Parties and Platforms


What did George Washington have to say about political parties?

George Washington detested the concept of parties, or factions, because he did not want any political group in the nation to become too powerful. In his Farewell Address to the nation, first published in Philadelphia’s American Daily Advertiser on September 19, 1796, Washington warned against the party system in America. Cautioning the public “in the most solemn manner” against the “baneful effects of the spirit of Party,” Washington said the party system “serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration … agitates the Community with ill founded Jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one … against another … opens the door to foreign influence and corruption.”


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