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Topic
Entangling Alliances


Quotes

“It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world...” (George Washington, Farewell Address)


“America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.... She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standards of freedom.” (John Quincy Adams, 1821.)


“There is one and only one legitimate goal of United States foreign policy. It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal: the preservation of our national independence. Nothing in the Constitution grants that the president shall have the privilege of offering himself as a world leader. He is our executive; he is on our payroll; he is supposed to put our best interests in front of those of other nations. Nothing in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the president of the United States or to Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to ‘uplift’ their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their people, or even to defend them against their enemies.” (Ezra Taft Benson, America at the Crossroads, August 30, 1969.)


“We are bound to maintain public liberty, and, by example of our own system, to convince the world that order and law, religion and morality, the rights of conscience, the rights of persons, and the rights of property may all be preserved and secured.” (Daniel Webster)


“I am for free commerce with all nations, political connection with none, and little or no diplomatic establishment. And I am not for linking ourselves by new treaties with the quarrels of Europe, entering that field of slaughter to preserve their balance, or joining in the confederacy of Kings to war against the principles of liberty.” (Thomas Jefferson, to Elbridge Gerry ME 10:77, 1799.)


“I have ever deemed it fundamental for the United States never to take active part in the quarrels of Europe. Their political interests are entirely distinct from ours. Their mutual jealousies, their balance of power, their complicated alliances, their forms and principles of government, are all foreign to us. They are nations of eternal war. All their energies are expended in the destruction of the labor, property and lives of their people.” (Thomas Jefferson, to James Monroe ME: 15:436, 1823.)


“I sincerely join... in abjuring all political connection with every foreign power; and though I cordially wish well to the progress of liberty in all nations, and would forever give it the weight of our countenance, yet they are not to be touched without contamination from their other bad principles. Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.” (Thomas Jefferson, to Thomas Lomax ME 10:124. 1799.)


“Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none, I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one of] those which ought to shape its administration.” (Thomas Jefferson, 1st Inaugural Address ME 3:321. 1801.)


“We wish not to meddle with the internal affairs of any country, nor with the general affairs of Europe. Peace with all nations, and the right which that gives us with respect to all nations, are our object.” (Thomas Jefferson, to C. W. F. Dumas ME 9:56. 1793.)


“A just and solid republican government maintained here will be a standing monument and example for the aim and imitation of the people of other countries; and I join... in the hope and belief that they will see from our example that a free government is of all others the most energetic; that the inquiry which has been excited among the mass of mankind by our revolution and its consequences will ameliorate the condition of man over a great portion of the globe.” (Thomas Jefferson, to John Dickinson ME 10:217. 1801.)


“Nor may we overlook that great doctrine of neutrality set up under Washington himself and Jefferson and Hamilton, which was aimed at and brought about the localizing of international armed conflicts, and the preservation , under prescribed rules, of peacetime intercourse between belligerents and nonbelligerents. War was to curse as few people as possible. This has been jettisoned for the concept that every war should involve all nations, making all suffer the ravages of a global war.

“Until the last quarter of a century, this gospel of the Fathers was the polar star by which we set our international course. In the first hundred thirty years of our constitutional existence, we had three foreign wars, the first merely the final effort of our Revolution, which made good our independence. During the century that followed we had two foreign wars, neither of considerable magnitude. During the next twenty-three years, we had two global wars. While the gospel of the Fathers guided us we has peace. When we forsook it, two great wars engulfed us.” (J. Reuben Clark, Let Us Have Peace, Church News, November 22, 1947.)


“President Wilson had the full departure in mind [of the Founders doctrine of neutrality] when he declared: ‘Everybody’s business is our business.’ Since then we have leaped ahead along the anciently forbidden path.” (J. Reuben Clark, Let Us Have Peace, Church News, November 22, 1947.)


“In our course under the new gospel of interference with everything we do not like, we have gone forward and are going forward, as if we possessed all the good of human government, of human economic concept, of human comfort, and of human welfare, all of which we are to impose on the balance of the world,— a concept born of the grossest national egotism.” (J. Reuben Clark, Let Us Have Peace, Church News, November 22, 1947.)


“I believe American manhood is too valuable to be sacrificed on foreign soil for foreign issues and causes.” (J. Reuben Clark, Let Us Have Peace, Church News, November 22, 1947.)


“I believe in the old faith and the old works, under which we had so much of peace. I am a political isolationist in the full sense of the term and am not fearful in declaring it.…I believe political isolation will bring to us the greatest happiness and prosperity, the greatest temporal achievement not only, but the highest intellectual and spiritual achievement also, the greatest power for good, the strongest force for peace, the greatest blessing to the world.…We can and should mind our own business and let others do the same.” (J. Reuben Clark, Let Us Have Peace, Church News, November 22, 1947.)


“In my view, our whole international course and policy is basically wrong, and must be changed if peace is to come. Our policy has brought us, and pursued, will continue to bring us, only the hatred of nations now — and we cannot thrive on that, financially or spiritually — and certain war hereafter, with a list of horrors and woes we do not now even surmise.(J. Reuben Clark, Let Us Have Peace, Church News, November 22, 1947.)


“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.” (George Washington, Writings of George Washington, 35:231.)




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