No Entangling Foreign Alliances -- George Washington On American Character

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D. Spencer Hines

Nov 28, 2007, 11:54:11 AM11/28/07

Definitely an incorrect date -- there was no United States in 1775.


In any case, lots has changed in 200 years. The United States was not the
sole superpower in 1795 -- far, far from it.


Lux et Veritas et Libertas

"My ardent desire is, and my aim has comply strictly
with all our engagements foreign and domestic; but to keep the U
States free from political connections with every other Country.
To see that they may be independent of all, and under the
influence of none. In a word, I want an American character,
that the powers of Europe may be convinced we act for ourselves
and not for others; this, in my judgment, is the only way to be
respected abroad and happy at home."

-- George Washington (letter to Patrick Henry, 9 October 1775) [sic]

Reference: The Writings of George Washington, Fitzpatrick, ed.,
vol. 34 (335)

Jack Linthicum

Nov 28, 2007, 1:35:58 PM11/28/07

Compare and contrast, cite specific examples in your comparisons. 40

Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

Public Papers of the Presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960, p. 1035-

My fellow Americans:

Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our
country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in
traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is
vested in my successor.

This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and
farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.

Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will
labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed
with peace and prosperity for all.

Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential
agreement on issues of great moment, the wise resolution of which will
better shape the future of the Nation.

My own relations with the Congress, which began on a remote and
tenuous basis when, long ago, a member of the Senate appointed me to
West Point, have since ranged to the intimate during the war and
immediate post-war period, and, finally, to the mutually
interdependent during these past eight years.

In this final relationship, the Congress and the Administration have,
on most vital issues, cooperated well, to serve the national good
rather than mere partisanship, and so have assured that the business
of the Nation should go forward. So, my official relationship with the
Congress ends in a feeling, on my part, of gratitude that we have been
able to do so much together.


We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has
witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved
our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the
strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the
world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that
America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our
unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how
we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.


Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes
have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement,
and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among
nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious
people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of
comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous
hurt both at home and abroad.

Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the
conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention,
absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology -- global in
scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in
method. Unhappily the danger is poses promises to be of indefinite
duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much
the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those
which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without
complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle -- with
liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every
provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human

Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or
domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that
some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous
solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer
elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure
every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied
research -- these and many other possibilities, each possibly
promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we
wish to travel.

But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader
consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national
programs -- balance between the private and the public economy,
balance between cost and hoped for advantage -- balance between the
clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our
essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the
nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and
the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and
progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their
government have, in the main, understood these truths and have
responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats,
new in kind or degree, constantly arise. I mention two only.


A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment.
Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no
potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by
any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of
World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no
armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and
as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk
emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to
create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to
this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in
the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more
than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms
industry is new in the American experience. The total influence --
economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every
State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the
imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to
comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood
are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition
of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the
militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of
misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our
liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted.
Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper
meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with
our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may
prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our
industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution
during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more
formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is
conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been
overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing
fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the
fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a
revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge
costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute
for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now
hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal
employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever

* and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we
should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that
public policy could itself become the captive of a
scientifictechnological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate
these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our
democratic system -- ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free


Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As
we peer into society's future, we -- you and I, and our government --
must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own
ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot
mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the
loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy
to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent
phantom of tomorrow.


Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that
this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a
community of dreadful fear and hate, and be instead, a proud
confederation of mutual trust and respect.

Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to
the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as
we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table,
though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the
certain agony of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing
imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not
with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is
so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official
responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of
disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering
sadness of war -- as one who knows that another war could utterly
destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built
over thousands of years -- I wish I could say tonight that a lasting
peace is in sight.

Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward
our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a
private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help
the world advance along that road.


So -- in this my last good night to you as your President -- I thank
you for the many opportunities you have given me for public service in
war and peace. I trust that in that service you find some things
worthy; as for the rest of it, I know you will find ways to improve
performance in the future.

You and I -- my fellow citizens -- need to be strong in our faith that
all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May
we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble
with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nation's great goals.

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to
America's prayerful and continuing aspiration:

We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have
their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity
shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may
experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will
understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are
insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the
scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear
from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will
come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of
mutual respect and love.

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