1796

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George Washington's Farewell Address

President George Washington had his Farewell Address ready a long time ago, but he was convinced to take one more term as President. The nation needed time to stabilize. As his second term comes to an end, he offers advice and a warning not to consolidate the powers of government. The powers are kept separate because, with the best of intentions, close alliances and friendships will lead to despotism every time. That same rule applies to foreign friendships, favoring one nation over another. It is a subtle seduction that creates enemies amongst nations not favored and would force America to support another nation's interests when it might not serve America's own. As the war on religion rages in France, he reminds Americans that all religions are different shades of the same principles that should guide government. Finally, he begs God's forgiveness and the nation's indulgence for his mistakes: [1] [2] [3]

Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest. -- George Washington (1796) [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
George Washington also warned against government debt (oops!) and building too large a military establishment. That warning reminded me of President Eisenhower's Farewell Address of 1961. We owe that man so much. He warns of the military-industrial complex which is the military bureaucracy coupled with the arms industry. We need their services but we should not take council of their fears. We must verify what they tell us because every concession made for our safety, erodes our freedom.

FYI, here is the quote from Eisenhower's Farewell address and a link to an edited version on YouTube [Eisenhower Video Clip] ...

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. [5]

In Other News

  • Macrobiotics, or The Art to Prolong One's Life: Christoph Hufeland coins the word "Macrobiotic". He is given a professorship at Jena college in Germany. Out of the 900 students enrolled at the college, 500 attend his class. [6] [7]
  • The first prisoner-of-war camp: Great Britain has taken a lot of prisoners in its war against France, so they build a prisoner complex to hold them all, the first of its kind. [8]
  • Napoleon is kicking Italy's backside. The General has married Josephine which has helped him politically. He is in his 20s but he is appointed commander-in-chief of the French forces in Italy. He is a ball of fire... and he loves Josephine... but not her little dog. It bites. [1] [9]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1796, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 370-371. 
  2. Transcription of Washington's first draft of his farewell address. nysl.nysed.gov (2016). Retrieved on 27 May 2016.
  3. Five lessons we can learn from George Washington’s Farewell Address. blog.constitutioncenter.org (September 19, 2015). Retrieved on 27 May 2016. “The two most famous statements in the Farewell Address are comments about political parties and foreign alliances.”
  4. Washington's Farewell Address. Avalon Project (1796). Retrieved on 27 May 2016. “Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.”
  5. Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex. (Edited, 2 minutes 30 seconds out of a 15 minute speech). YouTube (1961). Retrieved on 27 May 2016.
  6. Hufeland's Art of Prolonging Life.. Ticknor, Reed and Fields. 
  7. Christoph Wilhelm Friedrich Hufeland (1762-1836). users.manchester.edu (2013). Retrieved on 26 May 2016. “In the fall of 1792, Carl August, the duke of Sachsen-Weimar, was present at one of Goethe’s Friday Society meetings during which Hufeland read from a draft of his Makrobiotik. This so impressed the duke that he was offered a medical professorship at Jena, and in the summer of 1793 began a highly successful eight year teaching career there, drawing large numbers of students (he reports 500 for his macrobiotic lectures, which would have been exceptional given Jena’s average enrollment of less than 900 students).”
  8. Prisoner-of-war camp - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 26 May 2016. “The earliest known purpose-built prisoner-of-war camp was established by the Kingdom of Great Britain at Norman Cross, in 1797 to house the increasing number of prisoners from the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars.”
  9. Age of Napoleon: A History of European Civilization from 1789 to 1815, The, The Story Of Civilization. Simon and Schuster, 97-98. ISBN 067121988X. “The generals over whom the twenty-seven-year-old commander had been placed--Augereau, Massena, Laharpe, and Sesurier--were all older than Napoleon in service; they resented his appointment, and were resolved to make him feel their superior experience; but at their first meeting with him they were awed into quick obedience by the confident clarity with which he explained his plans and gave his orders.” 

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