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George Washington: Farewell Address Quotes

" 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.
Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged
in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be
unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary
combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.
Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. 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.
. It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as
we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing
engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best
policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is
unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

John OSullivan Coins the Phrase Manifest Destiny


1845
Excerpted from Annexation, The United States Magazine and Democratic Review 17 (July 1845): 5
10.
John L. OSullivan (18131895), founder and editor of the United States Magazine and Democratic
Review and avid Democrat casually coined the phrase manifest destiny in this 1845 editorial in which he
commended the addition of Texas to the United States and hopefully looked further west to California as a site for
future expansion. Texas had won independence from Mexico in 1836, but President Andrew Jackson opposed
admitting Texas to the Union for fear of provoking political conflict over the slavery issue. By 1844, however,
James Polk won the presidency in part because of his pro-annexation position. Polks aggressive expansionism soon
provoked war with Mexico. OSullivan also continued to advocate American expansion by supporting the filibuster
movement that sought to conquer Cuba, among other Latin American lands. Not included below is a fairly neutral
discussion of the problem of slavery, in which OSullivan suggested that manumitted slaves might be sent to Central
and South America, by way of Texas, thus allowing the U.S. to slough . . . off the African race. Although
OSullivan denied that the Texas issue had anything to do with the expansion of slavery, the westward expansion of
slavery fueled the sectional tensions that led to Civil War. D. Voelker
[1] It is time now for opposition to the Annexation of Texas to cease . . . . It is time for the
common duty of Patriotism to the Country to succeed;or if this claim will not be recognized, it
is at least time for common sense to acquiesce with decent grace in the inevitable and
irrevocable.
[2] Texas is now ours. Already, before these words are written, her Convention has
undoubtedly ratified the acceptance, by her Congress, of our proffered invitation into the Union.
. . . . It is time then that all should cease to treat her as alien . . .
[3] Why, were other reasoning wanting, in favor of now elevating this question of the reception
of Texas into the Union, out of the lower region of our past party dissensions, up to its proper
level of a high and broad nationality, it surely is to be found, found abundantly, in the manner in

which other nations have undertaken to intrude themselves into it, between us and the proper
parties to the case, in a spirit of hostile interference against us, for the avowed object of thwarting
our policy and hampering our power, limiting our greatness and checking the fulfillment of our
manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of
our yearly multiplying millions. This we have seen done by England, our old rival and enemy;
and by France, strangely coupled with her against us, under the influence of the Anglicism
strongly tingeing the policy of her present prime minister, Guizot. . . .
[4] It is wholly untrue, and unjust to ourselves, the pretense that the Annexation has been a
measure of spoliation, unrightful and unrighteousof military conquest under forms of peace
and lawof territorial aggrandizement at the expense of justice due by a double sanctity to the
weak. . . . The independence of Texas was complete and absolute. It was an independence, not
only in fact but of right. . . .
[5] Texas has been absorbed into the Union in the inevitable fulfillment of the general law which
is rolling our population westward; the connexion of which with that ratio of growth of
population which is destined within a hundred years to swell our numbers to the enormous
population of two hundred and fifty millions (if not more), is too evident to leave us in doubt of the
manifest design of Providence in regard to the occupation of this continent.
[6] California will, probably, next fall away from the loose adhesion which, in such as country as
Mexico, holds a remote province in a slight equivocal kind of dependence on the metropolis.
Imbecile and distracted, Mexico never can exert any real government authority over such a
country. . . . The Anglo-Saxon foot is already on [Californias] borders. Already the advance
guard of the irresistible army of Anglo-Saxon emigration has begun to pour down upon it, armed
with the plough and the rifle, and marking its trail with schools and colleges, courts and
representative halls, mills and meeting-houses. A population will soon be in actual occupation of
California, over which it will be idle for Mexico to dream of dominion. They will necessarily
become independent. All this without the agency of our government, without responsibility of
our peoplein the natural flow of events . . . . And they will have a right to independenceto
self-governmentto the possession of the homes conquered from the wilderness by their own
labors and dangers, sufferings and sacrifices. . . . Whether they will then attach themselves to our
Union or not, is not to be predicted with certainty. Unless the projected rail-road across the
continent to the Pacific be carried into effect, perhaps they may not; though even in that case, the
day is not distant when the Empires of the Atlantic and the Pacific would again flow together . . .

The Monroe Doctrine (1823)


..In the discussions to which this interest has given rise, and in the arrangements by which they may terminate
the occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States
are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and
maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers....
..Of events in that quarter of the globe, with which we have so much intercourse, and from which we derive our
origin, we have always been anxious and interested spectators. The citizens of the United States cherish sentiments
the most friendly, in favor of the liberty and happiness of their fellow men on that side of the Atlantic. In the wars of
the European powers, in matters relating to themselves, we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our
policy to do so. It is only when our rights are invaded, or seriously menaced, that we resent injuries, or make
preparation for our defence.
We owe it, therefore, to candor, and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those
powers, to declare, that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this
hemisphere, as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European
power we have not interfered, and shall not interfere.