+1(978)310-4246 credencewriters@gmail.com


Assignment: Washington’s Farewell Address

Please read President George Washington’s Farewell Address and prepare a summary of his remarks not to exceed 500 words. (A full page is about 500 words.) The full address is attached below; Open, it will download, then it can be viewed.

Summarize his comments as they pertain to his message regarding elections and political parties. Please address the occasion for his remarks and why we call it his “Farewell Address.”

Washington’s Farewell Address 1796
Friends and Citizens:
The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of
the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts
must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important
trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct
expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have
formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice
is to be made.
I beg you, at the same time, to do me the justice to be assured that this resolution
has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the
relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of
service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of
zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but
am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.
The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages
have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty
and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would
have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty
to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The
strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the
preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then
perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous
advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea.
I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer
renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety,
and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that, in the
present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire.
The impressions with which I first undertook the arduous trust were explained on the
proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust, I will only say that I have, with good
intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government
the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious in the
outset of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still
more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and
every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more that the shade
of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that if any
circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have
the consolation to believe that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political
scene, patriotism does not forbid it.
In looking forward to the moment which is intended to terminate the career of my
public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that
debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country for the many honors it has
conferred upon me; still more for the steadfast confidence with which it has supported
me; and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable
attachment, by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my
zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be
remembered to your praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that under
circumstances in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead,
amidst appearances sometimes dubious, vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging, in
situations in which not unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of
criticism, the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a
guarantee of the plans by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this
idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that
heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence; that your union and
brotherly affection may be perpetual; that the free Constitution, which is the work of your
hands, may be sacredly maintained; that its administration in every department may be
stamped with wisdom and virtue; that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these
States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made 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.
Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end
but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on
an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend
to your frequent review, some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no
inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all-important to the permanency of
your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can
only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have
no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it,
your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion.
Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no
recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.
The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It
is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of
your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that
very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different
causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed
to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political
fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most
constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite
moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to
your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and
immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the
palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with
jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in
any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every
attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred
ties which now link together the various parts.
For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or
choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections.
The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always
exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local
discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners,
habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed
together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and
joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.
But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your
sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your
interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for
carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.
The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal
laws of a common government, finds in the productions of the latter great additional
resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of
manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the agency of
the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. Turning partly into its
own channels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and,
while it contributes, in different ways, to nourish and increase the general mass of the
national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength, to which
itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds,
and in the progressive improvement of interior communications by land and water, will
more and more find a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad, or
manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth
and comfort, and, what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe
the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight,
influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by
an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the
West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate
strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connection with any foreign power, must be
intrinsically precarious.
While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest
in union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and
efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external
danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of
inestimable value, they must derive from union an exemption from those broils and wars
between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together
by the same governments, which their own rival ships alone would be sufficient to
produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would
stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those
overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are
inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican
liberty. In this sense it is that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your
liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.
These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous
mind, and exhibit the continuance of the Union as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is
there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let
experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are
authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole with the auxiliary agency of
governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment.
It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to
union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated
its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in
any quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands.
In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of
serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties
by geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence
designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local
interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular
districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield
yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these
misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be
bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our Western country have lately
had a useful lesson on this head; they have seen, in the negotiation by the Executive,
and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, of the treaty with Spain, and in the
universal satisfaction at that event, throughout the United States, a decisive proof how
unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the General
Government and in the Atlantic States unfriendly to their interests in regard to the
Mississippi; they have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties, that with Great
Britain, and that with Spain, which secure to them everything they could desire, in
respect to our foreign relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their
wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the Union by which they
were procured ? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are,
who would sever them from their brethren and connect them with aliens?
To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is
indispensable. No alliance, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate
substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all
alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have
improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a constitution of government better
calculated than your former for an intimate union, and for the efficacious management
of your common concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice,
uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation,
completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with
energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim
to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws,
acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true
liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter
their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till
changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory
upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government
presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.
All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations,
under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or
awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of
this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give
it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the
nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the
community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the
public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction,
rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels
and modified by mutual interests.
However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then
answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent
engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert
the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government,
destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present
happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular
oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of
innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault
may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy
of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the
changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as
necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that
experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing
constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and
opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and
opinion; and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common
interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is
consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in
such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It
is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the
enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed
by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of
person and property.
I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular
reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a
more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the
baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the
strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all
governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular
form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of
revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has
perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at
length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which
result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute
power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more
able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his
own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to
be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are
sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public
administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms,
kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and
insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a
facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus
the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the
administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within
certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may
look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular
character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their
natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary
purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of
public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a
uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should
It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire
caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their
respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one
department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate
the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of
government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to
abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of
this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by
dividing and distributing it into different depositaries, and constituting each the guardian
of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments
ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve
them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the
distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it
be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let
there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the
instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are
destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial
or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and
morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of
patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these
firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the
pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their
connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security
for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths
which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution
indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may
be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason
and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of
religious principle.
It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular
government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free
government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts
to shake the foundation of the fabric?
Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general
diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to
public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One
method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of
expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to
prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding
likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by
vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may
have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we
ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your
representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to
them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in
mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue
there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less
inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the
selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a
decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it,
and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public
exigencies may at any time dictate.
Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony
with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does
not equally enjoin it – It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a
great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people
always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the
course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary
advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence
has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at
least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it
rendered impossible by its vices?
In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent,
inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others,
should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all
should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a
habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its
affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.
Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and
injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when
accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate,
envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment,
sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy.
The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through
passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation
subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and
pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has
been the victim.
So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of
evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common
interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the
enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of
the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to
the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation
making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been
retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties
from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or
deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or
sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with
popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a
commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base
or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.
As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are
particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many
opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of
seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an
attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to
be the satellite of the latter.
Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellowcitizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and
experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican
government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the
instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it.
Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those
whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second
the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the
favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the
applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.
The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our
commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far
as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith.
Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very
remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of
which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us
to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the
ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.
Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different
course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off
when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an
attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously
respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon
us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war,
as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.
Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand
upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe,
entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest,
humor or caprice?
It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the
foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be
understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the
maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best
policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense.
But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.
Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable
defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary
Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity,
and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand;
neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural
course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce,
but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a
stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to
support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances
and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time
abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping
in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it
must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that
character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given
equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not
giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors
from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride
ought to discard.
In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I
dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they
will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the
course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself
that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they
may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the
mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism;
this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they
have been dictated.
How far in the discharge of my official duties I have been guided by the principles
which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct
must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience
is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.
In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my proclamation of the twentysecond of April, I793, is the index of my plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice, and
by that of your representatives in both houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure
has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.
After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well
satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take,
and was bound in duty and interest to take, a neutral position. Having taken it, I
determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it, with moderation,
perseverance, and firmness.
The considerations which respect the right to hold this conduct, it is not necessary
on this occasion to detail. I will only observe that, according to my understanding of the
matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the belligerent powers, has been
virtually admitted by all.
The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without anything more, from
the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is
free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.
The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your
own reflections and experience. With me a predominant motive has been to endeavor to
gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress
without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to
give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.
Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of
intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable
that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the
Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me
the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after
forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of
incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the
mansions of rest.
Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love
towards it, which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his
progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in
which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the
midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government,
the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual
cares, labors, and dangers.
Geo. Washington.
SSU POLS 4521, Political Parties and Voting Behavior
Assignment: Washington’s Farewell Address
Please read President George Washington’s Farewell Address and prepare a summary of his
remarks not to exceed 500 words. (A full page of his address reprinted and distributed in class is
about 500 words.)
Summarize his comments as they pertain to his message regarding elections and political
parties. Please address the occasion for his remarks and why we call it his “Farewell Address.”
Type the document in Word. Double space with a font no smaller than 12. Email to:
Due date is Wednesday, September 10th.

Purchase answer to see full

error: Content is protected !!