Thursday, August 7, 2008

George Washington on the Future of US Foreign Policy

"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."

---From Washington's Farewell Address, quoted in William Appleman Williams, Contours of American History, Chicago: Quadrangle Paperbacks, 1966, p. 173.

Williams adds:

"Far from being a call for isolation, what Washington issued was a mercantilist manifesto for an unchallengable empire. Whatever one thinks of the logic or of the goal itself, Washington's Farewell Address remains one of the great documents of America's Age of Mercantilism."

No comments: