Thursday, March 31, 2016

LIFE.... LIBERTY.... & THE MOA CLASS

Another MOA class gone well! I am in love with teaching people about our nation's foundational Principles and leading this class of youth/young adults (ages 14+). It is truly an amazing experience to share in all this with them.
Each week the students are asked to bring a "Current Event" which entails: 
(1) Find a news article of your choice of a federal government issue/event taking place this year (share the source of the article)
(2) Share the main paragraph or two which tell the point of the story
(3) Tell which Principle of Freedom it support or violates and how, and also write out the principle (one Principle per week, and the Principles cannot be duplicated; each week a new Principle, so that ideally we have a total of 28 by the end of the year. These principles are then shared with the class each week or during our "Current Events" class period).
(4)  If the issue violates the Principle, tell how you think it should be solved (according to your current understanding)
(5)  Share a scripture that is related to this Principle.
Here is last week's Current Event by one of the youngest in our class - a 14 yr old:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

March 24, 2016
Source: http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/05/politics/obama­executive­action­gun­control/
Principle 16 v.s. Obama’s Executives Actions
The government should be separated into three branches­ Legislative, Executive, and Judicial
"I believe in the Second Amendment, there written on paper, that guarantees the right to bear arms," Obama said. "No matter how many times people try to twist my words around, I taught constitutional law. I know a little bit about this. But I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment." [He then said he was going to have congress pass it] “But we also can't wait," Obama added. "Until we have the Congress that's in line with the majority of Americans, there are actions within my legal authority that we can take to help reduce gun violence and save more lives [emphasis added].” ­ - CNN
No matter how nice that may sound, the way he is proposing to bring this around, is wrong; an executive order. This goes against the 16th principle because in the principle it talks about not allowing powers to be mixed; but when you have the executive branch make those orders “within” their “legal authority” they are making laws, which is legislative action.
Baron Charles de Montesquieu commented on the mixing of the two powers. He said: “When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty; because apprehensions may arise, lest the same monarch or Senate should enact tyrannical laws,  to execute them in a tyrannical manner.  ( The Spirit of Laws, Great Books of the Western World, vol. 38 [Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1952], p. 70). Basically, it is not safe to have the same person who creates the laws to execute them, because then, you can come up with them, and go through with them, almost like a monarch.
I think, the correct thing to do (I’m not going to talk about the controlling of the guns so much, as the way he is carrying it out, because I don't feel I know enough yet to make a good judgement on the correctness of the background checks), is to use the correct way of passing laws and acts, using congress to make them, and the judiciary to pass them, and keep the legislative power away from the president, because as the quote below states, when men are given power they often want more, and who knows what they will do with it, and that is why our constitution is built to protect us from the human frailties of our leaders.
“We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, [that] as soon as the get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise
unrighteousness dominion. Hence, many are called but few are chosen” ­ - Doctrine and Covenants, 121:39, 40 (emphasis added).
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
 
I'm so proud of these youth/young adult who turn these in and are working hard to really understand what our Founding Fathers gave us and not just what the Constitution is about, but even more importantly, what eternal, non-changing PRINCIPLES that Constitution and our Republic are built upon!  I'm especially happy and hopeful that more and more youth and young adults are choosing to school themselves in the truths of our nation, our Founders, and the Supreme Laws of our land!
I pray that God might still bless America!  I pray enough of us will choose to turn back to Him, honor Him, and uphold the Constitution He inspired, written by men He chose and guided as they wrote it. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

WHY BE AGAINST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM?

A generation has passed since the Cold War ended — and along with it, a true understanding of communism. Young voters today grew up in school systems where capitalism was often a dirty word. They heard the siren call of socialism and its promise of being the great equalizer. They’re in for a rude awakening. In this series, Glenn discusses the origins of communism, what it really means and what lurks behind the pleasant label of “democratic socialism.”

Thus begins an article I would like to share today.  It is a known fact that those who do not know true History are doomed to repeat it.  Here is an article that share an important part of History which today's younger generation (roughly ages 35 and younger) do not understand nor appreciate its danger. What makes it worse, is that at the same time they have all been false American History, so they do not understand OUR true History nor appreciate its uniqueness and exceptionalism. Yes, the United States of America is unique and exceptional, and it is precisely so because it did not follow Europe, nor Communism, but instead became the world's first Free Market Economy. Due to this, it became the world's greatest blessing - so long as its leaders remained morally and religiously inclined, that is. Why would I bring that into the picture? I bring that up because, again, our History teaches us that "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious peopel. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." (John Adams)  As we can see in hindsight, our nation and its leaders has become more and more corrupt in direct proportion to the decline of American citizens attending church and being not only "believers" but "doers" of the Word. 
I am happy to also report that the youth in my Making of America ("MOA") class on the Constitution and Founders is having each of the kids read the Communist Manifesto this semester, as we will be discussing it in comparison to the Constitution our final week of class. Sun Tzu, in his book The Art of War, stated, "It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; If you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle." I think in order to help turn our nation back to being a great, sovereign nation that leads the world again in peace, friendship, and non-policing ways, we must know the enemy that has infiltrated our culture and society - communist/socialism.  Socialism by any other name will destroy just as well.
But I digress. Here is the rest of the article: 

Communism Part I: How It's Marketed
When Karl Marx was born in Prussia (now part of Germany) in 1818, 94% of the world's population lived in poverty. 84% lived in extreme poverty. Feudalism as an economic system left a lot to be desired, like food. The capitalist system, under the Constitution of the United States, changed all of that dramatically.
In one of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind, just 9.6% of the world's population lives in extreme poverty today. Back in 1818, America was just 42 years old and still developing, but it was already becoming the envy of the world. The capitalist - or free market -  system was beginning to take hold and pull this country's citizens out of poverty. It offered new opportunities for millions of citizens and immigrants were beginning to flood its shores.

Europe was a different matter. Monarchy and feudalism was still embedded throughout much of the continent. But great change was taking hold. Industrialization was bringing scores of people from the country to the cities - which were quickly becoming overcrowded. This led to massive discontent.

Marx, who despised what he saw of capitalism, would take advantage of this discontent, becoming radicalized at an early age.

After receiving his doctorate in philosophy, Marx and his wife moved to Paris in 1843, where he would meet a man who would become his life-long friend and colleague - Friedrich Engels. The two had supposedly been drawn to the plight of the workers from their childhoods. They both believed profits generated by the companies that employed them were stolen from wages the workers should have recieved.

As the two fed off each other, they became more and more radical in their thinking, until they became all-out revolutionaries and were both expelled from France. The moved to Belgium and in 1848, began to work on a pamphlet to share their beliefs. Initially entitled A Communist Confession of Faith, the pamphlet - written mostly by Marx - was published as The Communist Manifesto.

In 1867, Marx wrote another handbook for communist thinkers, Das Kapital. It was published in his home country, Germany, and translated into many other languages. In it, Marx made the point that capitalism exploited workers, and property rights simply kept rich people rich and poor people poor. he went on to write two additional volumes, which were published after his death at the age of 64 in 1883, by Engels.

Marx never experienced the Communist Revolution he sought in his lifetimes. But his ideas would be remembered in the minds of others for decades to come. One young Russian was heavily and immediately influenced by Marx's writing - a 17-year-old boy named Vladimir Lenin.
(stay tuned for Part II)

Featured Image: Some of the 500, 1meter tall statues of German political thinker Karl Marx on display, on May 5, 2013 in Tier, Germany. The statues, created by artist Ottmar Hoerl, are part of an exhibition at the Museum Simeonstift Trier commemorating the 130th anniversary of the death of Marx in 1883. Marx, who was born in Trier, is the author of The Communist Manifesto, and his ideas on the relationship between labour, industry and capital created the ideological foundation for socialist and communist movements across the globe. (Photo by Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images)



Source: http://www.glennbeck.com/2016/03/28/communism-part-i-how-its-marketed/

Friday, March 25, 2016

DEUTERONOMY 1 & THE FOUNDERS

In our MOA (Making Of America/Constitution) class last week I issued a “Challenge”.  A challenge is something I task the kids to do for the next week. It could be as simple as a definition of a “big word”, or to read something, or to learn about then teach it to the class, etc.etc. One of last week’s challenges was to read Deuteronomy chapter 1 and find as many connections as they could to the 28 Principles of Liberty (See Tab Above) upon which our Republic and it’s Constitution/Bill of Rights are founded upon.  I issued this challenge because the Founders gleaned Constitutional, Republican principles upon which to build our nation from the Old Testament and the Anglo-Saxons. Deuteronomy 1 is one of the Scriptures where they learned about these principles. 
 
Of course, whenever I issue a challenge, I need to do it as well so I stay ahead of the game.  So here is my Deuteronomy 1 challenge I did showing some of the Principles represented in and then I listed which Principle in parenthesis, underlining the part that applies.
 
~          ~          ~
 
Moses speaking with the children of Israel
 
 
 Deuteronomy - Chapter 1

Moses begins the recitation of all that befell Israel during forty years in the wilderness—The children of Israel are commanded to go into and possess Canaan—Judges and rulers are chosen to assist Moses—Israel’s spies bring an evil report—The adults of Israel will perish—The Amorites defeat the armies of Israel.

 1 These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab.

 2 (There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadesh-barnea.)

 3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the Lord had given him in commandment unto them; (P9: To protect man’s rights, God has revealed certain principles of Divine Law.)

 4 After he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which dwelt at Astaroth in Edrei:

 5 On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, (P22: A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men.) saying,

 6 The Lord our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:

 7 Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.

 8 Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.

 9 ¶And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone:

 10 The Lord your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.

 11 (The Lord God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!)

 12 How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife?

 13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you. (P3: The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally stable people is to elect virtuous leaders.)

 14 And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do.

 15 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you (P3: The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally stable people is to elect virtuous leaders.), captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. (P21: Strong local self-government is the keystone to preserving human freedom.)

 16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously (P16: The government should be separated into three branches: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.) between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.

 17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; (P6: All men are created equal.) but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; (P20: Efficiency, and dispatch require government to operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority.)  ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; (P5: All things were created by God, therefore upon Him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible.) for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it. (P16: The government should be separated into three branches: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.)

 18 And I commanded you at that time all the things which ye should do.

 19 ¶And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the Lord our God commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea.

 20 And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the Lord our God doth give unto us. (
P14: Life and liberty are secure only so long as the right of property is secure.)

 21 Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; (P8: Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.) fear not, neither be discouraged.

 22 ¶And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.

 23 And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe: (P12: The United States of America shall be a republic.)

 24 And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out.

 25 And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, (P14: Life and liberty are secure only so long as the right of property is secure.) and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the Lord our God doth give us.

 26 Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God:

 27 And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the Lord hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.

 28 Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.

 29 Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them.

 30 The Lord your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, (P4: Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.) according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;

 31 And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the Lord thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.

 32 Yet in this thing ye did not believe the Lord your God,

 33 Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day.

 34 And the Lord heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying,

 35 Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers,

 36 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the Lord. (P8: Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.)

 37 Also the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither.

 38 But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.

 39 Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

 40 But as for you, turn you, and take your journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.

 41 Then ye answered and said unto me, We have sinned against the Lord, we will go up and fight, according to all that the Lord our God commanded us. And when ye had girded on every man his weapons of war, ye were ready to go up into the hill.

 42 And the Lord said unto me, Say unto them, Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies.

 43 So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord, and went presumptuously up into the hill.

 44 And the Amorites, which dwelt in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Hormah.

 45 And ye returned and wept before the Lord; but the Lord would not hearken to your voice, nor give ear unto you.

 46 So ye abode in Kadesh many days, according unto the days that ye abode there.



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

MEMORIZING GEORGE WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL ADDRESS

Did you know that school children 100 years ago were to memorize George Washington's Farewell Address?  Yep, they were.  It was part of their character and education.

I'm willing to bet (I don't bet, unless I know I'll win) that if all school children in the past 100 years were also made to memorize his Farewell Address, that our nation would be in a MUCH better place today. 

Seeing as this is such an important part of our history and our national education, I share his Farewell Address with you here.  You say you love America. You say believe in freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You say you want all people to have those freedoms. And you say you believe all people are created equal. 

Then put your efforts where your mouth is. Memorize George Washington's Farewell Address and more importantly LEARN FROM IT. It all applies still today. Just as our Constitution does. Why do I say that? Why don't I say these documents are outdated and intended only for an old fashioned, agrarian society? Because these documents were not penned and shared for only the people of the age when the documents were penned, but rather they were penned for people who fall under the same, UNCHANGING category: people who are affected by Human Nature. 

Human Nature never changes. It will exist so long as the Earth exists. The principles found in the Constitution and Washington's Farewell address live on perpetually, because they speak to Human Nature. Human Nature is always the same, non-changing, and the principles that must guide Human Nature in order to be good and of upstanding character are never obsolete. They forever apply to us. 

Here then, is George Washington's Farewell Address - as applicable today as it was back in 1796. Happy memorizing!

~          ~          ~


Friends and 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, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made. 

I beg you, at the same time, to do me the justice to be assured that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both. 

The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea. 

I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety, and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that, in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire. 

The impressions with which I first undertook the arduous trust were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust, I will only say that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious in the outset of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it. 

In looking forward to the moment which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country for the many honors it has conferred upon me; still more for the steadfast confidence with which it has supported me; and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment, by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to your praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that under circumstances in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead, amidst appearances sometimes dubious, vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging, in situations in which not unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism, the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence; that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual; that the free Constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained; that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue; that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it. 

Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion. 

Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment. 

The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts. 

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes. 

But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole. 

The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common government, finds in the productions of the latter great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. Turning partly into its own channels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and, while it contributes, in different ways, to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength, to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improvement of interior communications by land and water, will more and more find a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad, or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort, and, what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connection with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious. 

While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of inestimable value, they must derive from union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rival ships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sense it is that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other. 

These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the Union as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands. 

In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our Western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head; they have seen, in the negotiation by the Executive, and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, of the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event, throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the General Government and in the Atlantic States unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mississippi; they have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties, that with Great Britain, and that with Spain, which secure to them everything they could desire, in respect to our foreign relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the Union by which they were procured ? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren and connect them with aliens? 

To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliance, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a constitution of government better calculated than your former for an intimate union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government. 

All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests. 

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion. 

Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property. 

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. 

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume. 

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositaries, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. 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. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. 

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric? 

Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened. 

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate. 

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it - It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices? 

In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.
So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation. 

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter. 

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy (aka: protect your freedom with very careful attention) of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests. 

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities. 

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel. 

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice? 

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them. 

Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies. 

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 favors 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, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard. 

In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated. 

How far in the discharge of my official duties I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them. 

In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my proclamation of the twenty-second of April, I793, is the index of my plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice, and by that of your representatives in both houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it. 

After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest to take, a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it, with moderation, perseverance, and firmness. 

The considerations which respect the right to hold this conduct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the belligerent powers, has been virtually admitted by all. 

The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without anything more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations. 

The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes. 

Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest. 

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers. 


Geo. Washington. 
19 September 1796