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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)
QUOTATION: Peace, commerce, and honest friendship, with all nations—entangling alliances with none.
ATTRIBUTION: President THOMAS JEFFERSON, inaugural address, March 4, 1801.—The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Andrew A. Lipscomb, vol. 3, p. 321 (1904).

This thought had been similarly expressed earlier in his letter to Edward Carrington, December 21, 1787: “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.”—The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, vol. 12, p. 447 (1955).

George Washington did not use any form of “entangle,” but shared a like political view in his letters to Patrick Henry, October 9, 1795: “My ardent desire is … to keep the U States free from political connexions with every other Country. To see that they may be independent of all, and under the influence of none,” and to Gouverneur Morris, December 22, 1795: “My policy has been … to be upon friendly terms with, but independent of, all the nations of the earth. To share in the broils of none.”—Writings of George Washington, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, vol. 34, pp. 335, 401 (1940).
SUBJECTS: Foreign policy