"[America] goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom."
John Quincy Adams - (1767-1848) 6th US President - Source: Speech before the House of Representatives, July 4, 1821; quoted in William Bonner and Pierre Lemieux (Editors), The Idea of America (Les Belles Lettres, 2003), p. 237