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John Quincy Adams and American Foreign Policy w/ David C. Hendrickson – Parallax Views

On this edition of Parallax Views, David C. Hendrickson, president of the John Quincy Adams Society and professor emeritus of political science at Colorado College, joins us to discuss his book Freedom, Independence, Peace: John Quincy Adams and American Foreign Policy. This conversation explores the fascinating life and lasting impact of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States and a pivotal figure in American diplomacy.

Hendrickson delves into Adams’ visionary approach to foreign policy, which centered around principles of freedom, independence, and peace. He examines Adams’ views on American exceptionalism, democracy, and the dangers of interventionism, and draws parallels between Adams’ ideas and contemporary foreign policy challenges like the War on Terror and the Ukraine/Russia conflict.

Hendrickson argues for Adams’ legacy and how his ideas can inform American foreign policy today. He makes the case that by embracing Adams’ vision, the United States can navigate the complexities of the global landscape more effectively and promote peace and prosperity around the world.

Among the topics discussed on this edition of the show:

– John Quincy Adams’ 1821 Independence Day speech h to the U.S. House of Representatives on Foreign Policy warning against an adventurist foreign policy wherein America would go abroad “in search of monsters to destroy”

– The appropriation of John Quincy Adams by neocons during the Iraq War; the expansionist John Quincy Adams and the anti-expansionist John Quincy Adams 

John Quincy Adams, the Monroe Doctrine, American exceptionalism, Empire, and imperialism

– John Quincy Adams and foundational principles: Power, Law, Independence, Peace, Liberty, and Union

– Thoughts on the use of the term “Isolationist” as a pejorative slung at foreign policy restraint advocates

– Hendrickson’s perspective on Russia/Ukraine war, NATO, and Crimea

– The debate over “spheres of influence” discourse in U.S. foreign policy and international relations

– The War on Terror of the Bush years and military adventurism as a detriment to civil liberties on at home

– Hendrickson’s early dabbling in neoconservatism; his later turn against that line of thought and skepticism towards U.S. military interventionism; his 2018 book Republic in Peril: American Empire and the Liberal Tradition

– The possibility of international cooperation on issues like climate change

– Addressing the thought of Samantha Power and R2P (Responsibility to Protect Doctrine); the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya and its consequences; regime change and states of chaos/anarchy

– And more!