The Underwood Tariff Act

Some may know this as the first income tax law. It reduced Tariffs dramatically and created a personal income tax which impacted very few individuals, due to large exemptions. Nevertheless, it does highlight that until 1914, the majority of federal receipts were derived from tariffs and excise taxes. Budgets were also balanced. Prior to 1914 America was primarily isolationist.

Wilson ran in 1916 on keeping us out of the war in Europe. But, Wilson was a progressive internationalist. The Republicans defeated our entry into the League of Nations as it would require us to engage in international conflicts. Smoot and Hawley, both Republicans, were not free traders. Revisionists, sometimes blame them for the Great Depression. Are those revisionists the same group that are called Internationalists?

Were the founders, isolationists, nationalists, or internationalists? Perhaps a mix. The Constitution gives us a hint.
The Congress shall have Power To …raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years…

That seems a long way from the practice since the DOD was created in 1947. It seems a long way from our roots. It seems in terms of foreign policy, we have drifted from the original intent. Nationalism, Isolationism, and internationalism are not monolithic or mutually exclusive terms. They have overlap.

Perhaps the left wants to create a better world by sharing wealth with the globe and call it internationalism. Nationalists or neo conservatives may use internationalist policies for the promotion of economic interests. They would therefore be symbiotic elements. Isolationists on the other hand want to focus on American interests at home and may be called nationalists.

So, when it comes to Nationalism sometimes there is an overlap with Isolationism. Areas would be opposition to World Wars, opposition to membership in international bodies, opposition to loss of sovereignty, opposition to wealth transfer, and so on.

Nationalists and Isolationists are sometimes called doves. Whereas, Internationalists have been called Hawks. In this light Republicans that run on defense are internationalists and Democrats that want to pursue peace are nationalists or isolationists, or doves. Hawks being strong, doves being weak. Reagan Hawk, Carter Dove and Humphrey a dove.

Then comes Trump, he blurs all the lines. Nationalist in terms of borders and trade, Isolationist in terms of military and UN. A dove, not a hawk. But then he shreds treaties. What is that? He shreds those internationalists treaties he thinks were weak. He wants better treaties.

Question is, can we trust a guy to negotiate treaties that cannot explain America’s isolationist roots and calls himself a Nationalist? But then some of us think Nationalism is something different because we do not know history. So, are we trustworthy?

Trump is opposed because he is different, he breaks the unholy alliance between right and left that he calls the Swamp. The right that pursue corporate nationalism and the left promotes wealth distribution. He wants corporate profits in America, not abroad. He wants rising wages at home, not abroad. Wherever you stand, he is you, and you hate him.

Liberals and conservatives have a hard time dealing with their Hypocrisy when it is pointed out.

I think that it is hard to catagorize the US as primarily isolationist before 1914.

I would agree with the US for the most part tried to stay out of Europe’s business, but as a nation we weren’t isolationist. We were heavily expansionist.

If we were truly isolationist we would t have been mucking around Cuba and the Philippines in the late 1800’s.

That is a fair criticism, you could go back as far as the Monroe Doctrine and Manifest destiny, you might mention the great white fleet as well from 1907. But then you also have to differentiate between economic and military influence. Military spending of less than 1% of GDP was the norm until WW2 and beyond.

Certainly you will acknowledge a huge shift of pre WW2 and Post WW2 attitudes towards our role in the world.

Yes, of course there was a huge shift.

The US started to flex it’s imperial muscles right when Imperialism went out of style.

If you are speaking of our global hegemony and if it is worth paying for… that could be quite a discussion.


Imperialism was defeated in a war, empires were bankrupt, America filled a void. However the OP is about your latter point.

it seems our grandparents were far more advanced than say the Romans or Greeks. Do better.

So what is your opinion?

Do we get what we want from the global hegemony?

What does the world look like without it?

Very good points made here.

The US may want to become isolationist but the world would not allow that.

There is also the acknowledgment that a tax system that worked for the country when it was an insignificant backwater would likely not work when it is a global hegemon.

Those are all good points and worth consideration. However, it does not address the changes from 1920 to 1940 at all.

It also ignore the fact that Colonies were settled for trade purposes and many were established by corporations.
Again it ignores then fact that the west was owned by European powers.

Your final point ignores the fossil fuel realties of today and technological options that would have developed far earlier if it were not for oil.

when it comes to missiles and nukes you have America to blame, not Kenyans.

from 1900 - 1914 arrivals to Ellis Island were 5000 - 10000 per day hardly a few dozen.

were as technology you mentioned may make the world smaller, Jefferson went after pirates in Tripoli. He did not pursue imperialists policies.

AS far as expansion it is best addressed in Federalist # 10.

You should read the OP again and stay on point.

The question is should we pursue hegemony as we are not in the 50’s anymore.

We are no longer a hegemon, we have engaged in trade since our colonization. it is strange to hear people from the left address the topic as you and Krugman do.

it appears the left is truly supporting corporate imperialism.

phones were invented when?

Your post is a â– â– â– â– â– â– â–  mess.

mostly over your head

I haven’t said what I do and do not support.

I am simply acknowledging the reality of the world order.

There is no right or wrong answer to the question I am about to ask.

What do you think the world looks like without the US’s capability to rapidly project power globally?

your reality not the reality sir. American hegemony was a brief period after the war.

A question I have posed many times on this forum.

The OP points out that you cannot be a constitutional conservative and be pro world power. Also it points out that liberal intent paves the pathway for all they ostensibly oppose.

I think the world would be rather chaotic as it was before our ascendency on the world stage. Yet, we have caused much chaos since the end of the cold war.

now a question for you.

do you feel all Americans should be taxed to provide defense for the wealthiest Americans to invest internationally and have their investments secured by our military. Or if we had less military would companies invest in America?

Do you support corporate Imperialism paid for by the middle class?

We continue having a global hegemony in that there is no country that can project themelves econmically, culturally and militarily across the entire globe.