On September 19, 1776 George Washington gave his farewell
address to the American people. He had just completed two terms in office and
declined a third.
He opens saying that his previous
terms, though dutifully fulfilled were a tremendous strain on himself. Washington
says that everything he did while he was president he did with good intentions.
Washington humbly states that he never deemed himself worthy of the presidency.
He is grateful to the American people for choosing him, but he is tired and
longs for retirement. He forewarns them to preserve the nation from weakening
or alienating any portion of the country from the rest. He tells the American
citizens that this government belongs to the people and instructs those people
to, “Carefully guard and preserve the union as a whole.” Washington deeply
cares about the future of the American people. He did everything in his power
to serve and protect them and wishes for the people’s government to prosper so
that it may set a standard for other nations to strive for. The American people
should see their worth of themselves not just as people but as a nation.
Washington reflects the love that the American people have for a strong and
free government. He requests that Americans stay true to the constitution that
they themselves put into place, referring to its obedience as a sacred
obligation. He also emphasizes the avoidance of factions in the government that
are only loyal to a minority party over the will that is of the people.
Washington strongly states that morality is impossible to sustain without
religion which upholds the community and should not be overthrown and replaced
by another guide on ethics. He rebukes favoritism toward certain nations as
well as avoidance of foreign influence.
well known for being the first president of the United States, had a great deal
of humility. He never considered himself ready to be a ruler, but he took on
the task anyway with the desire to keep the nation good and to protect it. This
work displays perfectly what he upheld to be good and just. We as Americans
should strive to do what he entreats us to do. He rightly advises not to stray away from religion
but to maintain it as a guide for morality. In our modern society, religion is attacked,
and immorality is praised. This country would benefit from reading this piece.
Every point made in his address is an aspect that America and other nations can
improve upon to their own betterment. Washington beseeches America to mature
much like a father would a son.