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Prohibitory Act of the British Parliament -- 1775
This is the British Act which started the Revolutionary War. The two Legislative bodies should have known better than to react in haste, but the British Parliament in London and its opponent the Continental Congress in Philadelphia -- started a Revolutionary War. Apparently Lord North issued a Prohibitory Act and John Adams responded to it, but the real hotheads were Charles Townsend and William Bradford. Everybody involved thought Independence was an improbable outcome.
A State Department official works for his boss the President, even though he may secretly disagree. He can work inside the Department to change the policy but seldom lets it show to outsiders. I read 300 pages of such balance about the reasonings from McKinley to Trump, without deciding how he came down personally, until the conclusion. When he finally told the reader what he proposed, he stood out as a brilliant, very opinionated history professor from Catholic University. He shows why he differed with the various Popes. Yet here and there were scattered some persuasive Catholic viewpoints. Aside from revealing Presidential policies from the empire-building of Teddy Roosevelt to the pacifism of Jimmy Carter, he must be an entertaining Professor of History and a very informative one.
You can read the first three hundred pages as a balanced recital of the views of changing State Department positions during the past century.
Or you can read the last thirty pages as a reasoned position on the coming election. Or you can do both, as I recommend you do, no matter what your party position may be.
Originally published: Thursday, May 28, 2020; most-recently modified: Monday, June 01, 2020