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Full of meaning for today as well as 200 years ago...
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I had recently started to read "Among the Powers..." the week before Russia "took over" Crimea ... and reading about the "law of nations" as America was striving to become a "treaty-worthy nation" following the Revolutionary War helped make sense of what was going on, on the other side of the world, today.
Author Eliga H. Gould presents a very thought-provoking discussion of the intricate interactions among the European powers as America (the United States) emerged from their first war... and then the second war, the War of 1812... as a member of the recognized group of "treaty-worthy nations."
An early reaction to the book was that it had too strong an emphasis on slavery-related issues. However, as I moved through the complex, ongoing presentation covering 20, 30, 40 years following 1776, it became obvious that the large roles that the slave trade and how slavery was treated within the various nations of the world, were essential ingredients in the whole point of the discussion.
Even having read literally dozens of books on the American Revolution, I realized I never really had a good understanding of the standing of the United States of America in those critical decades following the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Each author spoke to the delicate place in the world the United States stood, and how it wasn't inevitable, but this book fills in many of those gaps with much greater detail.
Our early Presidents and members of Congress, once the U.S. Constitution was ratified, were keenly aware of the need for them to gain the proper levels of strength and respect from the then-ruling European nations in order for the US of A to join them at that level. They did accomplish the deed, but only over a period of many years, not immediately. If these issues interest you, I highly recommend this book.