George Washington Farewell Address Analysis

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When George Washington wearily accepted the presidency for the second time, he had already planned a farewell speech. Ultimately, he chose to put aside his original farewell speech and lead the American people once more. However, after his second term as president, he was committed to retiring. Throughout his farewell speech, Washington makes various predictions about the future of the Union and gives advice on how to keep the Union as pure as possible moving ahead. This analysis will focus on Washington’s insinuations and recommendations for preserving the Union and staying true to American ideals. Washington’s feelings in regard to national unity encompass a majority of the points in his address. To Washington, the creation of political parties would serve only as a means of breaking the American people away from one another. He feared people would become so consumed in gaining political dominance for their political party that parties would forget or overlook the fact that all of them were still Americans and should be united by this. Washington’s foresight in this matter is an utterly precise prediction of the current political climates in America. The American political arena today appears to be a completely binary system divided between Democrats and Republicans and that views differing from the two are largely ignored. Washington was even able to predict the forming of modern parties “with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations”; this insight seems to hint at his realization at the inevitable split between the North and the South over the issue of slavery. (p. 6) Modern Republicans and Democrats seem much more interested in proving the other party corrupt or inept so that the American... ... middle of paper ... ... farewell address is his perceptive grasp of how the future would play out in America if his fellow Americans chose to diverge from his vision for the country. His views seem very much aligned with the general sentiments of the time for most Americans after having lived under British rule for so many years. In hindsight, his warnings and fears would appear to have come to fruition when one takes into account current culture and politics in America today. A native from the West coast of America would find themselves feeling as if they were in an entirely different country when moved to live in the Southeast coast. Washington had no need for paranormal or supernatural abilities to be able to divine the future, but rather he seems to have relied on his experiences and realized that people in positions of power are nearly always bound to be corrupted by it.

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