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  • Farewell Address

     |  Religion, Morality, and Property

    Farewell Address Farewell Address 1 George Washington Washington had first prepared a farewell address to be delivered in 1792, upon the conclusion of his first term as president. Having been convinced to stand for a second term, he was unanimously re-elected. When he finally issued this address in 1796, it was his last public work. After nearly forty-five years of service, he retired to Mount Vernon. September 19, 1796 Friends, and Fellow Citizens: The period for a new election of a Citizen, to Administer the Executive government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person, who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper ...
  • Circular Letter to the States

     |  Articles of Confederation

    Circular Letter to the States Circular Letter to the States 1 George Washington As Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, overseen by a national legislature that struggled to fund the War for Independence, General Washington was as familiar as anyone with the defects of the Articles of Confederation. In this, his last circular letter to the states, which he sent to the thirteen governors, Washington emphasizes the need for unity in the maintenance of the nation's independence. June 8, 1783 Sir: The great object for which I had the honor to hold an appointment in the Service of my Country, being accomplished, I am now preparing to resign it into the hands of Congress, and to return to that domestic retirement, which, it is well known ...
  • Letter Transmitting the Constitution

     |  Rethinking Union and Government

    Letter Transmitting the Constitution Letter Transmitting the Constitution 1 George Washington As they affixed their names to the new Constitution, the Framers understood that their work had just begun. Four months of debate and compromise paled in comparison to the challenge of convincing the states to ratify. Unanimity was not necessary for the Constitution to go into effect—only nine of thirteen states were needed—but they knew that without the approval of the largest of the states, including New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, their work would be for naught. Congress sent this letter to each state to begin the ratification process. September 17, 1787 Sir: We have now the honor to submit to the consideration of the United States in ...
  • The Study of Administration

     |  Progressive Rejection of the Founding

    The Study of Administration The Study of Administration 1 Woodrow Wilson Writing a year before Congress created the Interstate Commerce Commission, the first independent regulatory agency, Wilson argues in this article that it is only through such agencies—separate from the political process and independent of the electorate—that government can pursue its necessary ends. November 2, 1886 I suppose that no practical science is ever studied where there is no need to know it. The very fact, therefore, that the eminently practical science of administration is finding its way into college courses in this country would prove that this country needs to know more about administration, were such proof of the fact required to make out a case. It need not be said, however ...
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