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Reply #6: Jefferson: NO FOREIGN ENTANGLEMENTS! [View All]

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USA_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-05 08:17 AM
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Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government

The United States was a new nation, founded on different principles than all other nations then existing. Because its objectives were peace and prosperity, not conquest and domination, it should therefore avoid involvement with other nations that could only deter it from those peaceful pursuits.

"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, 1799. ME 10: 7 7
"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, 1823. ME: 15:436

"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, 1799. ME 10:124

"We have a perfect horror at everything like connecting ourselves with the politics of Europe." --Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 1801. ME 10:285

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

"We wish the happiness and prosperity of every nation." --Thomas Jefferson to Mme de Stael-Holstein, 1815. ME 14:333

Peace and Justice for All Nations
"We wish to cultivate peace and friendship with all nations, believing that course most conducive to the welfare of our own. It is natural that these friendships should bear some proportion to the common interests of the parties." --Thomas Jefferson to Rufus King, 1802. ME 10:329

"It is our duty and our interest to cultivate with all nations... a spirit of justice and friendly accommodation." --Thomas Jefferson: 2nd Annual Message, 1802. ME 3:341

"What is the price we ask for our friendship? Justice, and the comity usually observed between nation and nation." --Thomas Jefferson to James Maury, 1815. ME 14:313

"It is in the power of neighbor nations to contribute to mutual happiness and prosperity by faithfully using their good offices wherever they can procure the peace and advantage of each other." --Thomas Jefferson to de Viar and de Jaudenes, 1792. ME 8:339

"I have ever cherished the same spirit with all nations, from a consciousness that peace, prosperity, liberty and morals have an intimate connection." --Thomas Jefferson to George Logan, 1813. ME 13:384

"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, 1793. ME 9:56

"I wish that all nations may recover and retain their independence; that those which are overgrown may not advance beyond safe measures of power; that a salutary balance may be ever maintained among nations; and that our peace, commerce and friendship may be sought and cultivated by all." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Leiper, 1815. ME 14:308

"I know, too, that it is a maxim with us, and I think it a wise one, not to entangle ourselves with the affairs of Europe. Still, I think we should know them." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787. ME 6:396

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