Saturday, October 27, 2007

American History Pop Quiz

Take out a sheet of paper, boys and girls. Time for an American History pop quiz.

Read the except from the essay (below) and answer the following questions:

1) Who said it?
2) When?
3) What political party is the author from?
4) Who is the president cited at the end of this excerpt?

(Googling is cheating).

[Don't worry about your grade. I would have failed had I not stumbled across this essay on the internet. +HW]

Here is your reading assignment:

We have crossed the boundary that lies between Republic and Empire. If you ask when, the answer is that you cannot make a single stroke between day and night; the precise moment does not matter. There was no painted sign to say: "You now are entering Imperium." Yet it was a very old road and the voice of history was saying: "Whether you know it or not, the act of crossing may be irreversible."...

There is no comfort in history for those who put their faith in forms; who think there is safeguard in words inscribed on parchment, preserved in a glass case, reproduced in facsimile and hauled to and fro on a Freedom Train."

The history of a Republic is its own history. Its past does not contain its future, like a seed. A Republic may change its course, or reverse it, and that will be its own business. But the history of Empire is world history and belongs to many people.

A Republic is not obliged to act upon the world, either to change or instruct it. Empire, on the other hand, must put forth its power.

What is it that now obliges the American people to act upon the world?

As you ask that question the fear theme plays itself down and the one that takes its place is magnifical. It is not only our security we are thinking of—our security in a frame of collective security. Beyond that lies a greater thought.
It is our turn.

Our turn to do what?
Our turn to assume the responsibilities or moral leadership in the world.
Our turn to maintain a balance of power against the forces of evil everywhere... —evil in this case being the... barbarian.
Our turn to keep the peace of the world.
Our turn to save civilization.
Our turn to serve mankind.
But this is the language of Empire. The Roman Empire never doubted that it was the defender of civilization. Its good intentions were peace, law and order. The Spanish Empire added salvation. The British Empire added the noble myth of the white man's burden. We have added freedom and democracy. Yet the more that may be added to it the more it is the same language still. A language of power.

Always the banners of Empire proclaim that the ends in view sanctify the means. The ironies, sublime and pathetic, are two. The first one is that Empire
believes what it says on its banner; the second is that the word for the ultimate end is invariably Peace. Peace by grace of force.

One must see that on the road to Empire there is soon a point from which there is no turning back....

[The president] said: "We will accept only a world consecrated to freedom of speech and expression—freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—freedom from want and freedom from terrorism."


Luke said...

Father Hollywood:

A guess from the cornfields of Iowa to your pop quiz.

1) Who said it?
No clue.

2) When?
Post World War II/pre-Korean War (between 1945-1947)

3) Author's Political Party?

4) President Cited?
Franklin Roosevelt


Brian P Westgate said...

The president cited must be Thomas Woodrow Wilson, father of the neoconservatives, who being a Presbyterian (?) clergyman, well, you get the drift. The rest, I don't know. Perhaps Barry Goldwater is the speaker?

Father Hollywood said...

Good insights, guys!

Anyway, here are the answers:

1) Garet Garrett (1878-1954)
2) 1953
3) Republican
4) President cited: FDR

A collection of Garrett's essays can be read online here