washington's farewell address

James Madison should've had his own song!

Madison deserved his own song that would be either a waltz like “Your Obedient Servant” or jazzy like “The Room Where it Happens.” Ooh, or both!

Title: “Out-Write, Wrong!” because, going by the play, his WHOLE THING is that he also wrote things, but was completely over shadowed by Hamilton. He wrote the Bill of Rights and 29 of the Federalist papers (which IRL may be more because the 51 credited to Hamilton, some of those may also have been Madison’s). ALSO in the workshop version of “One Last Ride,” Washington says something like. “I need you to help me with my Farewell Address. Madison wrote the first draft and it’s a mess!”

There’s a WHOLE arc there that’s not addressed, of Madison wanting to be recognized, in his own right, for writing as much as Hamilton did. (You can tell with his “Which I Wrote!” tone in “Washington On Your Side”). But he gets COMPLETELY overshadowed by Hamilton, to the point that his accomplishments are just briefly mentioned in a line or two.

So I would love to see him take on that same attitude as Burr and Jefferson towards Hamilton. He clearly still respects Hamilton (telling Jefferson to get Ham on his side in “The Election of 1800”), but I think animosity is there in the fact that he’s more meek and less aggressive than Hamilton, so no one is giving him his due with his papers. We get to see this intense sort of rivalry one-on-one from Jefferson and Burr with Ham, but not from Madison at all.

I’d like a song sort of starting out like “Obedient Servant” and shifting into “The Room Where it Happens.” Of course a rap-like diss-track could work too (the one time we could see sick little Jmads blow off some steam)!

As for the title I came up with? It’s outright wrong that Ham gets more credit than Madison for out-writing him. ;-)

Maybe in the song, he’s singing and complaining about Ham in his POV as Jefferson is getting back from France? It would tie in to the “My friend James Madison red in the face!” line before he explains what Ham has been doing. (Sort of the way “Satisfied” immediately follows “Helpless,” but from Angelica’s POV).

Even better, to not ruin that transition from “What’d I Miss?” to “Cabinet Battle 1,” it could also probably come in after “The Room Where it Happens” as the Democratic-Republics are gearing up for their one-on-one with Ham in each song. And as James is singing, Jefferson comes in near the end and encourages him to stand up for himself as they plot against Hamilton.

….Jmads needs more love basically.

anonymous asked:

What are your top 5 speeches made by presidents? As a speech/debate nerd, it's interesting to see which ones really leave a lasting impression and end up important in the long run.

Good question – and a tough question because there are so many important speeches that come to mind. It’s difficult to narrow the list down to five, but here we go:

1. Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865
The Gettysburg Address is Lincoln’s most famous speech, and probably the most famous speech in American history outside of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. But I believe that Lincoln’s Second Inaugural tops both of them. It’s succinct but incredibly powerful. And it gives us a hint of how Lincoln envisioned handling Reconstruction if assassination hadn’t robbed him of the opportunity, and robbed us of him. Above all, I believe that Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address is the greatest piece of writing by any American – and I don’t just mean political writing. I think it’s the greatest piece of writing by any American in any field of writing. 

2. George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
Washington’s Farewell Address isn’t great because of the language. It’s not soaring, beautiful rhetoric like other great American speeches. But it is extraordinarily important. George Washington was setting precedents every step of the way while he was in office. We see him as the quintessential leader, but we tend to overlook how much of a visionary Washington was. He was literally creating the position of President as we were building the nation itself, and we forget how earth-shattering that was. And then, despite the fact that he could have ruled as long as he wanted (and, in fact, some people were encouraging to do just that), Washington retired and handed over his power peacefully and quietly. Washington’s Farewell Address – and his actions following the speech – set the stage for the seamless transitions between Presidents that have followed ever since he left office in 1797. The speech isn’t all that exciting, but what the speech means is something absolutely groundbreaking. Not only is our Founding Father and this victorious military leader stepping aside voluntarily, but he’s basically making it very clear to the citizens of this young nation that, “Hey, I’m really going home. I’m not coming back if I get bored. I’m not saving you if you screw up. Here’s a little bit of advice, but it’s up to you now. Do the right thing and we might have a chance.” It’s absolutely remarkable.

3. John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961
Like Lincoln’s Second Inaugural, this is an obvious one. JFK’s Inaugural Address was eloquent and exciting and idealistic in ways that Presidential speeches had rarely been, but what truly set this speech apart was that it stands out as a moment where a page of history was turned. Kennedy was the first President born in the 20th Century, and he took over from the last President born in the 19th Century. It was more than a changing of the guard; it was like jumping from a black-and-white still photo into a fast-paced, forward-charging world of color. Kennedy’s imaginative language and youthful energy instantly changed how we perceived our President, and it gave the nation a new hope that would be severely tested in the tumultuous decade which followed. But on that day, what the nation saw and heard was totally different from what the country was used, and that “different” feeling couldn’t help but seem promising.

4. Lyndon B. Johnson, Address to a Joint Session of Congress on the Voting Rights Act, March 15, 1965
When holding court with small groups, giving extemporaneous speeches on the campaign trail, or when speaking to people one-on-one, Lyndon Johnson could be absolutely electrifying. However, when reading from prepared remarks – particularly on television – LBJ was notoriously stiff and colorless. But following “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Alabama, President Johnson went to the Capitol to urge Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act, and stunned the nation by speaking emotionally and candidly about how there wasn’t a “Negro problem”, a “Southern problem”, or a “Northern problem”, but that “There is only an American problem.” Johnson pushed Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act and continue working on equal rights legislation. He surprised many Civil Rights leaders by making it clear that he recognized that simply passing those laws wouldn’t solve the problems the country faced, and that bigotry and racism was deeper and more far-reaching than that, and there were many other issues to overcome. Then the boorish, overbearing, middle-aged, white President from deep in the Hill Country of an old Confederate state shocked the nation by using the lyrics of perhaps the most sacred song of the Civil Rights Movement to strongly declare, “And we shall overcome.” With those four words, LBJ demonstrated to people on both sides of the Civil Rights issue that it was personal for him, too. Anybody who hears Johnson’s delivery of that speech quickly understands how deeply he believed in achieving equal rights for all Americans. What makes LBJ’s “We Shall Overcome” speech (as it is better-known) so important is that it’s not merely a policy speech or an ideological speech; it’s the diagnosis of an old American problem and the commitment to a plan of action for solving that problem. LBJ would eventually do more for the cause of Civil Rights than any President in American history, and the “We Shall Overcome” speech was the moment when most Americans recognized that he was committed to doing just that.

5. Ronald Reagan, Address to the Nation Following the Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion, January 28, 1986
President Reagan was known as “the Great Communicator”, and there was no point during his Presidency where he proved worthy of that nickname than following the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Reagan had been scheduled to deliver the State of the Union Address that evening, but it was postponed after Challenger exploded shortly after takeoff, killing seven astronauts. Presidents have many different roles to play during their time in office. During crises or moments of national tragedy, the country tends to look towards the President for reassurance and comfort, almost in a familial manner. Reagan had a unique ability to seemingly radiate warmth, especially on camera, and brought an instinctive geniality to his approach. When we were sad or depressed or worried, Reagan’s soothing voice and endless optimism about America and Americans were exactly what the country often needed. That isn’t a skill that most people think about when they are voting for President and it’s not something that can be taught or faked, but it is a priceless tool for a President to have. No one was better at that aspect of the Presidency than Ronald Reagan, and Reagan was never better at exercising that ability than in the hours after the nation had watched the Space Shuttle explode above Florida. Reagan’s remarks that night were brief, but elegantly and eloquently crafted by speechwriter Peggy Noonan, who finished the speech with words from a poem written by a British pilot who was killed in World War II. Reagan’s delivery was absolutely perfect as he paid tribute to the astronauts who were killed and closed by saying, “We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God.’” From beginning-to-end, it was the exact speech the country needed to hear, and a fitting tribute to the Challenger crew – definitely one of the greatest Presidential speeches in American history.

anonymous asked:

This may be a weird question, but what was Madison's relationship/thoughts on Washington?

The strongest argument for ratifying the constitution was the approval of George Washington, signaled by his presence at the convention and his support afterward. James Madison understood that Washington was the “heavy weight champion” (Brookhiser 7) of American public life, which is why he stuck to him from the planned stages of the convention through the early days of Washington’s presidency. 

The revolutionary war thrust Madison together with George Washington who was the commander in cheif for the continental army at the time. Washington was nineteen years Madison’s senior and at first he could only serve him from afar as an admirer. In 1778, the Governor’s council, noting “the great fatigues” to which Washington was exposed, decided to send him “a stock of good rum, wine [and] sugar.” Two years later, a congressional committee Madison sat on sent Washington a dozen boxes of lemons and two casks of wine. “As for our illustrious general,” Madison wrote, “the rich Madeira should flow in copious streams.” 

The two finally met in person in the winter of 1781-1782 (Brookhiser 31), when the commander in chief came to Philadelphia to plan the war’s end with congress. In Madison, Washington found “devotion, hard work and (in time) good advice. The younger man provided a gift which he revealed man years later in a discussion of Washington, “The story so often repeated of [Washington] never laughing,” Madison told, “is wholly untrue; no man seemed to enjoy gay conversation, through he took little part in it himself. He was particularly pleased with the jokes, good humor and hilarity of his companions.”

“Madison’s filial admiration for Washington was what almost any revolutionary, especially of his generation, would feel. But Madison would have more opportunities than most to serve his idol”

In November 1784, Washington went to Richmond to lobby the assembly for improvements to the Potomac. A bill was also introduced by Joseph Jones but after Jones left the legislature to take a seat on the Governor’s council, Madison took over management of a bill supported by Washington. Washington supplied the prestige and persuasion while Madison got the legislative work done. “Your own judgment in this business will be the best guide,” Washington acknowledged in a letter to his “partner”. As a result, the Potomac River Company was chartered in the spring of 1785, with Washington as president. 

Madison’s first visit to Mount Vernon followed in the fall (Brookhiser 45). After he left, Washington extended an open-ended invitation to further collaboration: “if anything should occur that is interesting, and you leisure will permit it, I should be glad to hear from you on the subject.” He sighed his letters with “affectionately. At Madison’s urging the assembly had given Washington fifty shares in the Potomac River Comany, valued at more than $22,000. Madison drafted a letter for him, asking the assembly to give the profits of his shares to charity. This would not be the last time Madison would be the General’s “ghost-writer”.

As one of Virginia’s representatives in Annapolis, Madison had called for a convention in Philadelphia. As a member of Virginia Assembly in Richmond, he wrote a bill to approve the recommendation he had made. With Madison’s input, the assembly picked a slate for Philadelphia that included Edmund Randolph, Patrick Henry, George Mason, Madison himself and George Washington headed this list. Henry refused and Washington did not want to go either. Madison spent all that winter and spring “wooing” him. When he wrote Washington in December 1786 to tell him that he was on the list of delegates, he underplayed his own role in putting Washington on there. “It was the opinion of every judicious friend whom I consulted that you name could not be spared… In these sentiments, I own I fully concurred.” On his way back on congress in December 1787, he stopped at Mount Vernon to speak with Washington. Madison would also provide Washington with updates as to what exactly was occurring in the congress chamber. 

George Washington took the oath of office in New York City on April 30th, 1789. Madison left no description of the day but he had stopped at Mount Vernon on his way back to New York in late February to help Washington write his inaugeral address. Madison wrote a more wieldy version, in six paragraphs. After Washington got the speech in the Federal Hall, Madison wrote the House’s response and Washington’s answer to the House’s response.

Whenever Washington’s abilities were questioned in the House, Madison came to the defense of him. When Washington asked Thomas Jefferson to be Secretary of State and he refused the first time, Madison was to play “matchmaker” and floated the offer back to Jefferson who finally agreed in February 1790. Despite James Madison’s disapproval with Bank Bill in February 1791, Washington had not yet during his presidency exercised his veto power. Washington talked the Bank Bill over with Madison, “listening favorably as I thought to my views,” and asked Madison to prepared a veto message. 

1792, Madison’s new political party named itself the Democratic-Republicans, but Madison’s most urgent task went far beyond politics: it was to persuade George Washington to stay in office for a second term as President of the United States. In the Spring the Commander-in-Chief asked his advisor how to let the country know that he would retire at the end of his term. Madison offered his opinions on the proper time for such an announcement (mid-September) and the proper manner (an article in the newspapers), and drafted an eight-paragraph Farewell Address. But he included a plea, “Having thus, Sir, complied with your wishes…I must now gratify my own by hoping [that you will make] one more sacrifice, severe as it may be, to the desires and interests of your country.”

Washington seemed above this. Madison “cherished Washington and his own closeness to him, could not acknowledge how much closer Washington had become with his former staff [Alexander Hamilton],” (Brookhiser 110). Washington subsequently decided to stay on at the urging of others such as Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. By 1793, Madison’s secret endorsement was for Philip Freneau. Freneau was a Princeton friend from their college days who published a newspaper openly attacking Washington and others of the rising Federalist party and sentiment. Jefferson and Madison distributed the papers. 

With the Whiskey Rebellion underway, Washington called up the militia of 15,000 led by Alexander Hamilton. This passed without protest from Madison but aspects of the affair worried his nevertheless: “a standing army was necessary for enforcing laws.” Madison worried less about the attack on western Pennsylvania than an attack on public opinion by George Washington. Washington believed that the crisis had been stirred up by the Democratic Societies. Edmund Randolph wrote to Washington that a Democratic Society in South Carolina had named itself “Madisonian.” This, Washington had not liked at all. He was attempting to uphold the law, while Madison was “consorting with its enemies.” (Brookhiser 120). Washington and Madison had disagreed on many things over the past four years, but now Washington began to suspect that his old friend was growing against him. 

In 1794, Aaron Burr introduced the bachelor Madison to Dolley Payne Todd whom he soon married. This courtship was encouraged by George and Martha Washington (Brookhiser 121). By April 1796, Madison began to take on Washington directly and his unhappiness showed. Despite their recent political disputes, he and Washington and still maintained somewhat of a friendship. He had supplied with his Madeira, helped with him canals and constitution-making; Washington had even blessed his marriage. Madison reminded the president that he was not a “king”, that the government had not “hereditary prerogatives and reminded him of the power of public opinion. Yet Madison admitted Washington’s “high authority” and insisted that he himself used only “decent terms” to refute it. Madison divided mind weakened his argument.  Washington found it easy to reject the younger man’s opposition. He ended the relationship. Though Madison would attend a few state dinners at the presidential mansion, he and Washington exchanged no more letters, paid no more visits. Madison’s own side was unhappy with him too. They blamed him for not fighting Washington “enough”. 

In his Farewell Address, Washington followed the advice Madison had given to him four years earlier about how to “set the stage.” George Washington died on December 14th and Madison moved that the assembly wear mourning throughout their session. “Death,” he said, “has robbed our country of its most distinguished ornament, and the world of one of its greatest benefactors.” Madison had never fully accepted the estrangement to Washington and stayed rather loyal till the end. In 1818, many years later when establishing the University of Virginia, one of the texts Madison added to library was Washington’s first inaugural and his Farewell Address. 

Contrary to popular belief, the United States didn’t have a non-interventionist policy before it was attacked by the Empire of Japan in Pearl Harbor. In fact, the United States had long practiced interventionist policies in Latin America and occupied countries for over a decade in the Central America region. Even since before the Spanish-American war, the United States had already established its imperialistic policies.

The U.S. had already defined expansionist policies in the Asia-Pacific by manipulating trade with the Kingdom of Hawaii and having American sugar farmers sabotage its government up until the annexation of the islands. The Spanish defeat at the turn of the century allowed the United States to acquire not just Puerto Rico as a territory and Cuba as a protectorate in the Caribbean, but also the Philippines in the China sea. The U.S. had already militarily intervened in China during the Boxer Rebellion and Commodore Perry had already forced Japan to open up to U.S. trade.

By the 1920′s, the United States collaborated with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of the Netherlands to maintain its interests in the Asia-Pacific region. Ironically, due to Japan’s opening to European modernism (in which the U.S. played a big role), Japan was now trying to establish its own empire in its near region and interests between empires began to clash. Of course, Japanese expansionism represented a threat to U.S. interest; and in favour of its partners the U.S. government drastically cut trade with Japan, specially oil trade which Japan needed.

This cut in trade didn’t come from any moral position against Japan’s war mongering and jingoistic policies, it was intended to reduce Japan’s capabilities to affect U.S. interests. The United States wasn’t in any way having a non-interventionist policy; they had intervened in the region and picked sides almost a century before WWII.

Now, in no way I do condone the policies of the Japanese Empire, but recognizing its government as a force of evil should in no way come as thinking of the United States as a force of good. The U.S. actively participated in setting the circumstances of the war. Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor simply facilitated a casus belli on the United States to come as the “good guys”.

There is no moral justification for killing thousands of innocent civilians with nuclear bombs in a war you actively helped to set up. Had the Americans really been concerned with saving the lives of millions of American soldiers in the eventual invasion of the Japanese islands, the Americans would have officially approached the Japanese and negotiate a peace. However, the United States was never interested in negotiating peace, over and over again the United States only demanded an unconditional surrender which implies total control of Japan by the U.S. Armed Forces and its government. This was an objective that had been established long before the war seemed to be coming to an end; it was in line with U.S. foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific. The way U.S. military leaders managed to profit from Japan’s war crimes sets even clearly how Japan’s cruelty was no interest of U.S. leadership. Scientist of the criminal Unit 731 were not taken to court, they were used to expand American biological warfare and victims of these vile Japanese insitutions were ignored and labelled as communist agitators in order to protect the new military assets of the United States.

U.S. conservatives who love to put their founding fathers on a pedestal should read:

‘Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent Alliances, with any portion of the foreign world.

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all Nations, are recommended by policy, humanity and interest. But even our Commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand: neither seeking nor granting exclusive favours or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of Commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing with Powers so disposed; in order to give trade a stable course.

George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

To do otherwise is to pick sides and set the course of your involvement in a war.

On September 19, 1796, the nation’s first President bid farewell to his “friends and fellow citizens.” The New York Public Library has his final draft of his remarks before they were printed and shared with the American public. You can read the address in a flip book on the Library’s Digital Collections site - it’s a good day to be inspired by the United States’ founding father.

{…}I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

— 

Washington’s Farewell Address 1796


This is just part of his address. I think sometimes, we get lost in the myth of the Founding Fathers and forget they really did know what they were doing. They were smart, capable men who actually strode to make this country the best it could be. Compromise is also a huge part of our history. I think that some members of Congress need a real, eye-opening, history lesson.

If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.
—  George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796