Minding our own business, while leaving other peoples to mind theirs, was the basis of the United States’ successful foreign policy from 1815 to 1910. Best described in the works of John Quincy Adams and carried out by his successors throughout the nineteenth century, this is the foreign policy by which America grew prosperous and in peace. This policy also remains the commonsense philosophy of most Americans today.
America’s Rise and Fall among Nations contrasts this original “America First” foreign policy with the principles and results of the following hundred years of “progressive” foreign policy which suddenly arrived with the election of Woodrow Wilson as president in 1912. The author explains why the many fruitless American wars—large and small—that followed Wilson's handling of World War I resulted in not only a failed peace, but also more conflicts abroad and at home. Finally, America’s Rise and Fall among Nations examines how John Quincy Adams’s insights are applicable to our current domestic and international environments and exemplify what “America First” can mean in our time. They chart a clear path to escape America’s previous eleven disastrous decades of so-called “progressive” international relations.