George washington farewell speech

Washingtons farewell address significance

It remains a Senate custom that continues to this day. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. 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. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter. He urged Americans to subordinate sectional jealousies to common national interests. He also argues that the American government needs to ensure "the general diffusion of knowledge" [6] throughout the United States; the government has been created to enforce the opinion of the people, so the opinion of the people should be informed and knowledgeable. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. 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. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim. 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. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. Washington had striven to remain neutral during a conflict between Britain and France brought about by the French Revolution , while the Democratic-Republicans had made efforts to align with France and the Federalists had made efforts to ally with Great Britain.

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.

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.

washingtons farewell address definition

If he accomplished anything during his presidency, he said, it was as a result of their support and efforts to help the country survive and prosper.

Describing the farewell address in his book on the life of Washington, Henry Cabot Lodge wrote " In Boston since the newspaper carved out a distinguished journalistic career for one hundred years.

Washingtons farewell address warnings

The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. 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. He reminds the people that it is the right of the people to alter the government to meet their needs, but it should only be done through constitutional amendments. 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. If we remain one people under an efficient government. 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. For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. 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.

Early entries in the notebook were typically brief explanations of the practice, accompanied by signature and date. 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.

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.

george washington farewell address quotes

Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. 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.

washingtons farewell address main points
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U.S. Senate: Washington's Farewell Address