Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Empire or Republic?

The dominant assumption of our nation's founders was to avoid "foreign entanglements," to use Thomas Jefferson's words of warning. Indeed, the policy of nonintervention was considered by the founders as a basic demarcation between the politics of the Old and New Worlds. Explaining in his farewell address why he, as our first President, followed "our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances, with any portion of the foreign world," George Washington cautioned his countrymen to "moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."

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