IF, as has been suggested, a country without a foreign policy is a happy country, then the United States must have reached the peak of its felicity between the Civil War and the turn of the century. Of all the Secretaries of State in that otherwise obscure progression from William Seward to John Hay only one has managed to escape oblivion and capture the imagination of diplomatic historians. That exception is James G. Blaine. Secretary of State on two separate occasions and under three different presidents, Blaine brought to his office not only his personal dynamism but also an apparently well thought-out conception of foreign affairs. Unlike his contemporaries, who seemed content merely to react to events, Blaine appeared to have a policy. The genesis of that policy has been a source of controversy ever since.
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