"The oldest of all American ideas in the field of foreign policy is the idea of non-entanglement. The American Revolution itself was an act of divorce from Europe. A strong case could have been made that the 13 colonies benefited from an association with Great Britain, but a strong case could be made that the Americans had a right to govern themselves, that they no longer needed the support of the mother country, and that they were "of right, free and independent states." This theory was reinforced by the circumstances of American life, by the great difference in the social texture of the United States from the social texture of Great Britain, by the American dream of society free from the feudal survivals of Europe and in which the career open to talents would be a practical reality. The United States started its life as a nation with a sense of its own differentness from the Old World across the seas."
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