Philosophies of George Washington on Political Parties

Philosophies of George Washington on Political Parties

(Last Updated On: April 16, 2021)

George Washington had prudence on political parties. Political parties first emerged in Washington’s first term with Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Party in those parties, and the following year formed an anti-Federalist Party or Democratic-Republican, led by Thomas Jefferson. This article is an attempt to discuss how intelligent and diplomatic George Washington was on political parties.

George Washington had prudence on political parties

The two political parties formed their views on how the government should operate in the new republic.

At the end of his first term in Washington, he was preparing to retire and return to Mt. Vernon could once again be a farmer, with opposition leaders both wanting to renegotiate with Hamilton and Jefferson and requesting Washington stay for a second term.

Jefferson is credited with saying: “If they hang on to the north and south, they will hang together”.

Washington eventually agreed with that sentiment, and they re-elected him in February 1793 as a clear choice for Electoral College.

In Washington’s second term, the division between the two political parties became defined. A good part of the inherent difference between the two groups focuses on the French Revolution (1789-1799).

Jefferson was in France as a minister of the United States, where he witnessed the end of the French monarchy. King Louis IV of France was finally guillotined in March 1793, and Jefferson was Washington’s secretary of state, supporting the new French Republic and the United States’ support of the revolutionaries.

As a further caution, Washington issued a neutral declaration in May, and Jefferson, who resigned from his secretary of state at the end of the year, failed to comply with Washington’s policies.

As war broke out in Europe between the new French Republic and the European monarchies, Washington stopped taking sides, although federalists tended to be allied with Great Britain during this widespread European conflict.

Refusing to come to France’s aid, Washington gained the wrath of members of the Democratic-Republican Party, many of whom were newspaper editors.

Despite attempts to remain neutral, American merchants still dealt with the anger of the British, with both countries, who began to seize American ships and merchandise permanently in France or French territories.

The British only landed about 300 ships near the West Indies, and the idea of ​​neutrality became a weak factor.

In 1795, Justice John J. K., chief justice of the Washington Supreme Court, dispatched with the British to negotiate a settlement with the British on the issue of the rehabilitation of lost ships and a number of outstanding issues with the left of the homeland from the revolution.

Neither the Democratic or Republican parties have been satisfied by the J treaty, and it has declined compared to Washington’s intentions.

However, Washington’s biggest opposition was in the direction he took in securing a trade deal with Great Britain.

Congress had to debate the deal behind closed doors because of controversy, and when the people learned of these terms, Washington’s decision attacked all states.

The popular graffiti in Massachusetts (yes it even existed in the 1700s) echoed some anti-federalist sentiments: “Damn John Jay! Cursed all who would not despise John Joy! Cursed are all those who do not criticize JJ all night! “

When Alexander Hamilton attended a meeting in his home state of New York to explain the benefits of the deal, the crowd was excited and excited, and some threw stones at the Secretary of the Treasury.

Party lines and loyalties were drawn to personal bitterness and public destructiveness. This national division on the party basis represents the most intense division between the two political parties since the establishment of the Republic. It had a profound effect on Washington and the memory must have been in his mind as he wrote about the true power of political parties to destroy the fragile unity of holding the country together.

It’s not that Washington failed to understand the contributions of the parties, but he was extremely concerned that they were in the past and wanted more power than the other groups toward full-time loss.

Washington was aware that other governments saw political parties as destructive because of the temptation to express and maintain power, as they would often seek to avenge political opposition.

He viewed it as detrimental to the young country as a whole nation.

He also looked at the dangers of divisionism (North vs. South) and warned that political parties with sufficient power could prevent Congress from enforcing laws created by them and prevent all three branches from performing their duties properly, as stated in the Constitution.

President Washington has expressed genuine concern about the “alternative domination” of one of the other political parties, giving one party the opportunity to enjoy a temporary power to avenge the other.

He felt that this tendency towards brutality carried out in the party was “… This in itself is a formidable hedonism but it leads to more formal and permanent dictatorship. “

Reading the words of his departing address, a skilled reader may wonder how significantly they are predicting:

Disorders and problems that gradually make men’s minds look for safety and ease into a person’s absolute power; And sooner or later the head of some evolving group, more capable or more fortunate than its competitors, turns this disposition to its own height in the destruction of the people’s freedom.

Without expecting such a finality (which nevertheless should not be completely out of sight), the ordinary and regular misconduct of the party’s consciousness is enough to discourage and control the wishes and duties of a wise man.

It always works to distract the public council and strengthen public administration. It agitates the community with un-founded jealousy and false alarms, arousing the envy of one part of another, occasionally leading to riots and revolts. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds itself in easy access to government through the channels of party emotion. So the emphasis is on the policy and will of one country and the will of another country.

Washington argued that a government governed by popular political elections and the consent of the founders needed to moderate political parties in a political country. He warned of the possibility that they could distract the government from the essential duties of the people and even eradicate the independence established by the founders.

Unfortunately, it is too late to prevent the hunger for power in today’s political parties; It has been prosperous.

America is at the mercy of two strong political parties. If strong candidates want to be elected to this country, then usually some affiliation with major parties is required.

We see from history that third-party groups are limited in power and often only weaken one or the other of the major parties in their ability to be an “abolitionist.”

If Washington could see America now, perhaps the only thing he could say after the push was over, would be: “I told you so!” It is all about George Washington who had prudence on political parties at that time.

George Washington on political parties

Take away

Washington remained above the fighting; He wanted to be president of all American citizens. Most importantly because he believed that unity was not a division, a democratic republic needed to survive. Washington believed that political parties would divide and destroy the young United States.

In 1796, his thinking became clear as the Farewell address: “The attitude of the party”

Always works to distract the public council and strengthen public administration. It mobilizes the community with unsubstantiated jealousy and false alarm, stirring hostility against one part of another, occasionally rioting and revolting.

Throughout his political life and until his death in 1797, George Washington was confident that the country could and should function without the existence of political parties.

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