One of the most influential but misunderstood expressions of American political thought, George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address is placed in the full context of American history and the authors explain its enduring relevance for the next century. Generations of American political leaders have invoked the authority of the Address to shape foreign and domestic policy. With discussions about national character and personal responsibility dominating the current political landscape, there has been a resurgence of interest in the character of the nation's founders, particularly Washington's. The authors show how the Address expressed Washington's ideas for forming a national character that would cultivate the habits, morals, and civic virtues essential for stable republican self-government.
Matthew Spalding is a political scientist who works at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. Patrick J. Garrity, a foreign policy expert, is currently a visiting fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.
Chapter 1 Remembering Washington's Legacy Chapter 2 Establishing the American Character Chapter 3 Friends and Fellow Citizens Chapter 4 Our Interest Guided by Our Justice Chapter 5 Washington and the American Political Tradition Chapter 6 Truths Important at all Times Chapter 7 Appendix A: The Circular Address Chapter 8 Appendix B: The First Inaugural Chapter 9 Appendix C: The Farewell Address. Good character was central to Washington's success, and it remains essential for the success of republican government. It is particularly important, in an election year, to be reminded of the concluding thoughts of the fi