1 An analysis of George Washington’s Farewell Address shows that there were three points he wanted to stress. The points being his decision not to be considered for a 3rd term, his advice to the country to stand united, and his advice to the future leaders of the country concerning foreign policy. The first point concerning his decision not to be considered for a 3rd term was something that Washington had given a lot of thought to and had even decided to do before the beginning of his 2nd term.
He had even gone so far as to write a farewell address at the end of what he believe to be his first and only term as President, the reason he accepted the 2nd term was due to the uncertain stability of the young country, the uncertain status of the countries position with other countries, as well as the numerous requests that he continue to be the man that made decisions on behalf of the country. Another issue that led to his decision was that the weight of the office was wearing on him, and he felt that it was time for him to step away from political life and allow someone else to accept the position.
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Those he felt he was no longer the man to run the country he was very grateful to those who placed him in the position, as well as those who supported the decisions he made while attempting to make all the right choices to lead the country down the correct path. Grateful though he was for what he had been given the opportunity to accomplish he was also humble enough to acknowledge that he could not have done any of it without the support of the citizens who he urged to care for and defend the constitution as well as each other and that if they did so, then the country would prosper which would draw the attention of other countries.
He closed this point by telling us that he had some specific advice concerning how everyone should act and treat each other, which he felt was an unbiased opinion due to the decision he had made. 2 Washington began his second point by telling the country that though they were happy with the way the government was running and that everything was united, it wouldn’t always be that way. That there were people both domestic and foreign that would try to divide the country so as to make them begin to doubt that the country could prosper, he urged them give it everything they could to stop those who would think to divide what had been created.
He also told them that they are all Americans and should stand proud of that fact, that despite small differences they had the same beliefs, principles and goals and that they had gotten them because they had fought together for them and won. Washington then points out that no one part of the country can survive without the rest and that each region of the country needs the others; he then gives the example that the North helps the South by supplying them with machines and other materials from its manufacturing industry while the south helps the North by supplying them with crops from its agricultural industry.
Likewise the East and West also share the same relationship with the added bonus of the East being able to protect the country from foreign invasion. He then went on to point out how someone might attempt to divide the country by pointing out differences between the different regions, make false claims about what certain parts of the country are after, and used the example of the West and its interests regarding the Mississippi river. Washington then assures the people that the constitution that had been written was a document that was strong and could even be amended should a time come that something need to be added, taken out, or revised.
Closing this point he stated that parties were a bad idea because they were only interested in their own interests and should be avoided. The final point that Washington wanted to make to the country was his opinion on 3 foreign policy. First he suggests keeping the debt of the country low when you can so that you have something to draw on when the time comes. He also believed that the country needed to stay peaceful with all of the nations of the world as religion and basic morals say to do because having a long lasting hatred for any one country causes you to become a slave to that hatred.
But to that end he also believed that having a long lasting alliance would be just as damaging to the country because it could draw you into a fight that has no benefit to the country. It also opens the country up to retaliation if it concedes something to one country but refuses the same concession to another. As it pertains to the nations of Europe, Washington believed that the best thing to do was to stay out of their affairs so as not to make an enemy out of anyone on either side of the conflict. In his pinion staying out of the affairs of other countries and handling our business would cause other countries to want to steer clear of an altercation with us allowing us to be the one that makes the decision as far as war and peace was concerned but made clear that any agreements and alliances that were currently held should be kept but that nothing new should be extended. Washington reiterated that staying friendly with everyone both politically, and financially was a good idea and that trade routes should be allowed to progress naturally but kept free enough to make a change should it be warranted.
He closed his address by hoping that what he had said would be reflected upon from time to time and stated how much he hoped to enjoy his retirement. It is apparent that Washington understood the best way to keeps this country moving in the right direction and that the founding fathers had it right. Many of the things Washington said should be avoided have not been and it appears we are heading in the exact direction he said we would if his advise was not adhered to.