Americans and Europeans alike sometimes forget how unique is the United States of America. No other nation has been created so swiftly and successfully. No other nation has been built upon an idea — the idea of liberty. No other nation has so successfully combined people of different races and nations within a single culture. Both the founding fathers of the United States and successive waves of immigrants to your country were determined to create a new identity. Whether in flight from persecution or from poverty, the huddled masses have, with few exceptions, welcomed American values, the American way of life and American opportunities. And America herself has bound them to her with powerful bonds of patriotism and pride.
The European nations are not and can never be like this. They are the product of history and not of philosophy. You can construct a nation on an idea; but you cannot reconstruct a nation on the basis of one.
So Margaret Thatcher in einer Rede, die sie 1991 bei der amerikanischen Hoover Institution hielt; ein Zitat, das im Internet vornehmlich in der verkürzten — und damit leider auch sinnentstellten — Version “Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy” die Runde macht.