The chapters of America's story are marked by momentous events. In 1776, in some English colonies of America, proud inheritors of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 declared both their independence and intention to form a government based on Enlightenment principles. Despite inevitable missteps and contradictions, some major, those living the story mostly stayed true to the Classical Liberal project of minimalist government and individual rights until the end of the nineteenth century. After the Spanish-American War, though, with the acquisition of an explicit Pacific empire and the enthusiastic embrace of Progressivism, America embarked on a new experiment for the new century, one which valued activist government and equality. If the first experiment lasted one hundred and twenty years, the second experiment, too, is now a hundred and twenty years old, and tottering on the edge of a widening gyre as, perchance, we enter a third era.
If the gods are smiling on us, we will pull back from the edge to combine in the Third Era the best of the First and Second. If they are not, the forces of history might yet plunge our civilization into the inferno, as they have done to so many other great civilizations.Grotius Rises is a history of the foundational first three decades of the Second Era of the American story. It takes us from the presidential administration of Theodore Roosevelt to that of Herbert Hoover; from the Spanish-American War to the Great Depression, three decades that saw Classical Liberalism fall as Progressivism rose to take its place.
About the Author
In 2016, Mark Ledbetter returned to America after a forty year sojourn in Japan, raising a family and keeping an eye on America with both the knowledge of an insider and the eyes of an outsider, capping his career with three years as a visiting professor of linguistics at Hosei University in Tokyo. He arrived back in the United States in October of 2016, just in time to witness a political earthquake, one of those historical episodes rife with potential and danger, which give life, and sometimes death, to the story of a nation. Either way, he intends to monitor the process, doing what he can in his small way to save the Great American Experiment. He has written extensively on both linguistics and history, publishing in both English and Japanese.