Some might say that Gen. George Washington was a prophet to the U.S. He made predictions and gave us warnings about politics in the future. He warned us about: remaining true to the union, staying away from political parties, work against sectional hostilities, and not to form any permanent foreign alliances. Washington even predicted what would happen in these circumstances. He was right about sectional hostilities breaking up the union and remaining true to the union. The civil war was a big effect of ignoring his warnings.
The first point Washington made in his address was that all Americans need to remain true to the union. We did not follow this point at all and it thus, on December 20, 1860, South Carolina was the fist state to succeed from the union. The Deep South followed us and then in another wave the rest of the south followed after the shooting at Sumpter. This in effect, on April 12, 1861, caused the civil war.
The North stood for the constitution and the south stood for what is right. At the beginning of the war the south was ahead because they had a better army and generals. The first battle was at Bull Run\ Manasas Junction. The south hoped to capture Washington D.C., but failed to. The south lost the war because the north had more money, supplies, men, foreign aid, and a navy. The south had also changed their war objective.
To let the states back into the union, 10% of the voting population in the state had to swear loyalty to the union. Three states were readmitted this way before Lincoln was assassinated. The rest were admitted under President Johnson. Because of not listening to Washington’s advice on staying true to the union it caused a war between our own brothers. It caused many deaths and hatred between sides even after the war.
The second point to Washington’s address was not to have any political parties because it will destroy the union. We did not listen to this advice either. The first division in politics was over the national bank. The two parties formed by this division are the federalists and the Democrat Republicans. The Federalists were for the national bank, helping the English, and were made up of wealthy citizens. The Democrat Republicans were against the national bank, wanted to help the French, and were made up of small farmers. Both of these parties formed a distaste for one another and when the Democrat Republicans made the Federalist Party mad, they passed the Alien and Sedition Acts. As a result of these acts there were many protest including the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions.
In the second election for president John Adams won who was a federalist and vice president was Thomas Jefferson ,a Democrat Republican. Political parties in this situation causes problems because the vice president and president believe opposites because the are two different parties. The War Hawks is a political group that formed to force war on Britain. They were formed by members of Congress and were opposed by many. This group helped convince congress to declare war on Britain. This shows that political parties can have enough power to convince congress to do things. After the war of 1812, when nationalism began to sweep through the United States, they convinced congress to raise tariffs which chartered the national bank and gave revenue for the National road. Then in the election of 1832 the two parties move to republicans and democrats. Soon after this election a new party forms called the Whigs. They get their name from the English group that prevents the king of England from obtaining too much power. The Whig party forms in the U.S. because they thought that Andrew Jackson was acting like too much of a monarch. Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams form this new party.
The next political party that forms was the Natavist Americans, or the Know Nothings. They were formed from the people who split off of the Democrats, Whigs, and Republicans. They were tired of the country’s split in politics. They never had anyone elected president because they knew nothing. After the Civil War, the Democrats and Republicans formed political machines. These groups would buy peoples votes or do favors for them. The next new party following that one came around in the election of 1860. The new group was called the Constitutional Union party. They wanted to unite the country because they realize that slavery is splitting the country apart. The next party that was formed was the Populist Party or the People’s party. It was formed by groups of farmers in granges, that had formed farmer’s alliances. They ran their first candidate in 1892, James Weaver. They wanted government control over railroads, telephones, telegraphs, and income tax. They also wanted the government to loan money to farmers and print more money. They also wanted a direct election of senators and Australian ballots. They also wanted a bimetallic standard and more money printed. One more party that was formed was the Progressive Party. It was formed by progressives whom had split away from the Republican Party in the election of 1912. Two of the last political parties that had been formed are the American Labor Party and the Liberal Party. Both of these are forms of the Democratic Party.
The third point to his farewell address was to work against sectional hostilities. We failed to follow this one also. The consequences of this one I believe was also the civil war. The first sign of sectional hostilities was in 1832. A new tariff was passed, which was very high and would hurt the south. South Carolina refused it, and the government ordered 50,000 men to deal with the problem. New lower tariffs were passed and the anger was momentarily delt with.
Another problem with hostilities was the whole slavery issue. Slavery was seen as morally wrong to some and a way of business and life to others. It split the country in two and split political parties as well as bringing on sectionalism. The Missouri Compromise was used to pacify everyone, but not for long. It was later repealed so the states could vote for themselves. The whole thing caused an abolitionist movement. People started killing each other over the issue of slavery. John Brown, a crazy abolitionist, murdered people over this issue. In one particular instance, he led a group to Harper’s Ferry, VA to steal all the guns. When the were raiding the storehouse, the marines were called in and the stopped them. His plans were to steal all the guns, and give them to slaves to shoot their masters. He was tried and hung. He is considered a martyr by many.
In the election of 1860, Slavery was the main issue. It split the democrats, so thus Lincoln ( a republican) won. This caused the south to succeed and the civil war began. Another example of sectional hostilities is the whole Indian issue. Because of the expanding western frontier we were killing off the Indian’s food and taking their land. The Indians fought back and killed many people and we killed many Indians. When we forced reservation life on the Indians, we caused many to die of starvation and diseases. Washington was right about sectional hostilities, we need to fight against them.
The fourth point to Washington’s address was that we should make no permanent foreign alliances. We did not follow this one as well. One time we ruined this idea is when we helped form and join the United Nations. The United Nations is a group of around 185 countries, all agreeing to maintain international peace and security. To become a member of the organization you must settle all international disputes and you must agree not to force any countries not to do anything. It was founded by Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill on Aug. 14, 1941. They wanted to establish a “wider and more permanent system of security”.
Another alliance that was made was the North Atlantic treaty Organization. The purpose is to enhance the stability, well being, and freedom of its members by means of a system of a system of collective security. The reason why we signed on and agreed to this alliance is because the USSR was threatening the stability and peace.
Washington was our first president and a role model for all the leaders of our country. Some may call him a prophet because he was able to foresee the problems of our country and tell us how to prevent them. He was right about his four points of preventing turmoil in the country. He was able to foresee the problems with political parties and staying true to the union. I think that Washington was a “prophet” for the United States and we should listen to what he said.