The Spanish Flu Didn’t Wreck the Global Economy
What Is Different About the Coronavirus Pandemic?
The United States began as a radical experiment with grandiose ambitions. Its founders believed in Locke’s idea that free individuals could escape the perils of anarchy by joining together and cooperating for mutual benefit—and they created a country to show it wasn’t just talk. The signers of the Declaration of Independence bound themselves in a common political project, establishing a limited government to secure their rights and advance their interests. That act, noted Secretary of State John Quincy Adams in 1821, “was the first solemn declaration by a nation of the only legitimate foundation of civil government. It was the corner stone of a new fabric, destined to cover the surface of the globe.”
From the start, the United States was understood to be both country and cause, a distinct national community and the standard-bearer of a global political revolution. Destiny would take a long time to play