37) OTHER NATIONS: What is the importance of the United States system of government to other nations? What political duties do we have in regard to other nations?

Prophetic Statements

Ezra Taft Benson

The United States Constitution has been in existence longer than any written constitution in history. It has been a blessing, not only to our land, but to the world as well. Many nations have wisely adopted concepts and provisions of our Constitution, just as was prophesied (D&C 101:77). 1

Founders Statements

George Washington

Under an energetic general government such regulations might be made, and such measures taken, as would render this country the asylum of pacific and industrious characters from all parts of Europe, would encourage the cultivation of the earth by the high price which it’s products would command, and would draw the wealth, and wealthy men, of other nations into our bosom by giving security to property and liberty to it’s holders. [1]

It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity, but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn. To establish this desirable end, and to establish [a] government of laws, the Union of these states is absolutely necessary; therefore in every proceeding, this great, this important object should ever be kept in view; and so long as our measures tend to this, and are marked with the wisdom of a well-informed and enlightened people, we may reasonably hope, under the smiles of Heaven, to convince the world that the happiness of nations can be accomplished by pacific revolutions in their political systems, without the destructive intervention of the sword. [2]

From the public papers it appears that the parliaments of the several provinces [of France], and particularly that of Paris, have acted with great spirit and resolution. Indeed, the rights of mankind, the privileges of the people, and the true principles of liberty seem to have been more generally discussed and better understood throughout Europe since the American Revolution than they were at any former period. [3]

The American Revolution, or the peculiar light of the age, seems to have opened the eyes of almost every nation in Europe. [4]

It is a flattering and consolatory reflection that our rising republics have the good wishes of all the philosophers, patriots, and virtuous men in all nations, and that they look upon them as a kind of asylum for mankind. God grant that we may not disappoint their honest expectations by our folly or perverseness. [5]

It is a point conceded that America, under an efficient government, will be the most favourable country of any in the world for persons of industry and frugality, possessed of a moderate capital, to inhabit. It is also believed that it will not be less advantageous to the happiness of the lowest class of people, because of the equal distribution of property, the great plenty of unoccupied lands, and the facility of procuring the means of subsistence. [6]

I hope, some day or another, we shall become a storehouse and granary for the world. [7]

The prospect of national prosperity now before us is truly animating, and ought to excite the exertions of all good men to establish and secure the happiness of their country in the permanent duration of its freedom and independence. America, under the smiles of divine Providence, the protection of a good government, the cultivation of manners, morals, and piety, can hardly fail of attaining an uncommon degree of eminence in literature, commerce, agriculture, improvements at home, and respectability abroad. [8]

Happy, thrice happy shall they be pronounced hereafter who have contributed anything, who have performed the meanest office, in erecting this stupendous fabric of freedom and empire on the broad basis of independence; who have assisted in protecting the rights of human nature and establishing an asylum for the poor and oppressed of all nations and religions. [9]

Supporting Statements

  1. George Washington, To Thomas Jefferson. Fitzpatrick 29:351; The Real George Washington p. 640
  2. George Washington, To the legislature of Pennsylvania. Fitzpatrick 30:395; The Real George Washington p. 641
  3. George Washington, To Thomas Jefferson. Fitzpatrick 29:350; The Real George Washington p. 642
  4. George Washington, To Hector St. John de Crevecoeur. Fitzpatrick 30:281; The Real George Washington p. 642
  5. George Washington, To the Marquis de Chastellux. Fitzpatrick 29:485; The Real George Washington p. 640
  6. George Washington, To Richard Henderson. Fitzpatrick 29:526; The Real George Washington p. 640
  7. George Washington, To the Marquis de Lafayette. Fitzpatrick 29:526; The Real George Washington p. 640
  8. George Washington, To the Roman Catholics in the United States. Sparks 12:178; The Real George Washington p. 640
  9. George Washington, General Orders. Fitzpatrick 26:335; The Real George Washington p. 638
  1. Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson 624; from an address given at the Bicentennial Ball, Salt Lake City, UT, 18 Sep 1987
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