The Retirement of Washington

Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick

in The Age of Federalism

Published in print March 1995 | ISBN: 9780195093810
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854127 | DOI:
The Retirement of Washington

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This chapter discusses George Washington's Farewell Address first given to the public through the newspapers in September 1796, prior to that year's presidential election. The Address excited a variety of responses from the very beginning, not all of them favorable. Perhaps too much attention has been given to the explicit principles which Washington was affirming, or seemed to be affirming, for the guidance of his fellow citizens and their posterity. Then, following a transitional passage on the importance of religion, public morality, maintenance of the public credit, and the cheerful payment of taxes, Washington moved to the final section of his message, which was on foreign affairs. Washington indicated how he himself had tried to follow certain rules, the basis for his policy having been the Neutrality Proclamation of April 1793.

Keywords: George Washington; Farewell Address; public morality; public credit; foreign affairs; Neutrality Proclamation; taxes

Chapter.  22384 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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