America’s Founders were not ignorant xenophobes. They were erudite men with an intimate understanding of history, economics, and politics. Several of them, including Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, lived abroad, spoke several foreign languages, and made significant contributions to science and philosophy. Even as they strove to create a new nation, our Founders consciously tried to avoid the mistakes of the Old World. Europe was, in their view, a bubbling cauldron of dynastic intrigue, war, and repression. Being familiar with the history of militarism ….