One may assume that George Washington’s Farewell Address was a speech given nearing the end of his term in office as the First President. This however, would be an incorrect assumption. Washington, prepared his message to “Friends and Fellow-Citizens,” which has become known as George Washington’s Farewell Speech. Washington’s message wasn’t a speech at all. In fact, it was never spoken. Washington addressed the people of the United States through publishing this message in “The Independent Chronicle,” on September 26, 1796.
During Washington’s address, he announced his retirement from office, and advised that citizens think carefully when “designating the person” who succeeds his office. In second paragraph, Washington sets forth his respect for those citizens who “twice called” he to office. He then offers his appreciation and gratitude tothe people of the Union, and their suffrage, while he, during his term, took necessary and appropriate steps to contribute to the organization and building of the U.S. government.
Washington message goes on to explain that the governmental formed, should be cherished, as it is the “edifice of your real independence . . . support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very Liberty, which you so highly prize.”
As such, Washington points out that one must “exalt the just pride of Patriotism,” and emphasizes the need for people to cherish, and protect it, as is attached and is part of every citizen. Therefore, Washington also warns about threats that could happen to the Union within a party system, by the “spirit of party.” As such, he indicates that there is the potential for destruction within special interests, and differentiates the interests of the majority versus the minority. He warns about the potential harm caused by those who seek power through their office, and the designation of any specific regions (i.e. northern, southern, western).