George Washingtons Farewell Address Quotes by George Washington
Washington's Farewell Address,1796
The work was later named a " Farewell Address ," as it was Washington's statement after 20 years of service to the new nation. It is a classic statement of republicanism , warning Americans of the political dangers they can and must avoid if they are to remain true to their values. Famously, in the letter, he refuses the opportunity to serve a third term as the President of the United States, declaring that any more time would make the the role President equivalent to that of a King. The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression. 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. The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn.
Link: Read the entire Farewell Address. What makes the Farewell Address such a great speech? Here are five lessons we can learn from the first president about communicating. President Washington first considered a Farewell Address four years earlier, but the infighting between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson made Washington run for a second term, and he put the speech aside. But Washington wrote out the speech in his own handwriting, and he was its final editor. The University of Virginia has an excellent online analysis of all the drafts.
Washington's fear of political parties stemmed from the growth of political societies he believed were causing more division within American politics. In , as his second term in office drew to a close, President George Washington chose not to seek re-election. Mindful of the precedent his conduct set for future presidents, Washington feared that if he were to die while in office, Americans would view the presidency as a lifetime appointment. Instead, he decided to step down from power, providing the standard of a two-term limit that would eventually be enshrined in the Twenty-Second Amendment to the Constitution. Washington began his address by explaining his choice not to seek a third term as president. But with that crisis passed, Washington assured the country that his leadership was no longer needed.