Washington's Farewell

Public Morality: Washington stated that religious values and public morality would lead to protection of private property, harmony, and public happiness. He also warned Americans of the political dangers they should avoid in order to remain true to their values.

Unity and Sectionalism: Washington stated that the American people’s independence, safety, prosperity, and liberty were all dependent on unity among the states. He mentioned two treaties—which established the U.S. borders and secured rights for western farmers to ship goods along the Mississippi River—as examples that a united federal government could act in the best interests of the American people when dealing with foreign nations.

He also gave support to the U.S. Constitution as an improvement over the Articles of Confederation. He argued that Americans should only make significant changes through Constitutional amendments, not through rebellions against the government.

Foreign Relations and Free Trade: Washington emphasized his belief that the United States should not enter foreign conflicts, but should maintain neutrality. He defended his Proclamation of Neutrality, which prevented the United States from becoming involved in the French Revolutionary Wars. He also argued that the republican nature of the U.S. political system requires that political leaders are responsible to the citizens, not to foreign governments.

Source: Washington's Farewell
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