Home / Articles / American Conservative Nationalism is Here to Stay
Colin Dueck has written a marvelous book explaining the past, present, and future of conservative nationalism in American foreign policy. It is clear, extremely well written, short, yet comprehensive.
Dueck begins by explaining that before Woodrow Wilson’s presidency, the default position for U.S. foreign policy was American nationalism. From the George Washington administration until the second decade of the twentieth century, this nationalism meant American statesmen emphasized the preservation of our national sovereignty and a foreign policy focused on American national interests, including: retaining freedom of action; promoting trade; non-interference in European affairs; and territorial expansion on the North American continent.
President Wilson’s “innovation,” Dueck states, was to promote “binding, universal, and formal multilateral commitments on the part of the United States” to help create a new international system in which “progressive liberal values [would] be vindicated—world-wide.” This innovation was the beginning of liberal internationalism that sought to move beyond “balance of power” concepts in world politics.