As President George Washington ready to depart workplace after his first time period was winding down, he requested his pal James Madison, himself a future president, to assist him write a farewell deal with to the American folks.
However issues did not go fairly as deliberate. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson have been feuding. every had his supporters and Washington feared these deep political divisions would possibly wreck this fragile new nation.
So he stayed on for one more time period and in 1796 noticed John Adams chosen to succeed him in March of the next yr.
The farewell deal with was revised — Hamilton helped this time — and launched to the general public on Sept. 19, 1796–226 years in the past at the moment.
Within the deal with, our first president talks about many issues. He speaks on the unity of the nation and the way all People, whether or not by start or alternative, owe their first allegiance to this republic.
He acknowledges that organizing political events are a pure response of man, however stays skeptical of their affect. He provides his help to the Structure and reminds his fellow residents of its significance. He additionally reminds them that the doc can change to go well with altering wants — however solely by modification, not by well-liked opinion or whim.
He discusses religion and morality and the significance of every. And he talks about international relations and commerce between nations.
All these items are as essential at the moment as they have been again then.
Probably the most putting passages within the letter is Washington’s feedback on nationwide credit score and debt.
“As an important supply of energy and safety, cherish public credit score. One methodology of preserving it’s, to make use of it as sparingly as potential; avoiding events of expense by cultivating peace, however remembering additionally that well timed disbursements to organize for hazard continuously stop a lot higher disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the buildup of debt, not solely by shunning events of expense, however by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the money owed, which unavoidable wars might have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen, which we ourselves must bear. The execution of those maxims belongs to your representatives, however it’s obligatory that public opinion ought to cooperate. To facilitate to them the efficiency of their obligation, it’s important that you need to virtually keep in mind, that in the direction of the fee of money owed there should be Income; that to have Income there should be taxes; that no taxes will be devised, which aren’t kind of inconvenient and ugly; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the choice of the right objects (which is at all times a alternative of difficulties), must be a decisive motive for a candid building of the conduct of the federal government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence within the measures for acquiring income, which the general public exigencies might at any time dictate.”
Our first president advises our nation to make use of credit score sparingly and pay our debt’s promptly. And that restrained spending together with income — taxes, nonetheless disagreeable they could be — are important to maintain this nation on sound financial floor.
Have elected officers in his namesake metropolis — or anybody on the extremes on this divided republic, for that matter — learn Washington’s Farewell Deal with? Do they even care?