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Bryant 1 Whitney Bryant Ms.

Caruso ENGL 1101 27 September 2011 Rhetorical Analysis Paper The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. (Washington 2) This is one of the many great statements that President George Washington affirmed in his farewell address on December 23, 1783, extolling the benefits of the federal government. President Washington, a home schooled farmer from Virginia, used his insight of human nature to forge consensus and build bridges between these men for the good of America. (Glendening 2) George Washingtons farewell address announces his withdrawal from politics after 40 years, and to give a clear warning for future America. In choosing of the first executive leader of the United States of America, congress very wisely selected the best candidate for the position. George Washington is often compared to Cincinnatus, leader of the roman republic. Cincinnatus, after successfully defeating the opponents in war, refused all honors, and resigned his dictatorship. Washington definitely wanted to follow this great mans example. So after leading the Americans out of the Revolutionary War successfully, Washington went back home to his plantation in Mount Vernon. ..he thought of his country first and never thought of himself at all (Lodge 3) Seven years later he was overwhelmingly elected the first president of the United States. But after two years in holding this position, he voluntarily gave up his power. It is very rare in history for a

Bryant 2 leader to just give up his power, and because of Washingtons actions he set a precedent that led to a peaceful transfer of power from president to president for the next 200 years, giving our government its stability. In his farewell address towards the end of Washingtons career he warns the US of political parties, stable public credit, permanent foreign alliances, powerful military structures, and he also stresses the importance of religion and morality. He stated that political parties would be corrupt to the government, by being concerned more about power rather than issues at hand. Towards the issues of debt, he warned about not having an excessive debt, and assured that for every part of debt, there must be revenue, and in order to have revenue there has to be taxes. Foreign alliances were shunned upon, It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world (Washington 9) Inauspicious was utilized to describe an over powerful military structure, Washington sensed that having a military group so large would be unpromising to liberty, and hostile to the republican liberty. Lastly Washington strongly believed in reputation and oath. If you didnt believe in a religion, particularly Christian, you were to be viewed as different, immoral for your reputation. Religion and morality were important in Washingtons address mostly for saying the oath in court, giving assurance that someone would most likely not lie under oath. The advice recited in this speech gave adamant advice to Washingtons fellow citizens, help that would preserve the initial government of his present time, and present day America. This prodigious farewell speech did not achieve its purpose because Washingtons congressmen did not take in his intelligence or recommendations as serious. If future congressmen would have listened to this address, the world now would be completely different. Main points made by Washington in this address have been ignored, and for that reason we are

Bryant 3 not as stable as we could be. Warnings against the party system were definitely ignored. We now have two main political parties, republicans vs. democrats. Another pointer made by Washington was about the national debt. Today the national debt is so high, expenditures exceed revenue. In the mention of foreign alliances, Washington recommended that we stay clear from permanent alliances, and now in present day we are fighting a war in another country. Washingtons farewell address was very informative and would have been helpful, if the US would have chosen to listen. If we would have taken note to what he addressed then this address would have truly made a great impact in the world today. Now that we know that we did not take heed, the impact is negative. One perfect example of how Washingtons message was ignored was through the League of Nations. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924) spoke after the drafting of the League Covenant (constitution) and before President Wilson rejoined the Versailles Conference. He addressed an outgoing senate still in democratic hands. Lodge was not in support of the League of Nations, but in strong belief of George Washington, his farewell speech, and the Monroe Doctrine. Joining the League of Nations would consist of foreign alliances, and this is one thing that George Washington recommended that we stay clear of. Lodge pointed out that the US abandons the policy set before us through Washingtons address and the Monroe Doctrine. The principles of the Farewell Address in regard to our foreign relations have been sustained and acted upon by the American people down to the present momentHe did not close the door on temporary alliances for particular purposes. Our entry in the great war just closed was entirely in accord with and violated in no respect the policy laid down by Washington. (Lodge 2-3) Henry Cabot Lodge believed in the Farewell Address of Washington and its principles, knowing for

Bryant 4 sure that the League of Nations was something that Washington warned of. In point, many people agreed with the principle and precedent that should have been set from this great speech. It is because of George Washingtons vision that the average citizen today can have a voice in our democracy. (Glendening 2) Every year on Presidents Day, the Maryland Senate holds a special celebration of Washington's birthday in the Old Senate Chamber. A member of the Senate or a distinguished guest is invited to make remarks. Seeing the greatness of the 1st presidential farewell address, Governor Parris N. Glendening from Maryland, recited a speech reflecting on the greatness of George Washington on Monday February 21, 2000, the 268th anniversary of Washingtons birth. Glendening states that the farewell address set the first of many precedents for the better governing of America. President Washington reminds us of the perils of party bickering and the need for a strong Union under the constitution. (Glendening 2) Governor Parris N. Glendening is another prime example of someone who strongly believes in the advice of Washington and his proposal for America. In conclusion, George Washingtons address was a farewell address, declaring the leaving and mindful thoughts of the US first president. This plan was envisioned to inspire the people of the United States, and to pave the way for the future. He had many warnings and beliefs that he proposed to preserve the union and government of the US. This text was well needed, but the people after Washington did not completely carry through with it. Although this speech was written to prevent multiple things from happening in the present day, they surely happened anyway. Along with Henry Cabot Lodge I believe that If we throw aside the political testament of such a man, which has been of living force down to the present instant, because altered circumstances demand it, it is a subject for deep regret and not for rejoicing. (Lodge 3) Not because of the lack of knowledge, but because of the interests in self and power. This

Bryant 5 powerful address does not completely achieve its purpose but it is a reflection of what America could have been like, only if we would have listened.

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Works Cited Washington, George. George Washingtons Farewell Address. Old Senate Chamber (1796). Glendening, Parris. George Washington Speech. Old Senate Chamber. 21 Feb 2000. Lodge, Henry Cabot. Senate speech opposing the League of Nations. Washington, D.C. 12 August 1919. *I have hard copies of all speeches.