George Washington’s Farewell Address

These resolutions asserted the rights of states to judge the constitutionality of federal laws. Virginia Congressman John Dawson (1762–1814) declared the Alien and Sedition Act an open violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Passed by the Federalist-controlled Congress as America prepared for possible war with France, the Alien and Sedition Acts limited free speech by declaring public criticism of government officials to be seditious libel, punishable by imprisonment and fines.

From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote. It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution. When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens.

Despite his warnings to avoid taking on debt, Washington does state his belief that sometimes it is necessary to spend money to prevent dangers or wars that will cost more if not properly prepared for. At these times, he argues, it is necessary for the people to cooperate by paying taxes to cover these precautionary expenses. He emphasizes how important it is for the government to be careful in choosing the items that will be taxed, but also ball the American people that, no matter how hard the government tries, there will never be a tax which is not inconvenient and unpleasant to those who must pay it. He feels that disagreements between political parties weakened the government. The thought of the United States without George Washington as its president caused concern among many Americans. The two men feared that the nation would be torn apart without his leadership.

Always a lightning rod for political passion, Cobbett returned to England in 1800 after being successfully sued for journalistic slander and libel in the states. In this later British cartoon series chronicling the colorful life of Cobbett, artist James Gillray depicts the pamphleteer surrounded by hand-written pages, engulfed in flames, and beset by ghosts. In a letter to her sister, Elizabeth Smith Shaw Peabody (1750–1815) of Aktinson, New Hampshire, Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, asserted the rights of women to judge the conduct of government, even if a woman does not hold the Reigns of government.

In an equal degree does the increased variety of parties comprised within the Union, increase this security. Does it, in fine, consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority? Here, again, the extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage.

“Real patriots”, he warns, who “resist the intrigues” of foreign nations may find themselves “suspected and odious” in the eyes of others, yet he urges the people to stand firm against such influences all the same. He portrays those who attempt to further such foreign interests as becoming the “tools and dupes” of those nations, stealing the applause and praise of their country away from the “real patriots” while actually working to “surrender” American interests to foreign nations. Each of the two main U.S. political parties today—the Democrats and the Republicans—maintains an extensive website with links to its affiliated statewide organizations, which in turn often maintain links to the party’s country organizations. A divided government makes it difficult for elected officials to achieve their policy goals. This problem has gotten worse as U.S. political parties have become increasingly polarized over the past several decades. They are both more likely to fight with each other and more internally divided than just a few decades ago.

Constitution was drafted, its authors were certainly aware that political parties existed in other countries , but they hoped to avoid them in the United States. They felt the importance of states in the U.S. federal structure would make it difficult for national parties to form. They also hoped that having a college of electors vote for the executive branch, with the top two vote-getters becoming president and vice president, would discourage the formation of parties. Their system worked for the first two presidential elections, when essentially all the electors voted for George Washington to serve as president.

B. They require government to balance the rights and liberties of different groups. A. Federal cooperation helps mitigate the problem of collective action among states. A. That man would have to pass a religious test before he could become president; thus, citizens could be sure that he was of good character. British colonists in North America in the late seventeenth century were greatly influenced by the political thought of ________. C. The government pleases oil companies by allowing them to drill on lands set aside for conservation but allows environmental activist groups to protest the drilling operations. William Cobbett (1763–1835), English soldier turned political pamphleteer, fled London for the United States in 1792.

But by 1796, the Federalist and Anti-Federalist camps had organized into electoral coalitions. The Anti-Federalists joined with many others active in the process to become known as the Democratic-Republicans. The Federalist John Adams won the Electoral College vote, but his authority was undermined when the vice presidency went to Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson, who finished second. Four years later, the Democratic-Republicans managed to avoid this outcome by coordinating the electors to vote for their top two candidates.

The Cold War period that began in the late 1940s was marked by concerns over the United States’ relations with Communist countries, especially the Soviet Union. Following in the footsteps of the extremely popular president Franklin Roosevelt, presidential candidates began to advertise their independence from parties and emphasized their own issue agendas even as they ran for office under the Democratic does kahlúa have caffeine and Republican labels. Presidents, such as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush, won elections based on personal, rather than partisan, appeals . Program for leading the United States out of the Great Depression in the 1930s had dramatic effects on political parties. The New Deal placed the federal government in the pivotal role of ensuring the economic welfare of citizens.

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