Why John Quincy Adams Was the Founder of American Expansionism

An Ardent Believer in National Greatness, the Sixth President Thought America Should Dominate the Hemisphere

As the son of John Adams, John Quincy knew most of the other Founders, including George Washington, and he had an abiding belief in the virtue of their handiwork. Declaring the blessing of American exceptionalism, he announced that the American founding proclaimed “to mankind the indistinguishable rights of human nature, and the only lawful foundation for government.”

Convinced of the special place that America had both in history and in the world of his time, Adams pursued one of the longest public careers in the country’s history, stretching from the …

Why Won’t America Go Metric?

Our Centuries-Long Ambivalence About Meters and Liters Mirrors Our Ambivalence About Our Place in the World

We Americans measure things our own way. Our yardsticks are marked in feet and inches (and eighths of inches), measures that are unfathomable to foreigners, nearly all of whom have …