attention to monsters being destroyed or not being destroyed. what they paid attention to was adams going after britain for its evil principles and extolling the belief at individual rights that americans stood for. there was even a moment in that speech where he speaks to the people. roughly people living under the lords and asking them to go out like ways. this was not a cautious statement by people in europe.
9:19 am
the russian foreign minister complained that adams was inciting revolutionary revolt. let's go back to do some history. one thing the speech as the people pull out, they generally do violence to what is going on. jim has laid it out to some extent. when adams's suggestion that we should not go in search of monsters -- what is he talking about? is he talking about launching an armada across the atlantic? sending american soldiers to europe to fight, or sending them anywhere for that matter? no, they are debating whether to extend recognition to the latin american republics. as jim points out, john quincy adams is engaged already in a presidential campaign. even a wonderful servant of america like john adams was also a politician.
9:20 am
he and clay were in a war with each other. and they were using policy as as part of their war. the truth is adams thought his transcontinental treaty was going to be a major success that will help launch them into the presidency. it is also true henry clay agreed and would have loved to see that treaty fall apart. henry clay was for recognizing those republics right away. and john quincy adams was not for doing that because he worried spain would walk away from the treaty. we were not destroying monsters. it was a question of recognizing latin republics or not recognizing latin republics. so we didn't that year. we did two years later. we went ahead and recognize
9:21 am
those republics. no harm came to the united states from the killer monster destruction. you could argue the harm became to the united states was a result of the transcontinental treaty. and adams was ultimately aware of the because of territory that became slave territory and part of the great debate. certainly recognizing the latin republics does not have any negative effect on american interests, when we did. not only was this a temporary dispute, but then when you look at john quincy adams behavior afterwards, after he has gotten his transcontinental treaty, after the united states has gone ahead and recognize these latin republics, listen to the instructions that john quincy adams gives to the new american ministers who have been sent
9:22 am
to these latin republics. it is quite an extraordinary set of instructions. he instructed diplomats that the emancipation of the south american continent has open to the whole race of man prospects of maturity in which the united states will be called in the discharge of its duties to itself. it was the duty of the united states to establish relations with south america upon principles of politics and morals that were distasteful to the other world. he goes on to say american ministers should use donations to support the principle against any local hankering after monarchy. the new world on the one hand and the monarchical system that prevails in europe.
9:23 am
he goes on to explain what the dispute is, the ideological dispute that is animating world affairs at the time. these are instructions. the european alliance of emperors and kings have assumed the doctrine of alienable allegiance. we have considered it as an assertion of natural right. this is instructions to ambassadors. was ideology and morality part of john quincy adams thinking? absolutely. there was a good reason for it.
9:24 am
americans are not the only ones thinking ideologically about the world. all the great powers are thinking ideologically. the spanish revolution of 1820, which overthrows a monarchy and is then reversed by a french invasion and the french have their own revolution overthrown, all of which is under the overall guidance of czar alexander, and he stands for absolutism. he puts together the holy alliance. in fact to snuff them out on both sides of the atlantic. there is some kind of threat that the holy alliance will send
9:25 am
forces over to the new world to impose monarchies and destroy this revolution. if you look at british policy, the policies first of castle ray and then of canning, it is all about balancing themselves between this radicalism of the new world and the absolutism of the eastern monarchies and britain trying to find its place in the middle. the entire discourse is ideological. and adams is a full participant in that discourse. it may be true that you could say he was being prudent, but since no one was recommending any forces be sent anywhere, i don't know what he was being prudent against. there was never a suggestion that the united states was somehow going to become involved in sending forces over to do anything about it. the monroe doctrine is also one of the most misunderstood pieces of american policy in history because it is thought to be a division that is geographical
9:26 am
between the new world and the old world. as adams understood it, as monroe understood it, it was a divide that was ideological. it was a concern that monarchy would be transplanted in the new world. they didn't want these countries having colonies. the big division was an ideological division. in that sense -- i'm arguing with somebody who is not here. and i'm arguing against a realist in the true sense. this man was ultimately willing to sacrifice any definition of the national interest, if doing so was necessary to defeat
9:27 am
slavery. in 1840, it meant colluding with a british to take control texas and let texas become part of an abolitionist movement. he was consciously limiting american sovereignty on the continent if that sovereignty was going to lead to slavery. jim: so you would have even more material to use against me if you heard the most recent talk i gave about adams at the massachusetts historical society. adams was a classic example of moral purism. and lincoln was an example of a politician.
9:28 am
bob has said that realism is a kind of species of moral indifference, to care about morality is to lead yourself astray. i think we're disagreeing not all about adams but this word, and i want to say why i think the word is relevant and also i want to bring it up today. adams was a completely, morally driven person. i probably wouldn't have found him such a compelling figure. there was an element of realism. analytical understanding. nations are not driven by moral principles but objective interests.
9:29 am
the premise of the monroe doctrine is there are competing political systems in the world. this idea that being a republic means you are going to have the same foreign policy us similarly situated authoritarian countries. i would say he's a realist in some meaningful sense. this question of whether it is in america's interests to pursue, to seek to have its values replicated abroad, whether it is possible to have it replicated abroad, this is a burning question today. when we talk about realism, not in the academic sense but in the newspaper sense, the question often arises to what extent can't united states and should the united states seek to engage in democracy promotion.
9:30 am
and a whole series of other policies. adams was deeply skeptical. first of all, like many realists of -- not today. the classic realists, like george kennan in the 1950's, adams thought the united states had to choose between having a far more outgoing and aggressive policy, which he feared would be -- and he tended to see the two as being antithetical to each other. if you go back to that july 4
9:31 am
speech, he says that if the nation involved itself, as he was claiming henry clay would, and it was not only a matter of the spanish republic -- if the united states did that, he said, the fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. she might become the dictator of the world. she would no longer be the ruler of her own spirit. that is to say that in order for the united states to maintain its republicanism, it would have to engage in a special kind of restraint abroad. this is what george kennan said in the famous speech he gave about the spanish-american war, which he saw as the great example of the united states having lost sight of its traditional sense of realism. the other is that adams was profoundly skeptical about the capacity of other states to be
9:32 am
changed by the united states, and themselves to change. there's a kind of a deep, learned skepticism, i would say from his years in diplomacy. in his -- before he gave that speech in 1821, he was reacting in part to a conversation he had with clay. clay had come to him in the spring of that year and given his ideas about why the united states needs to champion democracy abroad. this is what adams said to clay. he said, so far as they were contending for independence, i wished well to their cause, but i have seen and see no prospect that they would establish free or liberal institutions of government. they are not likely to promote the spirit of freedom or order by their example.
9:33 am
arbitrary power, military and ecclesiastical, was stamped upon their education. anyone who has read the famous as a by jean kirkpatrick called dictatorship and double standards, it basically explains why all the countries jimmy carter was in love with would never become democracies. that was what she thought and what many people described themselves as realists think. i hesitate to use this word invented in the 1950's, realist, which has specific resonances for our own time. i think it's useful, though, because we still have with us today this debate about how the united states should behave in the world. i don't think that debate simply breaks down to, do we think the
9:34 am
only thing that matters is interest, or do we think the only thing that matters is values? it also breaks down to what our own experience has told us. i'm far more on bob's side of this question about realism and whatever we call ourselves who aren't realists. yet the fact is that the last dozen or so years has been a very chastening one. it has me many people have deep second thoughts about this sort of -- and it is in that respect that i find adams so interesting. before, the united states hadn't been through any of these experiences at all. he already had this deeply chastening mentality. robert: i really have a hard time squaring what you're saying with what he was talking about
9:35 am
at that time. here is a man who did use force, directly, in order to convince spain to agree to give up everything they gave up. he was delighted that andrew jackson was running around florida, beating up spaniards, and used that as part of his negotiation to conquer a vast continent. by the way, which was not an empty continent, and his attitude toward the poor inhabitants of that continent was that they could either civilize themselves or get out of the way. so this is this man was worried about -- we are so interested in power that we are going to lose our soul. the man had no difficulty wielding power in ways that we might think today, and there were some who thought at the time, at all kind of immoral consequences.
9:36 am
when he is talking about whether to recognize latin republics, he's not even talking about using force. you are right about one thing. what he doubted was that these catholic countries could possibly become democratic, and the prejudice against catholic countries becoming democratic was as old as protestant america. there was this whole belief about the spanish black history, that these people have been taught the worst elements of a brutal catholicism, and right up until the 1950's, it was an article of faith even among an article -- among american political scientists. that was this particular prejudice he had. clay's response is, that is what monarchs always say, that men are incapable of being educated
9:37 am
to democracy, but we americans don't believe that's true. and of course that is the argument that we've been having, and not just for 15 years, but in for 60 years or more, ever since the united states was in a position to do anything about anything. james: you and i would be on the henry clay side. john quincy adams was on a different side. robert: except when john quincy adams wasn't arguing with clay. when he was secretary of state, he was talking about these issues. politicians don't always -- are not always consistent. i know, that are shocking to all of you, but even john quincy adams i think was capable of talking himself into something. the extreme rhetoric he used to talk about monsters being destroyed when no one was talking about doing any such thing, that is neither here nor there. i do think it is a relevant question.
9:38 am
it has been a key question for americans in even talking about it. by the way i'm not talking about invading countries. we never invade countries to promote democracy. but whether countries we are dealing with are capable of democracy, we've gone through an evolution. we believed catholic countries could not be democracies. we believed for a long time that asian countries could not be democracies. with catholics it was the pope who was in control. they had a rigid hierarchy. we've gone through every racial and ethnic group in the world and overcome this belief, we've adopted clay's view that people are capable of it, except now with one exception, and that is we do not believe -- i don't mean me -- that islamic countries can be democratic. having dismissed all the others
9:39 am
and decided, apparently catholics and asians can be democratic, but muslims cannot be, that is sort of where we are right now. even on that issue, and we can have a lengthy debate on that, i am still more with clay then i am with the anti-catholic john will am with the anti-catholic john quincy adams. james: let me stop you for a minute. i want to give anyone who would like to ask a question a chance to do so. anyone who would like to ask a question, please come to the microphone on either side. we have until about 7:30. we want to make sure we get everybody home before the first a pitch is thrown in tonight's mets game. i know your minds are already shift into that. if nobody has any questions, bob and i will be really related to continue talking. robert: we've answered all possible questions.
9:40 am
james: right. i'm just going to continue until somebody gets up there. i can't tell. sounds like you're saying you think these passages that i've read are actually kind of the minor key, and the major key is adams' moralism. i think you're quite right in saying someone as deeply thoughtful as adams doesn't fully square his own practice with his principles. that is why i say that i see him as every bit as supremely morally driven as you do, and it may be that it is therefore contradictory for him to be dispensing this advice, which he does from the time he's 25 to the time he's 70, about the need to adopt prudence rather than passion. so i think the george kennan types who seek that in adams and find it in adams are not
9:41 am
perverting the meaning of the man. they actually are seeing a kind of knowledge that came out of his own experience in europe that was something that was mostly new in american life, and to at least adams' mind, was part of a coherent worldview. robert: my objection, a particular objection to what kennan is guilty of and others who have followed our guilty of, which is trying to go back to the past to find a usable past. james: but you are writing a history of american foreign policy. is that a usable past? robert: it is an abusable past. james: your history talks about america as an ideological country. robert: it is an ideological
9:42 am
country. history is supposed to make sure you understand the issues in context. it is very tricky and usually dangerous to pull things out and find what you need for your own period of time. we are all guilty of it to some extent, but we need to be cautious. a lot of the discourse about john quincy adams has nothing to do with the time he was living in. there are things you can find in washington's farewell address that realists like, except that will washington wasn't talking about any of those things in the farewell address. so they find words that are useful for their purposes, as we all can. i would caution all of us read history and write history. it is very important not to read history backwards. you have to read history in its context and read it forward. james: i'm someone who doesn't
9:43 am
actually share the realist point of view. i'm almost -- robert: maybe by the third time we get to this i'm going to talk you out of it. >> do we have realists and moralist today? i heard you invoke jimmy carter. was he a moralist? robert: in my view, when you come to american-statesman and american foreign policy and what america actually does, the dichotomy is useless. there is always a moral and ideological element to everything that anyone ever does. whenever we talk about this, people don't say realist, they say pragmatist, and my question is, pragmatist toward what? whether you are pragmatic or not has to do with what you are trying to accomplish. people take for granted what it is they're trying to accomplish. america is always animated by
9:44 am
the fact that we are a democracy, that we have principles that we believe are true, and we are also animated by tangible interests. sometimes these things conflict and we are constantly trying to find our way through it. to say anyone is just a moralist or a realist is absurd. james: in his book, henry kissinger sadly concedes that all presidents at least instead -- since teddy roosevelt have basically been moralists. it is deeply in the american grain, and there are few among us, except perhaps kissinger. >> does the role adams played in the amistad case give evidence of him being a realist?
9:45 am
james: from bob's point of view, it shatters my whole argument. robert: all his work with regard to slavery is clearly expressing the moral core. he doesn't in fact devote his life to extending american power. he takes steps that could destroy america in the name of purifying its moral strain. james: if one thinks to be moral is not to be a realist, i think it is clear, one must not describe him as a realist. i hold the argument that it is possible to be one or the other in a meaningful but limited stents. his role in the amistad is a heroic one. he ends by giving a nine-hour speech before the supreme court
9:46 am
and he points to the declaration of independence on the wall and says, by that document on that wall, you must let my defendants go free. people were weeping. there were eight justices at that point, of whom seven had been appointed by slaveowning presidents, and he won seven to one. >> can't we just say he's a republican, because republicanism is always a mix of idealism and realism. it is also very highbrow and soaring. he's a cicerone and. his lectures at harvard actually are all cicerone and in nature. that is characteristic of republicanism. james: it is the word he would have used for himself. robert: let's not let ourselves
9:47 am
off the hook. republicanism is a revolutionary doctrine. its consequences have been revolutionary. the united states is a revolutionary power, not a status will power. it has been revolutionizing the world. to start with republicanism is not to be pragmatic in the context of the world as it existed. james: the republicanism is a good description of adams' since of himself, when he looked at the republicanizing mission of the french revolution, he saw nothing but harbor and disruption. unlike many americans who thought their own republicanism was reflected in the french
9:48 am
revolution, adams had a reaction that was -- >> that's not really a republican revolution for adams. james: the french were looking -- proclaiming everywhere they went, they were creating republics, and adams thought that was madness. >> i always thought john quincy adams ran a couple of the nastiest political campaigns in our history, and how can you call him a moralist when he reminds me very much of what's going on right now? robert: do you want to defend adams' political campaign? james: ok. i would say you are half right. if you oversee a thing which is brutal and ugly, you are morally responsible for it. it is still different from richard nixon making secret phone calls in the basement. so adams was profoundly torn by
9:49 am
his own ambition. he could not accept the idea that he was ambitious. you can be ambitious for great things. you can be ambitious to be a great republican leader, but the idea of personal ambition was an anathema to him. when it came time to act in a way where you can only succeed by fully accepting and acting upon your own personal ambitions for yourself -- he was forever disclaiming the consequences of his act, or finding ways of not having to know about it. the 1824 election was really dirty. in 1928 election, possibly dirtier. in 1828, when he was running against jackson and got his
9:50 am
clock cleaned, henry clay and daniel webster were basically his campaign managers. you see all these letters between them saying, i found this editor in cincinnati who i think is going to be great for us and the editor in cincinnati is printing articles that say andrew jackson is a mulatto and his wife is a harlot and jackson is responsible for the murder of american soldiers, horrible things. clay and webster are saying, how can we get some money to this guy? adams didn't know about that. he was not running the campaign. i feel quite confident he did not know about it. but it was done on his behalf. >> he didn't know? james: i'm quite certain he didn't know. >> his e-mails were never -- [laughter] james: clay and webster knew he would never want to know. they would never tell him.
9:51 am
robert: but can i just say, your point is well taken and i want to make the further point that a person who is willing either to preside unknowingly or be conducting as vicious a campaign to get elected, we can't imagine him exaggerating how he felt about recognize the latin republics, but he was a politician. we have to understand that he would say things -- james: you are saying that the parts of that are sincere are the parts that you agree with. robert: i'm saying when he's writing private instructions to his ambassadors as secretary of state when the issue is no longer relevant are different from things he says in a campaign speech. i think i trust more what he as said in things that he never thought would see the light of day. james: where we disagree is, i'm totally agreeing with you about
9:52 am
his moral driven this, yet i'm saying there is an element that is useful and correct to describe as realism which has to do with his policy, his distrust of the kinds of passions which today arguably led to, i don't know, the war in iraq. i was trying to not say that. but i said it anyway. robert: you can't go from the transcontinental -- something in between. james: something in between woodrow wilson's -- robert: let's not go there either. that's a second debate. james: anyway, there is a doctrine of restraint and prudence which is very much anticipatory of the kind of language -- robert: let me ask this question. if he did not have the transcontinental treaty up and if he were not running for president, do you think he still
9:53 am
would have opposed the recognition of latin republics? james: no. his opposition to the recognition of the republics was completely tactical. robert: he makes a timeless statement about a tactical decision. james: so you're saying that's purely political and i'm saying that reflects some deep thought in him. because that is consistent with so many other things he said, it shouldn't be dismissed. >> on the question the gentleman before me raised, political campaigns in the first half of the 19th century, the 20th century had nothing on the 19th century in terms of dirty politics. if you study the history of the press in this country, it was pretty rotten. my question, if i was parachuted in here knowing nothing about quincy or anybody else, i would
9:54 am
assume that quincy was a fairly independent agent as secretary of state. you really spoke about nothing about the dynamic between quincy and his boss when he was secretary of state. robert: they had a very long debate, monro and adams, about the munro doctrine. i think the debate ended more in the middle. the reaction of europe was exactly the same as it would have been if monro had said everything he wanted to say. metternich, who is the great sort of looks men and defender of absolutism, is outraged by the monroe doctrine statement.
9:55 am
it was an extraordinary thing to assert. he heard loud and clear the fact that americans really did favor the greek revolution, really did favor liberalism in europe. so actually won that debate is an interesting question. adams did exist -- in a way, you give him a lot of credit for winning the argument. should we have an alliance with the british? even jefferson, the great anglophone of all time, was all for it at that moment. one of the reasons adams was against it, was they wanted to declare cuba off-limits. adams was not going to declare anything off-limits. one of the reasons he didn't want the deal was, he didn't want to take cuba off the table for eventual act was in, which brings us to the spanish-american war. james: someone said the right word for him is republican and perhaps it is.
9:56 am
he was also a nationalist. the transcontinental treaty, where everybody said, enough already, he said, i'm going to get more. he disagreed sharply with munro. bob referred to jackson's rampage through florida. everybody said, we've got to stop this guy. he totally violated the instructions monroe the instructions delete --violated maybe it seems like i'm contradicting my own point, but for adams, expansion at home, restraint abroad. the question is what is at
9:57 am
home and what is abroad if you have not gotten everything you want? if anything, he was more a fervent, single-minded perhaps monroan was. i think it is now 7:30, since thank you so much for your excellent questions. >> it was wonderful having you. thank you so much. i'm the manager of public programs here. it was great having you all with us. i just want to remind you that our speakers books are available for purchase at our kiosk behind you. they will be signing books for a little bit. one more thing i just wanted to point out, our film series is starting on friday. it does tie into this conversation. it is called "the best man," about two presidential candidates, one moralistic, the
9:58 am
other more ruthless, who are vying for the candidacy. please join us for that at 7:00. again, thank you all very much. some flyers are outside too if you want to pick one up. [applause] >> this weekend on american history tv, tonight, a little kings7:00 eastern, college london visiting professor andrew robbins discusses the role of george c america's victories,
9:59 am
arguing his skills as a strategist transformed the u.s. army. >> this gentleman with beautiful manners was an corruptible, single-minded, and astonishingly pressuresdering the on him. >> at 10:00, the 1921 silent film created by the u.s. army signal corps honoring the unknown soldier of world war i. >> it was tremendous. the streets of washington were lined with thousands of folks who waited for the casket to be removed and brought by the honor guard down pennsylvania avenue and across the bridge into virginia. think what i've read is one of the largest turnouts for any parade in this city. >> sunday evening at 6:00 eastern on "american artifacts." constructed to handle
10:00 am
about 500,000 people a year, it ended up handling in 1970 alone 1,200,000 people. quirks in 1969, president woodrow wilson nominated boston lawyer louis brandeis to the united states supreme court, becoming the first june -- the u.s. jew to sit on the supreme court. is trying to do here is limit the court to a very specific role, one that is defined by the constitutional network in which all government operates and which limits or should limit any one branch from exercising power beyond its described province. >> for our complete schedule, go to

15 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on