chapter  1
11 Pages

The origins of the transatlantic community

The origins of the alliance That the United States should even enter a formal alliance was remarkable in itself, not least one that committed it to helping provide for the security of Europe. America’s foreign policy in the formative years of the American Republic was predicated upon a profound aversion for the power politics of the Old World and the belief that to avoid becoming entangled in its web of conflicts and

wars, the United States must abstain from any involvement in Europe’s affairs. John Quincy Adams observed ‘I do not love to be entangled with the politics of Europe’, while George Washington, in his farewell address to the nation, warned his contemporaries:

Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none of 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 . . . 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.