posted by Samantha on .
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, gay 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, gay 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, gay 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, gay 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.