230 years later and we’re dealing with this guy. How perfect is that. Now, I promised myself that I wouldn’t make this into a big political thing, so I won’t say anything more. We will let quotes and links to Wikipedia articles do the talking for me. It’s actually been a pretty decent history lesson so far this morning. I would recommend that you read a few of the links yourself. Enjoy.
First the quotes, all taken from random perusing through different fun stuffs on America.
- “The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.“
- “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……“
“…..Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies…..“
“…..The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without any thing more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.“
– George Washington (farewell address).
- “Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against antirepublican tendencies; the preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad; a jealous care of the right of election by the people”a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided; absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism; a well disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them; the supremacy of the civil over the military authority; economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burthened; the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith; encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid; the diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason; freedom of religion; freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected.“
– Thomas Jefferson (Inaugural Address)
- “In the field of world policy I would dedicate this Nation to the policy of the good neighbor ” the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others ” the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neighbors.“
– Franklin Roosevelt (Inaugural Address)
And then the ideas that we have associated ourselves with, be it good or bad.
- Manifest Destiny, American exceptionalism, Monroe Doctrine, United States Isolationism, Roosevelt Corollary
And finally, we should allow ourselves to put our 230 years of experience into a worldwide perspective.
- Athelstan of England was the first king of England, 1079 years ago. Charles the Bald got France via the Treaty of Verdun 1163 years ago. And last but not least, the Xia Dynasty takes China back into the BC, controlling things somewhere around 4200 years ago.
If that doesn’t work for you, think of it this way– I’m 26 years old and I’ve lived through more than a tenth of US (political) history. There are people alive who have seen close to half.
Irk, commentary trying to spit through…. not today. Today I leave you with a cartoon, “Ten Thousand Miles From Tip to Tip” from 1898. Things weren’t too different then, were they?