Section (GOVT 200-S02)(Instructor's name)
(The date the assignment is due)
In 1796, George Washington, the renowned United States president, made the decision of not seeking reelection after his third term in the office. Thus, he drafted his Farewell Address to his nation’s people. Alexander Hamilton was the main contributor in writing the drafts for the thirty-two page address. Washington's Farewell Address is considered as one of his most acknowledged speeches. However, it is important to mention here that he never actually vocalized this address. The Independent Chronicle, the leading newspaper of the time, published the address. George Washington was able to reflect his opinions, feelings and principles in the most elegant manner possible. According to Henry Cabot Lodge, “no man ever left a nobler political testament" (Lodge, 1920). The address contained the withdrawal plan of George Washington from the field of politics as he had dedicated 45 years of his life to the service of American people. He also laid out the reasons for not running for the upcoming elections.
The great President also gave special emphasis on the significance and vitality of religious beliefs and moral values. In addition, he presented his views regarding the public credit stability and its importance. He mentioned that public credit shall be cherished by the people and must be used wisely. He specifically advised people to preserve the public credit by using it in the most moderate way possible. He also stressed on the importance of refraining from debt accumulation. He also warned American people against undeviating overseas alliances and advised them not to try to be a part of any international alliance. He made the serious recommendation concerning the US rule of conduct in pursuing trade relations on an international level. It is important to mention here that he did not want American people to have no connections with the outside world. However, he insisted on a policy of non-interference. He wanted Americans to be fully conscious of their own capabilities in a constantly-changing world. He was lucid in emphasizing on the necessity of a neutral policy whereby American nation could set an example for the rest of the world in self-sufficiency and defiance of external threats. In addition, he also asked his people to pass up the vitality of establishing of over-powerful and expansive military establishments. He considered such establishments as unfavorable and discouraging to freedom and autonomy of the nation.
It won’t be incorrect to state that the philosophy of George Washington that he shared with his fellow countrymen in the Farewell Address was the essence of his experience as a great politician and leader. He was successful in integrating the sense of duty and patriotism in this Address as he stressed on the collective action of Americans for the prosperity and advancement of the United States of America. He clearly pointed out the importance of individual and mutual endeavors for a better homeland. By going through the mentioned address, one can crystal clearly observe the practical and matter-of fact sensibility that reflected in Washington’s character. Washington had a great understanding regarding the optimistic dedication to duty. However, he stressed people to carry out their duties but also asked them to realistically evaluate their self-centeredness for the determination of the best path for communal accomplishment. He was crystal clear in warning the nation about the various dangers challenging the nascent republic. He specifically warned Americans regarding the internal factional strife and international coalitions. However, he also gave them a solution in his Farewell Address i.e. to hold on to the greatness that could be achieved from unanimity and character grace of people (McClellan, 2000).
It won’t be untrue to conclude that the Farewell Address of the great leader was a daring and brave attempt to openly advise and warn the American people regarding their everlasting satisfaction, prosperity and happiness. It was also a great thing on his behalf that he unselfishly decided to not run for the upcoming elections. As a consequence of his action, the American nation saw the foundation of republican government in the country. If truth be told, the Farewell Address has the equal importance like the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution as it states the American purpose in the most direct way possible.
Lodge, H. C. (1920). The Life of George Washington, Volume 2. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
McClellan, J. (2000). Liberty, Order, and Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government (3rd ed.). Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.