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Washington feared that the "spirit of party" and sectionalism would destroy the government he had helped create. He was opposed, in short to what we would call today "special interest groups," who placed their own interests over the interests of the nation as a whole. They opened the door for foreign influence and corruption. In particular, he was concerned about the politicians who were beginning to identify with Alexander Hamilton on the one hand and especially Thomas Jefferson on the other. But Washington's address, which was published in newspapers around the country, did not prescribe specific political solutions, or even alternatives, to this problem. Rather he appealed to the republican virtue of his countrymen, who he hoped would set partisan bickering aside and focus on the business of the nation.
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