George Washington's Farewell Address
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George Washington's Farewell Address

4.45 of 5 stars 4.45  ·  rating details  ·  73 ratings  ·  11 reviews
On September 19,1796, George Washington announced that he would leave the presidency. His famous farewell address encapsulates a view of the Union, the Constitution, and good citizenship that is an important part of American political thought today. In this amazing letter to all of us, almost everything that we debate as a nation today has been advised.
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Published (first published 1963)
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John Yelverton
The greatest speech from the greatest President.
§--
I had ignored this for awhile because Washington was not exactly a thinker, especially not when compared to his erudite compatriots Madison and Jefferson. But, that is precisely the strength of this little speech, which has become a large part of his legacy, read annually to Congress. I'd seen so many references to this speech that I finally had to read it.

It is not profound. It is, however, good commonsense advice, and we need to be reminded of these things continually. We do not need to be re...more
Lisa N
Parting wisdom from one of history’s greatest statesmen. I wish I could take the time to give this the review it deserves, but these are some of his key points:

Advocates strong, united government
“Moderate the fury of party spirit”
Pay off debt during times of peace
Necessity of checks and balances
Religion and morality are necessary for government


A couple of key passages--

“Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian.”

“Of all the...more
BirdBrian
T

George Washington is also known as "the father of our country” in the USA. He left office in September of 1796, and on the occasion of his departure, he gave this farewell address. In it, he does indeed sound fatherly. Unfortunately, as happens with so many parents, most of his good advice went unheeded, and his kids have succeeded spectacularly at fucking up their lives.

George Washington: You kids don’t know how good you have it! (view spoiler)...more
Josh
A difficult read. I would love to see this translated into modern english.

This is, perhaps, the most important speech ever given by a President of The United States of America. It seems bold, but only because it reveals how far we have strayed from the path, even the vision, that George Washington had for this country.

In a time when partisan politics threaten to tear us apart, this address can remind us of the wisdom that we were offered in old times, but didn't accept. Yet, we still could, if...more
Carolyn
Washington humbly gave parting advice to Americans. He advised that virtue and morality are necessary to a freedom. He warned against those who would undermine the Constitution and recommended avoiding political parties and permanent alliances with any foreign nation. Unity was key. Did he for see the Civil War? Maybe. For sure he saw a lot of rivalries and discord in his time. He was a classy man of character who demonstrated great leadership. He truly wanted what was best for his country and s...more
Zinger
The advice Washington gives is timeless. Each citizen should study and understand what he said. Every politician should reread this right before they take their sacred oath to defend the U.S. Constitution so they would get a glimpse of what they ought to be doing. In fact, every politician shouldn't go to work each day until they have read it each morning.
Alison
What a humble man. He deeply cares for the people and states his worries for the future of the country. He is very against political parties because they tend to divide the nation and not allow us to work together for the greater cause. He foresaw many things that could go wrong with our country; some of which have already occured.
Chris Johnson
Washington was a president that had just about everything right. Since this was not written mainly by him but these were his ideas nonetheless this is a great work. Anyone interested in American politics and/or Foreign Policy should read this. It hits at the heart of what America was built on and how far we have strayed.
Galicius
Washington’s “Farewell Address” advocates strong, united government, moderating “fury of party spirit”, paying off debt during times of peace, necessity of checks and balances, and teaches that religion and morality are necessary for government.
Susanne
Probably beautifully written at the time, but rather stiff and formal today. Still, some very interesting advice on how to live in a republic which is still pertinent.
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4356
Born in 1732 into a Virginia planter family, he learned the morals, manners, and body of knowledge requisite for an 18th century Virginia gentleman.

He pursued two intertwined interests: military arts and western expansion. At 16 he helped survey Shenandoah lands for Thomas, Lord Fairfax. Commissioned a lieutenant colonel in 1754, he fought the first skirmishes of what grew into the French and Indi...more
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“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. 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.” 22 likes
“...overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty.” 12 likes
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