Washington's Farewell Address 
A Republic or an Empire?
The United States in the World
Following the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and his own first inaugural address, Washington’s Farewell speaks to the wider world. From the start, American nationalism was self-consciously universal. In meeting our obligations to one another at home, we would perform important service for the wider world.
The happiness of the people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made so complete by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it.
This is consistent with Madison’s Federalist, No. 63, relating to the constitutional vision of the Senate.
An attention to the judgment of other nations is important to every government for two reasons: the one is, that, independently of the merits of any particular plan or measure, it is desirable, on various accounts, that it should appear to other nations as the offspring of a wise and honorable policy; the second is, that in doubtful cases, particularly where the national councils may be warped by some strong passion or momentary interest, the presumed or known opinion of the impartial world may be the best guide. What has not America lost by her want of character with foreign nations; and how many errors and follies would she not have avoided, if the justice and propriety of her measures had, in every instance, been previously tried by the light in which they would probably appear to the unbiased part of mankind?
It is significant that the founders initiated and prevailed in the first successful anti-colonial, democratic revolution. They witnessed and experienced the corruption of British institutions and their failure to guarantee their rights as English subjects. Empires take on a life of their own. The power of the ruling nations imposed great costs on their own people as well as those they conquered.