Washington’s Farewell Address Analysis Instructions
You will analyze the major points of George Washington’s “Farewell Address” and write a 3-page analysis, considering contemporary government and including differing points of view.
Major Points of George Washington’s “Farewell Address”
Washington farewell address is regarded as one of the most important documents in the American history. Being the first president of the United States, Washington had unique experience with various issues the country was experiencing. He therefore found it important to offer advice to his “friends” the American citizens before they made their choice in choosing his replacement. In this document, Washington informed Americans that he doubted his ability as a president and his ability to accomplish what he had accomplished was only attained by their undying support in the execution of his duty (Yale Law School, 1796).
This was simply meant to imply that any American was capable of leading the nation as long as he was provided similar support they provided to him. The statement was also supposed to reinforce their trust towards a new president they would elect, since most people has shown their fear in his retirement, doubting anybody’s ability to replace him. Washington wished to retire at the end of his first term, but was discouraged to do, however, this time round; Washington is encouraging American to face their fear by electing another person to lead the nation. However, before that, Washington provided advice on how the new president and the American in general should consider handling various critical issues that would influence the country direction in the future. This analysis demonstrates how his major point in the address influence the current government.
Farewell Address Analysis
Washington addressed various issues that the citizens should be careful about when managing the American government affairs in the future. Washington stressed on the issue of sectionalism, which was dividing people based on their regions or state. He advised American that their strength lied on their unity and that they should reject any enemy planning to divide them based on their regions (Yale Law School, 1796). He encouraged them to consider their nationality as American, before they could consider their region; county or state of origin. This was meant to strengthen the unity of the United States which was very young at that time. Today, the unity can clearly be seen after very many years where the country comprised of 52 states has managed to remain united despite the existence of various forces that could have weakened the bond.
Washington also addressed political groups and the constitution. Washington urged people to support the government that will be constitutionally elected to be able to execute its duties. He also warned people against political faction that fights the government, making it hard to execute its duties. According to Washington, such groups should not be supported since they focus on forceful takeover from the constitutional government for selfish reasons. Although he pointed out the constitution of the country was still very young, he encouraged the American to consider changes not through force but through constitutional amendment. This advice has been hindered to with the current constitution having undergone various amendments to address contentious issues that were influencing life of Americans. These amendments have made it easy for all American to feel protected and valued as American citizens.
Washington also advised Americans about their relation with foreign nations. He warned against permanent enemies or friend, claiming that permanent enmity may push the country into unnecessary war due to the likelihood of blowing small issues out of proportion. He also claimed that having long term friendship was also said to be likely to draw Americans into non-beneficial or non-jurisdiction war. This was said to be likely to weaken American relation with other nations. Washington advised on developing healthy short-term relation with other nations to assist the country in trade and growth and not tight relationships that can influence its affairs. He encouraged the country to take advantage of its isolation to grow on its own without external influence. This was to safeguard the country from wasting its time and resources in wars that could have been avoided (Yale Law School, 1796). Washington wanted the country to concentrate in its development and economic growth rather than unnecessary war. The American involvement in terrorism has brought about the impact warned by Washington. The country has been using a lot of resources to fight terrorism. Moreover, the country has experienced death of many of its soldiers in foreign allies, something that could have probably been avoided if the country fully hindered to Washington advice.
The address also advised the American against excessive borrowing from other nations. According to Washington excessive borrowing is likely to impact the country growth due to interest burden (Yale Law School, 1796). Moreover, it was likely to enslave the country to its debtors, making it hard for the country to remain independent in the formation of its foreign policy and foreign relations with its debtors. He however approved reasonable borrowing to aid in handling important economic growth. Washington encouraged citizens to support the government through taxation. American has managed for a long time to live without major debts and to survive through its taxation. The new government has managed to change the taxation rules, which the citizens still obey in the spirit of supporting their country.
Washington also demonstrated the importance of embracing religious value in upholding molarity in the country. This was a call for the country to continue promoting morality while making laws in the country (Yale Law School, 1796). The situation has been changing with time as people welcome new ways of thinking and perspectives. Today, America has enacted laws that seem to divert from religious values especially in aspects related to families and marriages. Although most religious leaders were against abortion and gay marriage, the country has managed to enact the two lays losing its step in what Washington could have wished it to stand. The Washington farewell address was a great guidance to the country future presidents and American society which was done in good faith to direct the country’s future operations and protect it from decisions that would have been expensive to all citizens in the future.