George Washington said in his farewell address that he was worried about the political party system, geographical distinctions, and alliances with foreign affairs. How have we progressed so far in each of his concerns?
I think Washington's fear were justified, but our present problems are not mainly caused by the political party system, geographical distinctions and alliances with foreign affairs.
Our party system has produced much rancor and hatred, but I believe these would be present whether or not we have political parties. At this time, ideologies and personalities seem to dominate more of our political life than do the parties. The country today seems to be more polarized on issues such as the war in Iraq, the war on terror, marriage, abortions, immigration, health care, and personalities. These are all bipartisan issues and the differences on the solutions aren't greatly different between the Republicans and Democrats.
We are amazingly geographically unified as a nation today. The Civil War and the Civil Rights movements greatly helped erase many of our regional differences. And remember that it's doubtful that Washington could have foreseen that the U.S. would span the continent, much less include Alaska and Hawaii. The regional differences he saw were between the original thirteen colonies.
The U.S. has largely been independent of alliances in foreign affairs. Our economic and idealistic concerns led us into the two world wars, not alliances. But our alliances during the Cold War helped keep the peace. Perhaps we should have paid more attention to alliances, especially the United Nations, before we attacked Iraq.
I hope I've given you some ideas to think about.
Well in his farwell adress in the respect of the political parties and what you said, i would personally have to disagree with you. If you watched this years presidential election how often did you see republicans going after democrats on their views of abortion, marriage, etc. Sure there are conservative liberals and liberal conservatives, but most of our ideals are defined by our political party...that's why we label ourself as a democrat or republican. And also, his worries are justified. that's why there's so much dissatisfaction among republicans because a democrat is in office. for the sake of this answer let's assume that i'm a democrat (not saying I am and not saying that I'm not),if John McCain would have won, I would have been legitimately angry and frightened by the thought of the stereotypical thought that republicans are war hawks, etc. Republicans, same goes for dems stereotypical pro-abortion, rights, etc. This is just an example of the problems with the political system, that's why there's so many people hate Obama, because he's a Democrat and Republicans feel that Dems are wrong on many issues. The same thing applies during the cold war, where Republicans were the ones adding fuel to the fire in the anti-communist quest, and even called the Democratic party a "party of socialism."
Geographical distinctions definitely caused a huge problem with slavery. Pro-Slavery individuals and Anti-slavery individuals had battles simply over where one could own slaves and where one couldn't...and I'm sure you know about the South ceding from the Union.
And in the sense of Alliances, We have had a number of alliances that now we do not really want anything to do with...particulary France since they did not help with our cause in Afghanistan and Iraq...Alliances are a tough issue to tackle bacuse it's rather complicated...In World War II we were allied with Communist Russia, whom we did not fully trust, then what happened right after the war? An arms race and the Cold War and us attempting to stop Communism.
I think that, if you want to call this progress, we have progressed as a result of changing environments and the necessity of adapting to our surroundings. Sure, Geographical distinctions are not a problem now, but we pretty much had to have a civil war to settle the issue. Political parties have rather sophisticated ideals but that is simply a result of change in technology (Ex, abortions, rights, etc. i'm sure were not a concern when Geroge Washington was leaving office) And the alliance aspect, we take certain countries in simply out of how they prove to benifit us...this is not the only reason but it is a reason why...I hope this helps you out.
Yes, you have provided some insights on how we have progressed in each of George Washington's concerns. Let's break it down further:
1. Political party system: While the political party system has indeed produced rancor and division, you correctly point out that our present problems are not solely caused by it. Ideologies and personalities now dominate political discourse more than the parties themselves. However, it is important to note that political parties still play a significant role in shaping policy and electoral processes.
To gauge how we have progressed in this concern, one approach would be to analyze the level of polarization and partisanship in our political system. You can look at historical records, news articles, and opinion surveys to assess the extent to which political parties have influenced or hindered effective governance.
2. Geographical distinctions: The United States has made substantial progress in reducing regional differences since George Washington's time. The Civil War and the Civil Rights movement played instrumental roles in erasing many of these distinctions. However, it is worth mentioning that while the original concerns Washington expressed were for the original thirteen colonies, the U.S. has since expanded to include Alaska and Hawaii, which introduced new geographical considerations.
To evaluate the current state of geographical distinctions, you can examine socioeconomic indicators, voting patterns, cultural exchanges, and the impact of technology on connecting people across regions. Analyzing these factors can help assess whether the nation has become more geographically unified or if regional differences persist.
3. Alliances with foreign affairs: You correctly note that the U.S. has been largely independent of alliances in foreign affairs historically. While economic and idealistic concerns led the nation into the two world wars, alliances, particularly during the Cold War, played a significant role in maintaining global peace.
To evaluate the progress in this concern, you can examine the United States' engagement in international organizations, such as the United Nations and NATO, and assess the degree to which alliances have influenced foreign policy decisions. Additionally, you can study the impact of recent conflicts and diplomatic efforts to understand the current state of U.S. alliances in foreign affairs.
In summary, to assess the progress made in each of George Washington's concerns, it is essential to analyze historical records, examine relevant data, and consider multiple perspectives. This approach will help provide a comprehensive understanding of how far we have come in addressing those concerns since Washington's farewell address.