Earl. In George Washington's farewell address to Congress, did he warn against the perils of a 2 party system? I
thought I heard something about that, but cant research it as my computer is on the blink. Did he say something
about."It disturbs the public, aggravates the community,kindles animosity, and opens the door for corruption.." ? ~
Half way through his speach, Mr Washington Addressed the problems of the Major Party Rulerships Paragraphs
20-23. This also was addressed by James Madson also wrote in Federalist Paper 10 of this problems as well.
"The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models, both ancient and modern,
cannot certainly be too much admired; but it would be an unwarrantable partiality, to contend that they have as
effectually obviated the danger on this side, as was wished and expected. Complaints are everywhere heard from
our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and
personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival
parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor
party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. However anxiously we may wish that
these complaints had no foundation, the evidence, of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some
degree true." -James Madidson Federalist Papers 10
"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."
Farewell Address George Washington 1796
Question and Answer Sept 26,2010