In Washington's Address, did the U.S listen to his advice ? Why Or Why Not ?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Washington’s Farewell Address, he gave three pieces of advice to our country. For the most part, we didn’t heed his advice.

The first thing Washington said was that we should avoid political parties. Washington knew that political parties would divide the country. He believed people would make decisions based on what the party wanted instead of on what was good for the country. Since we were already dividing along party lines by the time Washington was leaving office, his advice was already not being heeded. People wanted groups that would work to support their needs.

A second thing Washington said was to avoid making long-term agreements. We were a young country, and our needs were changing. A long-term agreement may be beneficial in the short-term but not necessarily in the long run. As we began to grow as a country, we did make long-term agreements because we were more established and could better identify our needs.

A final thing Washington said was to stay neutral in world affairs. He believed choosing sides would cause more harm than good. He believed if we chose sides, we would then have enemies. As we grew as a country, there were times we had little option but to choose sides. It has caused us problems, but it also has had benefits for us.