George S. Boutwell Quote

“Every ambitious would-be empire clarions it abroad that she is conquering the world to bring it peace, security and freedom, and is sacrificing her sons only for the most noble and humanitarian purposes. That is a lie, and it is an ancient lie, yet generations still rise and believe it! ... If America ever does seek Empire, and most nations do, then planned reforms in our domestic life will be abandoned, States Rights will be abolished -- in order to impose a centralized government upon us for the purpose of internal repudiation of freedom, and adventures abroad. The American Dream will then die -- on battlefields all over the world -- and a nation conceived in liberty will destroy liberty for Americans and impose tyranny on subject nations.”

~ George S. Boutwell

Ratings and Comments

L. Hanson, Edmonton, Canada

I would like to hear what a true historian, one with insight and vision has to say about George S. Bothwell. Truly his experience from the Civil War made such a deep impact that he would have such clarity. He is prophetic in his perception of what the nation he probably once loved, would eventually become.

J Allen, Arlington, Va

Incredible foresight. If he were alive today it would be sad for him to see his worst fears realized.

jim k, Austin, Tx

Good old honest Abe wasn't one bit interested in freeing slaves, only in centralizing power in Washington.

L. Hanson, Edmonton, Canada

Jim; neither Lincoln nor the slaves are mentioned in the quote.

E Archer, NYC

Unfortunately true also for the USA, as well as the British, the Soviets, the Chinese. The battle is for the world -- and it will not ever end as long as there are those who wish to be free. Canadians rarely acknowledge their form of government as a monarchy (not socialism) of the British. The Brits have been trying to conquer the world for centuries and are currently involved in numerous wars around the world. Remember that, Hanson -- she is your Queen and you are her subject. The only rights you have are those that the Crown has granted you.

L. Hanson, Edmonton, Canada

Archer; that was true at one time. But over the last century the rights and role of the Monarchy has been severely limited. Yes, it is still present in our system of government as we still recognize it as the chair from wich all authority is granted. But having been granted, those are the authorities that take precident and set policy. The crown can only intervene to veto an act of Parliment. It may not incite acts on its own. The Crown is still needed to allow certain changes to take place like the re-drawing of electoral boundaries. But our rights (Charter of Rights and Freedoms) were patriated decades ago and having been enacted without intervention are entrenched and can not be removed or altered except by an act of Parliment. This would be subject to veto by the Crown.

E Archer, NYC

That may be, Hanson; however, the difference between a republican form of government founded upon the natural born rights of the individual and that of a monarchy is significant. The source of power and authority is completely opposite. And from this difference, there is a different mindset as to what the State is and what its responsibilities are. The Brits and Canadians have an expectation to be cared for by their government, while Americans just want the government to stop getting in their way of taking care of themselves. The primary distinction between the two is that the American people are to dictate what powers and duties their governments are to have, while the monarchical or statist form of government dictates to the people what their rights and DUTIES are. Sure if you have a wise and benevolent master, you do well -- but the rise and fall of Rome should suffice enough as an example of how rare that is. Mankind has been struggling to free themselves from eons of being yoked and oppressed. But those comfortable subjects of the Crown cannot seem to fathom why all the fuss about Liberty or rights to property, particularly land. Rights are not privileges given in exchange for obedience, and that is the key difference between the consciousness of a Freeman and that of a servant. BTW the Queen owns all the land in all the British commonwealth countries, and it is not for sale. The British Crown is the wealthiest corporate sole on the planet -- the Queen is not a figurehead -- you are her subject, and should you ever meet her personally, you would kneel/bow before her.

jim k, Austin, Tx

True, L Hanson, but centralized government was mentioned.

GunnyCee, Durham

I have yet to see any evidence that America is set on conquering and imposing her rule over other countries or the world for that matter. We are a freedom loving people and if we intend to remain free, then we have to supress those who would take it away from us. If that means going into another country and freeing them from evil, monstrous dictators then so be it. We cannot afford to let the world become a free-for-all for terrorists and those who eat, dream, and brush their teeth with our destruction in mind. We live in an extremely dangerous world and as soon as the millions of liberals throughout the world realize this, the better off we'll all be. We are moving out of Iraq just as we promised we would after they showed some ability to fend for themselves. Thanks to the liberals in this world, we are leaving too early. This will neccessitate going back in again, and if not, we'll just have to learn to live with terrorists ruling half the world. Personally, I think that is insane.

Jim, Binghamton

Only way to end the empire is to vote for Ron Paul....RON PAUL 2012

Walter Boutwell, Lynneborough, NH

Mr Hanson, the name is BOUTwell rather than Bothwell. The question is EMPIRE rather than the form of government. The USA has been subject to the "moral equivalent for war" since Wilson's first term. The only reason to hope for the exceptionalism of the USA is perhaps that we have stepped back from empire when we had the chance (SA war, WWI, WWII). My greatest fear for the USA is the lack of perspective of the current series of (temporary) chief executives from Clinton on down.


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