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The Imprint of Congress$
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David R. Mayhew

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300215700

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300215700.001.0001

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Surges and Their Constraints

Surges and Their Constraints

(p.34) 3 Surges and Their Constraints
The Imprint of Congress

David R. Mayhew

Yale University Press

This chapter turns to three American “impulses” of post-Civil War times: building an industrial economy, taming the corporations, and the rise to world hegemony. In general, Congress, when it has differed with the presidency on foreign policy, has leaned toward inaction, often accompanied by cacophonous talk. Congress has often resisted or footdragged on White House aims for expansions, invasions, intrusions, annexations, and commitments abroad. “Insularity” is a decent tagline for this bent—it entails constraint on action. This idea applies to participation in multilateral agreements and commitments, not just to unilateral U.S. moves abroad.

Keywords:   American impulses, post-Civil War, industrial economy, corporations, world hegemony, foreign policy, multilateral agreements

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