Analysis Of George Washington’s Farewell Address 1796


In 1794, there was an uprising of taxation on alcohol in Pennsylvania. Many of the farmers were furious and protested the taxes on whiskey. Alexander Hamilton authorized this because he wanted for the federal government to take over the conflict of debt in the United States. Therefore, he taxed whiskey thinking that if the farms that rely on whiskey for crops and such then they will surely pay money. Washington did not agree with Hamilton’s suggestion of taxing whiskey from the farmers. The “Whiskey Rebellion” took place in Pennsylvania in 1974 where southern and western farmers were upset of the taxes on whiskey because whiskey took a partial of an ingredient to their crops. They began with tarring and feathering the federal official, seized national mail, and frightened the wealthy. The farmers rebelled in where the whiskey was kept and basically drank whiskey so they were drunk. Washington was sent with his militia to stop this rebellion but once the army got there all the farmers were gone home so there was no group of farmers to stop.


After the attempts, President George Washington decided that he guaranteed that he will be stepping down from being a president at the end of his term. In thus, announcing the “Washington's Farewell Address 1796.' Washington first stated in this declaration that he will be taking himself out of the option for running for the upcoming presidential election period. Then, he starts to explain on why Americans should not let politics come into divide the colonies and start to rely on one another. He says that they will be much stronger united, but if they let political parties take over then it is ensured that a dictator will be in risk of overseeing them. George was very expressive that the United States shouldn’t get so close to other foreign countries since it’ll cause commitments to things in fighting for or against that the U.S. wouldn’t really want to be getting involved with. The risk of having favoritism of nations will allude to the less preferred countries making it dangerous and resulting in wars. America must be clear as much as possible from the permanent alliances with foreign powers, although the temporary alliances for a situation of defense in unexpected emergencies are to be appropriate. Furthermore, he explains that the government should appreciate the rights to borrow in the rights of the economy and paying back its debts. The wars are expensive for a developing country so it should be avoided not once. If this event is assured and in peace, than the debt would be paid off quicker he stated. It should not be the future generations' problem to pay off the debt that they have gotten themselves into. If this event must be done, then it is only right to pay off debt with taxes. It is the governments' duty to pursue taxes on the colonies and to be accepted to be paid off by the people. He concludes that he hopes that his advice will assist with the moderate prejudiced rivalry, warn against the foreign conspiracy, and guard against the imitation of patriotism. Washington understands what he has declared throughout his announcement may not have such an impact in the nation, but he can only rely on his people. He may be retiring but that won’t stop him from looking over his country and only prays to God to help the nation in the errors to come.

Author’s Intent

George Washing had served his country for about 40 years along with running 2 terms of being president. He wrote the Farewell Address in his way of saying goodbye from the next election after the several attempts, he had done and gave advice for the nation to follow. He addressed rules for future presidents to follow and remain out of trouble. This document expresses the importance of working together in colonies, staying neutral from foreign countries, trusting the government, and the risk of political parties. He strongly warned about the permanent alliances between the U.S. and other countries, they had to be removed. George Washington believed that he tried his best to set up a good government with the limited power he had which he knew from there it was okay for him to step down.

Historical Significance

Meanwhile in April 22, 1793, America was barely getting on their feet since they had been cut off the economy from England completely. In the “Proclamation of Neutrality” George Washington and the men in the cabinet meeting voted on remaining neutral after hearing that Europe got into war again. They did not want to belong in a war that can get them into deeper debt or destroy what the colonies have been building on their own. In September 17, 1796 George Washington decided it is time to back down from the upcoming presidency and say goodbye to his country as president in the “Washington's Farewell Address 1796”. This announcement had strongly warned the Americans to stay away from alliances with the foreign countries to avoid conflicts with them like it was decided in the “Proclamation of Neutrality” by many of Washington’s men. Both are similar in the idea of staying neutral meaning there will not be any kind of permanent alliances or assistance to other countries to avoid the conflicts in the further future.


The “Washington's Farewell Address 1796” is a strong forward document that states solutions to the conflicts that were most discussed throughout their years. It was only fair for them to have remained neutral and pay their debts off themselves. However, many of the Americans did not listen nor the government. The future generations have now to deal on what the ancestor of America had left behind. The only weakness to be demonstrated in this document is the lack of popularity it had back then by the Americans. George Washington could’ve been more specific on what the errors may result if that the colonists couldn’t see.

09 March 2021
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