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George Washington Didn't Say That!
Publius' Forum ^ | 05/14/06 | warner todd huston

Posted on 05/14/2006 11:36:36 AM PDT by Mobile Vulgus

George Washington Didn’t Say That

Some of you who follow American History might have heard at one time or another that George Washington warned his countrymen of “entangling foreign alliances” in his farewell address given as he prepared to retire from his second presidential term. You may have heard that he issued a neo-isolationist concept about how the USA should treat its foreign policy ideas.

Here is a relevant section of Washington’s farewell address:

“The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.”
Unfortunately, too many view Washington’s warning of foreign entanglements incorrectly. Though it is a very common misconception, Washington was absolutely not saying we should never have anything to do with other nations or that we should forever steer clear of “foreign entanglements”. Washington was not proposing an isolationist policy.

Instead, Washington was worried about the pervasive split between Americans backing England and those standing up for France that had appeared in the US during Washington’s last term in office. This split was causing heavy fractionalization on the American political scene, and faction was one of the chief bugaboos in American political philosophy at the time. It should be remembered that during Washington’s terms the Party system had yet to be created and it was hoped by the Founders that a political system free of Parties could be sustained as a permanent American convention.

Washington meant only to steer clear of European alliances and entanglements only for as long as it took to get the USA consolidated and strong and to strengthen the Federal Union in the face of superior European power.

In a letter to Gouverneur Morris on Dec. 22, 1795, Washington mentioned how he envisioned that the USA would be strong enough to hold its own about 20 years after the country’s birth, that, until that time, he wanted his country to be left alone and clear of European meddling so that the USA’s position would be unassailable.

So, while much of the advice about foreign policy is sound, Washington’s warning was one of the immediate future not one of a permanent nature.

It should also be remembered that the US was fully involved in trade negotiations with every European nation at the time Washington issued his farewell address, so even as he was warning about foreign entanglements, the country was already so entangled.

A clear and concise monograph on this subject can be seen in the book, “To the Farewell Address”, by Felix Gilbert. (1961 Princeton Press)

Lastly, just on a point of clarification, the Farewell Address was initially drafted by Madison, with revisions by both Washington and Hamilton.

-By Warner Todd Huston


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: anticonstitution; farewelladdress; georgewashington; isolationism; newworldorder; oneworldgovernment; presidents; quotes; washington; worldpolice
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Isolationism is NOT what Washington wanted!
1 posted on 05/14/2006 11:36:39 AM PDT by Mobile Vulgus
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To: Mobile Vulgus

Hamilton wrote most of the Farewell Address.


2 posted on 05/14/2006 11:38:12 AM PDT by RightWhale (Off touch and out of base)
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To: Mobile Vulgus

Great! Bookmarking this page.


3 posted on 05/14/2006 11:38:33 AM PDT by pcottraux (It's pronounced "P. Coe-troe.")
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To: Mobile Vulgus

He didn't want to build a wall completely around the US -- few Americans have ever wanted that -- but by 20th century standards Washington's advice certainly was "isolationist" in urging us to avoid foreign wars and alliances.


4 posted on 05/14/2006 11:46:13 AM PDT by x
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To: Pharmboy

" the Farewell Address was initially drafted by Madison...?"


5 posted on 05/14/2006 11:48:58 AM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: Mobile Vulgus
didn't strike me as the 'hide our heads in the sand' kind of guy. i must be misinterpreting the history i've read.
6 posted on 05/14/2006 11:51:41 AM PDT by kinoxi
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To: george76
The first draft was done by Hamilton, and after several back-and-forths between The General and Alex, the final came out. I cannot remember offhand whether Madison had anything to do with it...if he did, it was as a final editor, I believe.

Washington was very much involved with his speeches--he didn't just read whatever the speechwriter put together.

Oh--and thanks for the ping, friend.

7 posted on 05/14/2006 11:52:30 AM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must)
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To: Mobile Vulgus
Anyone with a modicum of knowledge and perspective knows that. But, how many times have some juvenile libertarians used the phrase out of context to demagogue. Many.

One of the side effects of FR is that even silly superficial ideologues get to post as uch as possible as do the any here who really contribute actual inforation, analysis and knowledge.

8 posted on 05/14/2006 11:56:42 AM PDT by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: Mobile Vulgus

"Last week I appeared on a national television news show to discuss recent events in the Middle East. During the show I merely suggested that there are two sides to the dispute, and that the focus of American foreign policy should be the best interests of America – not Palestine or Israel. I argued that American interests are best served by not taking either side in this ancient and deadly conflict, as Washington and Jefferson counseled when they warned against entangling alliances. I argued against our crazy policy of giving hundred of billions of dollars in unconstitutional foreign aid and military weapons to both sides, which only intensifies the conflict and never buys peace. My point was simple: we should follow the Constitution and stay out of foreign wars.

I was immediately attacked for offering such heresy. We've reached the point where virtually everyone in Congress, the administration, and the media blindly accepts that America must become involved (financially and militarily) in every conflict around the globe. To even suggest otherwise in today's political climate is to be accused of "aiding terrorists." It's particularly ironic that so many conservatives in America, who normally adopt an "America first" position, cannot see the obvious harm that results from our being dragged time and time again into an intractable and endless Middle East war. The empty justification is always that America is the global superpower, and thus has no choice but to police the world.

The Founding Fathers saw it otherwise. Jefferson summed up the noninterventionist foreign policy position perfectly in his 1801 inaugural address: "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none." How many times have we all heard these wise words without taking them to heart? How many champion Jefferson and the Constitution, but conveniently ignore both when it comes to American foreign policy? Washington similarly urged that the US must "Act for ourselves and not for others," by forming an "American character wholly free of foreign attachments." Since so many on Capitol Hill apparently now believe Washington was wrong, they should at least have the intellectual honesty to admit it next time his name is being celebrated.

In fact, when I mentioned Washington the other guest on the show quickly repeated the tired cliche that "We don't live in George Washington's times." Yet if we accept this argument, what other principles from that era should we discard? Should we give up the First amendment because times have changed? How about the rest of the Bill of Rights? It's hypocritical and childish to dismiss certain founding principles simply because a convenient rationale is needed to justify foolish policies today. The principles enshrined in the Constitution do not change. If anything, today's more complex world cries out for the moral clarity provided by a noninterventionist foreign policy.

It's easy to dismiss the noninterventionist view as the quaint aspiration of men who lived in a less complicated world, but it's not so easy to demonstrate how our current policies serve any national interest at all. Perhaps an honest examination of the history of American interventionism in the 20th century, from Korea to Vietnam to Kosovo to the Middle East, would reveal that the Founding Fathers foresaw more than we think."

-Rep. Ron Paul, M.D., R-Tex


9 posted on 05/14/2006 12:05:27 PM PDT by canuck_conservative
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To: Darth Reagan

ping


10 posted on 05/14/2006 12:13:08 PM PDT by marblehead17 (I love it when a plan comes together.)
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To: x
He didn't want to build a wall completely around the US -- few Americans have ever wanted that -- but by 20th century standards Washington's advice certainly was "isolationist" in urging us to avoid foreign wars and alliances.

For a demographically small and militarily weak nation without a Navy and separated from Europe by the Atlantic Ocean, it was very practical advice at the time just as is a father's admonition to his 4 year old child not to cross the street alone.

However, when we grow up, we quit our childish ways and make our mark upon the world.

11 posted on 05/14/2006 12:16:16 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: Mobile Vulgus
Isolationism is NOT what Washington wanted!

I guess that's why Washington said, "Here let us stop"

12 posted on 05/14/2006 12:26:16 PM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: canuck_conservative
And he also said: It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world, so far, I mean, as we are at liberty to do it....Taking care always to keep ourselves to suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture , we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies...There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard..."

And wasn't it the whole idea of this that we should distance ourselves from the affairs of Europe? How do you spoz George would look upon the United Nations and NATO in the context of permanent and temporary alliances?

13 posted on 05/14/2006 12:31:30 PM PDT by navyblue
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To: Mobile Vulgus

"Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." - Washington, Farewell Address


14 posted on 05/14/2006 12:34:39 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Mobile Vulgus
How nice to leave out from Washington's farewell address what followed:

"Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?"

"It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

15 posted on 05/14/2006 12:39:05 PM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: Mobile Vulgus

"Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests."


16 posted on 05/14/2006 12:39:57 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Age of Reason

How nice of you to leave out the very next line after your quote: "Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies."


17 posted on 05/14/2006 12:41:44 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Yes--I left out the part about "temporary" when it comes to "extraordinary emergencies."

Fortunately without foreign entanglements, "extraordinary emergencies" would be few and far between.


18 posted on 05/14/2006 12:59:50 PM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: canuck_conservative
The Founding Fathers saw it otherwise. Jefferson summed up the noninterventionist foreign policy position perfectly in his 1801 inaugural address: "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none."

Yep, thats why Jefferson sent the US Marines "to the shores of Tripoli", and intervened.

Folks should be careful when quoting the Founders. A recent biography I read about Washington made me realize just how little I knew about the man.

19 posted on 05/14/2006 1:06:42 PM PDT by Paradox (Removing all Doubt since 1998!)
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To: Age of Reason
Extraordinary emergencies like World War II perhaps, or was that not really a threat to us? How about the Cold War? Maybe we should have let communism take over the whole rest of the world? Would that be the good conduct towards nations to which we are enjoined by Religion and Morality which Washington spoke of?
20 posted on 05/14/2006 1:06:47 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Or let terrorists continue to blow up our buildings and slaughter Americans here and the world over. I guess that isn't much of an extraordinary emergency either.


21 posted on 05/14/2006 2:06:07 PM PDT by pcottraux (It's pronounced "P. Coe-troe.")
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To: RightWhale

So what? You make a point that is immaterial to anything in the original post. No one said who wrote how much. But Madison wrote the first draft, Washington didn't like all of it and asked hamilton to do another. Washington made alter ations. So, all three had something to do with it.


22 posted on 05/14/2006 2:17:01 PM PDT by Mobile Vulgus
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To: george76

See post 22. YES, Madison wrote the first draft.


23 posted on 05/14/2006 2:17:40 PM PDT by Mobile Vulgus
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To: Mobile Vulgus
Isolationism is NOT what Washington wanted!

But it sure as hell is what some on FR want....to include their boy Patsy Buchanan....
24 posted on 05/14/2006 2:18:37 PM PDT by MikefromOhio (aka MikeinIraq - Rob Schnieder is a Carrot)
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To: Pharmboy

No, the first draft was NOT done by Hamilton. Madison wrote Washington's first draft. Hamilton materially changed it, though.


25 posted on 05/14/2006 2:18:40 PM PDT by Mobile Vulgus
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To: canuck_conservative

Ron Paul is an isolationist. What would you EXPECT him to say?


26 posted on 05/14/2006 2:19:22 PM PDT by Mobile Vulgus
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To: Age of Reason

How nice of you to ignore the context of the times the address was written.

Next time, try taking into account the fuller context of history instead of taking things out of context.


27 posted on 05/14/2006 2:20:42 PM PDT by Mobile Vulgus
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To: MikefromOhio

No kidding. Isolationists drive me nuts. It's so absurd.


28 posted on 05/14/2006 2:22:08 PM PDT by Mobile Vulgus
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To: Mobile Vulgus

Yeah in a time where it takes a whole 7 hours to hop on a plane from England or Europe to get here (something the founders couldn't have foreseen in their time), acting like the world around us isn't going to do us harm because we aren't doing anything to them is simply stupid/naive/nearsighted.


29 posted on 05/14/2006 2:26:50 PM PDT by MikefromOhio (aka MikeinIraq - Rob Schnieder is a Carrot)
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To: Mobile Vulgus
Ron Paul is an isolationist. What would you EXPECT him to say?

And like a classic liberal, in his statement there he makes himself sound like a heroic martyr-victim, who is being "persecuted" for his "out of the mainstream" beliefs. What a joke. People always think that being persecuted and being a martyr suddenly makes them righteous underdogs and and their beliefs correct...so they strive for victimhood as much as possible. And often they have to exaggerate, lie, stretch the truth, and make it SOUND like they are underdog martyrs.

Michael Moore does a similar thing. It's all about the image.

30 posted on 05/14/2006 2:28:32 PM PDT by pcottraux (It's pronounced "P. Coe-troe.")
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To: MikefromOhio; Mobile Vulgus

Even though they call themselves "true" conservatives, isolationism is a classic left-wing ideal and stems from a socialist mindset.

That was one of Marx's teachings that the Soviet Union didn't adhere to.


31 posted on 05/14/2006 2:30:29 PM PDT by pcottraux (It's pronounced "P. Coe-troe.")
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To: Mobile Vulgus
During Washington's time, the Western boundaries were unknown, the Louisiana Purchase was several years off and people thought that a great river could be navigated to the western shores, however far they may be.
32 posted on 05/14/2006 2:30:31 PM PDT by Prost1 (We can build a wall, we can evict - "Si, se puede!")
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To: Polybius; All

That is true.. When Washington left the office, we had no navy or an effective army.. Now we are the world's superpower. In order to maintain that status, we have to go war overseas and enter in alliances. Times change...


33 posted on 05/14/2006 2:40:14 PM PDT by KevinDavis (http://www.cafepress.com/spacefuture)
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To: Mobile Vulgus
Nope. From here--the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Washington's Farewell Address was never delivered by him. It appeared first by his own arrangement in a newspaper at Philadelphia, then the seat of the national government. Designed in part to remove him from consideration for a third term as President of the United States, the address as published was similar to one he had prepared at the end of his first term, in 1792, when he had contemplated retiring from office. In July 1796, he sent a copy of this earlier address to Alexander Hamilton, requesting him to write a new one.

Hamilton, who until the year before had been secretary of the treasury and the chief architect of Washington's administration, did as he was asked, but the result, again reworked by Washington, still reflects the ideas of the retiring President. It was printed in the American Daily Advertiser, September 19, 1796.

34 posted on 05/14/2006 2:42:33 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must)
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To: Pharmboy

Sorry, but that is just plain wrong... to a degree. Hamilton wrote the one that was given (with Washington's changes), but Washington asked Madison to write the very first one. Very little of what Madison wrote ended up in the end piece, though. Still, Madison was asked to write the first one.


35 posted on 05/14/2006 2:56:31 PM PDT by Mobile Vulgus
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To: Mobile Vulgus
“The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible.

The key words are commercial relations. He was saying that our commerce (trade) between the United States and foreign countries should not be based on political considerations that could come back to bite us at a later date or that could introduce corruption, graft and payoffs into our economic system. He well knew that there were plenty of corrupt politicians who would be more than willing to use their positions to make a buck on selling influence and legislative deals in the commercial arena. Too bad that it persists to this day.

36 posted on 05/14/2006 3:16:48 PM PDT by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: Mobile Vulgus
Nope. From here:

[Washington attempted to retire after one term in 1792. With James Madison he even drafted a farewell "Valedictory Address." Instead of delivering it, however, he was persuaded to remain in office a second term. By 1796 Washington insisted upon retiring from public life. He dusted off the Valedictory and sent the draft to Alexander Hamilton to rewrite in a "plain stile." Although historians have debated if it was Madison, Hamilton, or Washington who authored the Farewell Address, the current consensus is that it was a true collaboration. Although the words are Hamilton's, the ideas and the sentiment are all Washington's.

In the Address Washington articulates once more his political philosophy that the continuation of the American experiment depends upon a united virtuous, educated citizenry and a strong central government to hold disparate groups together. To Washington, the rise of partisan politics threatened national unity. Permanent foreign alliances were dangerous because they constricted American interests and dampened independence. Above all, Washington offered himself to the American people as the model of the classically conservative republican: deferential, virtuous, selfless, and responsible to the rule of law as expressed by the Constitution. Washington never delivered his Farewell Address publicly, rather it was circulated in newspapers printed first in the Philadelphia's American Daily Advertiser on September 19, 1796.]

37 posted on 05/14/2006 3:54:13 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must)
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To: Mobile Vulgus

Washington was no isolationist. In fact, although he preferred not to label himself with political parties, he was in fact a Federalist. Neither the Federalists nor the early Republicans were isolationists; the key issue at the time was which side the U.S. should be more in favor of (the French and the British had long been at war). Washington and the rest of the Federalists thought it was within the best interest of the country to be more supportive of Britain, while the Republicans favored the French.

Washington more than likely did not want this issue to divide the country, because he saw it as partisan politics.


38 posted on 05/14/2006 4:53:57 PM PDT by pcottraux (It's pronounced "P. Coe-troe.")
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To: Mobile Vulgus
Next time, try taking into account the fuller context of history instead of taking things out of context.

If things are different today, it is because we have failed to follow the path laid down by men like Washington.

39 posted on 05/14/2006 6:52:23 PM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Extraordinary emergencies like World War II perhaps, or was that not really a threat to us?

If we minded our own business during WWI, Hitler and WWII wouldn't have happened.

How about the Cold War? Maybe we should have let communism take over the whole rest of the world? Would that be the good conduct towards nations to which we are enjoined by Religion and Morality which Washington spoke of?

Communism has probably done more damage to commuist countries than commuist countries ever would have done to us.

It's also possible that the Russian Revolution might not have survived had we not interfered in WWI.

We entered just about the time all antagonists were willing to talk peace, and we thereby prolonged the war--and so continued the discontent and chaos in Russia and Europe.

Certainly, had the European nations not been entangled in their own alliances to begin with, WWI would not have happened and communism would not have taken over Russia.

40 posted on 05/14/2006 7:18:51 PM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: Age of Reason

What about the Zimmerman Telegram and the Lusitania?


41 posted on 05/14/2006 7:29:51 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Mobile Vulgus

"I have already intimated to you the danger of Parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on Geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party, generally . . . It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country, are subjected to the policy and will of another."
-- George Washington, Farewell Address


42 posted on 05/14/2006 7:40:42 PM PDT by PhilipFreneau
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To: Age of Reason
If we minded our own business during WWI, Hitler and WWII wouldn't have happened.

Oh, nonsense. Did you forget about that little thing called the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere? WWI wasn't a world war. WWII was, and HItler wasn't as much a direct threat to us as Tojo was.

Japanese expansion was in part enabled because of the inability of the European powers to maintain colonial presense following WWI. How much worse would that have been, had France and GB withdrawn totally from Asia following a defeat by the Central powers? If a revived Ottoman empire still straddled the M.E.?

43 posted on 05/14/2006 7:49:30 PM PDT by LexBaird (Tyrannosaurus Lex, unapologetic carnivore)
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To: Mobile Vulgus
Poorly argued. For a start no one says Wahington said "we should never have anything to do with other nations", that's a straw man. Here is the relevant section of Washington's speech, he doesn't sound too gung ho:

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it 7 It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.

So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils 7 Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.


44 posted on 05/14/2006 11:59:10 PM PDT by jordan8
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To: LexBaird
Japanese expansion was in part enabled because of the inability of the European powers to maintain colonial presense following WWI.

Japanese aggression was inspired and equipped after America foolishly and greedily forced Japan to trade with us in the 1850's.

Had we left them alone, they might still be using bows and arrows.

45 posted on 05/15/2006 8:54:22 AM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: jordan8
I particularly find compelling this portion of George Washington's Farewell Address...which stresses the INTERNAL HAZARD to our Representative Republic posed by foreign entanglements:

So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils 7 Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.

These have proven to be absolutely accurate insights. They remain as acutely prescient today as then.

As we have seen with Communist China [constantly threatening to nuke us, or have its governmental interference in trade excused or pretended to be non-existent], Saudia Arabia, the U.A.E., and the supposedly U.S.-serving International Organizations respectively...there are huge possibilities (and the realities ) for corruption, subversion, and outright co-option of U.S. politics and governmental policies by antagonists and adversaries to our nation...and not just our policies or interests...

Those who are confused...will fail to recognize either true national interest or even the concept of nationhood anymore...and automatically reject these observations by the Father of Our Country...or attempt to put a revisionist spin on what he said or meant.

I think it provides a very valuable litmus test of "affiliation" ..and hence loyalty today. It was a testiment of solid nationalist doctrine that withstood the tests of time, and has only been abandoned by the self-styled elitist "Know-Betters" in the last 60 years to our peril.

46 posted on 05/15/2006 9:15:28 AM PDT by Paul Ross (We cannot be for lawful ordinances and for an alien conspiracy at one and the same moment.-Cicero)
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To: Pharmboy
I agree, your historicity is much more sound, and is supported here.

The Farewell Address

Introduction

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Introduction | Transcription | Original | Editorial Apparatus | Related Documents

When Washington early in 1796 determined to retire in March, 1797, he revived the idea of issuing a valedictory address to the American people. He reverted to Madison's draft of 1792, and wove it into the structure of a new address he was preparing. This new holograph manuscript of Washington is called Washington's first draft. After it was finished, he had a conversation with Alexander Hamilton in Philadelphia, showed him this first draft and asked him to redress it. This Hamilton agreed to do. The first thing that Hamilton did then, was to make a digest of it, called Abstract of points to form an address, as a syllabus for his own use in making a new draft of the Farewell Address, and leaving Washington's holograph first draft untouched. In the correspondence that passed between the President and Hamilton during ensuing months, the form that the address was to take was altered. Washington had suggested to Hamilton, that if he were to form it anew, it would of course "assume such a shape" as Hamilton was "disposed to give it," but always "predicated upon the Sentiments" which Washington had furnished.

It was here that Hamilton began a major draft. If followed his Abstract of Points closely. But as the result of correspondence between them, and the passing of the major draft back and forth, that draft became in process "considerably amended," and so was endorsed by Hamilton: "Original Draft. Copy considerably amended." It is therefore always referred to as Hamilton's major draft.

Now, after Hamilton had sent this major draft to Washington, he told him he was preparing another draft for incorporating, meaning thereby, that if Washington was determined to use his own first draft and wished to redress it by Hamilton's structure and additions, he could do so by availing himself of the draft for incorporating in which case Hamilton's major draft would be discarded. But Hamilton thought the major draft the better. Washington agreed with him, though he said it was too long. Washington began the preparation in his own hand of a manuscript for the printer. This is called Washington's final manuscript.

In its preparation he availed himself of all the drafts that had come into his hands, but principally Madison's draft and Hamilton's major draft; and he made changes of his own in the process of revision to the very end before its publication. Throughout the preparation Washington's ideas or "sentiments," as he liked to call them, were preserved. Hamilton knew, as Madison had before him, that whatever he might do in reshaping, rewriting, or forming anew a draft, the results should be "predicated upon the Sentiments" which Washington had indicated. This central fact was adhered to. Hamilton was solicitous to be governed by it. He had recognized that Washington would be the final judge, and considered his own part in the undertaking as an affectionate act, without putting upon it the least suspicion of restraint. He was magnanimous to Washington, when he wrote: "Whichever you prefer, if there be any part you wish to transfer from one to another--any part to be changed--or if there be any material idea in your own draft which has happened to be omitted and which you wish introduced--in short if ther be anything further in the matter in which I can be of any [service], I will with great pleasure obey your commands." And it was precisely this freedom, as has been shown, that Washington pursued in preparing his own final manuscript for publication. In the last analysis, Washington was his own editor; and what he published to the world as a Farewell Address, was in its final form in content what he had chosen to make it by processes of adoption and adaptation. By this procedure every idea became his own without equivocation."

Note: Washington's Farewell Address was printed by David C. Claypoole's American Daily Advertiser (Philadelphia), on 19 September 1796. Neither the proof sheet that Claypoole made for Washington's examination nor the copy that Claypoole worked from in making the proof sheet has been found. The New York Public Library owns Washington's final manuscript of the Farewell Address as well the drafts made by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton and a number of letters relating to the preparation of those drafts. In 1935 the Library published Victor Hugo Paltsits' Washington's Farewell Address: In Facsimile, with Transliterations of all the Drafts of Washington, Madison, & Hamilton, Together with their Correspondence and Other Supporting Documents, and the digitized facsimiles of Washington's final manuscript of the Farewell Address were made from that book with the Library's permission. Copies of the book may be obtained from the Library's Publications Department. The brief introduction above is taken from the preface of Paltsits' edition.«back | home


Introduction | Transcription | Original | Editorial Apparatus | Related Documents


47 posted on 05/15/2006 9:27:08 AM PDT by Paul Ross (We cannot be for lawful ordinances and for an alien conspiracy at one and the same moment.-Cicero)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Yes that is a key observation that those cretins in CATO would do well to reflect on.

Washington has lucidly made clear that even absent that drastic result, there is an invidious influence to be wary of:

"As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils?"

48 posted on 05/15/2006 9:39:20 AM PDT by Paul Ross (We cannot be for lawful ordinances and for an alien conspiracy at one and the same moment.-Cicero)
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To: Age of Reason
Yeah, good example of what isolationism brings to a nation's development. Isolationist Japan stagnated in the middle ages for four hundred years. Then, Japan went from a feudal backwater to defeating the Russian navy in fifty years.

But whether it was the Americans or the Victorian Brits who opened Japan, they were far overdue to break out. Now suppose there had been no British, Russian, or French colonial interests in the Pacific, following a defeat by the Central powers. Would you have preferred an unopposed expansionist military superpower exploding across the whole Pacific rim?

But, of course, isolationists such as yourself would have never purchased Alaska, occupied and absorbed Hawaii, expanded to the West Coast, made the Louisiana Purchase or opened the Ohio Territories. Your narrow readings would have us huddled within our original thirteen borders for fear of "entanglements".

Newsflash, Age. We all live on a very small globe, where you can reach any other spot within a day and bomb any other spot within minutes with an ICBM. An outbreak of flu in Asia is in Toronto the next day, not in three years. A commodity price jump around the world effects the NYSE in seconds. Entanglements are upon us, whether you want them or not. Hiding your head in the sand just leaves your ass exposed for a good kicking.

49 posted on 05/15/2006 9:59:34 AM PDT by LexBaird (Tyrannosaurus Lex, unapologetic carnivore)
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To: LexBaird
Isolationist Japan stagnated in the middle ages for four hundred years. Then, Japan went from a feudal backwater to defeating the Russian navy in fifty years.

That's just what I mean: my greedy Western forebears just had to make a few dollars by giving primatives modern technology with which to make trouble.

But whether it was the Americans or the Victorian Brits who opened Japan, they were far overdue to break out. Now suppose there had been no British, Russian, or French colonial interests in the Pacific, following a defeat by the Central powers. Would you have preferred an unopposed expansionist military superpower exploding across the whole Pacific rim?

With spears, bows and arrows, and rowboats--they would have been welcome to conquer what they can.

And now, with just about the entire world turned-on to modern Western technology, Americans will begin to lose one freedom after another as world population skyrockets from modern medical care, and as competition for resources reaches a fever pitch.

We are losing our freedoms because of this and before the end of this century, I firmly believe nation states will no longer exist, and every aspect of our lives will be regulated to the nth degree.

50 posted on 05/15/2006 10:32:16 AM PDT by Age of Reason
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