I have always given it as my decided opinion that no nation has a right to
intermeddle in the internal concerns of another; that every one had a right
to form and adopt whatever government they liked best to live under them-
selves; and that if this country could, consistent with its engagements,
maintain a strict neutrality and thereby preserve peace, it was bound to
do so by motives of policy, interest, and every other consideration.
-- George Washington (1732-1799) Letter to James Monroe (25 Aug. 1796)