Thomas Jefferson once stated in regard to George Washington that, George is "[t]he only man in the United States, who possessed the confidence of all There was no other one, who was considered as any thing more than a party leader
The whole of his character was in its mass perfect, in nothing bad, in a few points indifferent. And it may be truly said, that never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great, and to place him in the same constellation with whatever worthies have merited from man an everlasting remembrance."
In a retrospective of who George Washington was to France and the French people, after the death of George Washington, on February 9, 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte reflected these words in regard to the man:
"This great man fought against tyranny; he established the liberty of his country.
His memory will always be dear to the French people, as it will be to all freemen of the two worlds."
I have selected a miscellaneous group of the Quotes from George Washington. Each different miscellaneous quote is separated by spacing, and the words of George Washington are all in yellow.
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.
Religion is as necessary to reason, as reason is to religion. The one cannot exist, without the other. A reasoning being would lose his reason, in attempting to account for the great phenomena of nature, had he not a Supreme Being to refer to ; and well has it been said, that if there had been no God, mankind would have been obliged to imagine one.
If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension, that the Constitution, framed in the convention where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it.
Being no bigot myself, to any mode of worship. I am disposed to indulge the professors of Christianity in the Church, with that road to heaven, which to them shall seem the most direct, plainest, easiest, and least liable to exception.
While I reiterate the professions of my dependence upon Heaven, as the source of all public and private blessings, I will observe, that the general prevalence of piety, philanthropy, honesty, industry, and economy, seems, in the ordinary course of human affairs, particularly necessary for advancing and confirming the happiness of our country.
While all men within our territories are protected, in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of their consciences, it is rationally to be expected from them, in return, that they will all be emulous of evincing the sanctity of their professions, by the innocence of their lives, and the beneficence of their actions ; for no man who is profligate in his morals, or a bad member of the civil community, can possibly be a TRUE CHRISTIAN, or a credit to his own religious society.
The liberty enjoyed by the people of these States, of worshipping Almighty God agreeably to their consciences, is not only among the choicest of their blessings, but also of their rights.
FATHER OF MERCIES, take me to thyself.
[These were the last words George Washington uttered before dying seconds later.]
A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined.
To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.
Our safety and our interest require, that we should promote such manufactures, as tend to render us independent of others, for essential, particularly military, supplies.
If we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are, at all times, ready for war.
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.
I would not be deceived by artful declarations or specious pretences ; nor would I be amused by unmeaning propositions; but in open, undisguised, and manly terms, proclaim our wrongs and our resolutions to be redressed. I would tell them, that we had borne much ; that we had long and ardently sought for reconciliation upon honorable terms ; that it had been denied us ; that all our attempts after peace had proved abortive,
and had been grossly misrepresented;
that we had done every thing that could be expected ... that the spirit of freedom beat too high in us to submit to slavery; and that, if nothing else would satisfy a Tyrant and his diabolical ministry, we were determined to shake off all connections with a State so unjust and unnatural. This I would tell them, not under covert, but in words as clear as the sun in his meridian brightness.
I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.
There is an opinion, that Parties, in free governments, 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.
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.
It is important, that the habits of thinking, in a free country, should inspire caution, in those intrusted 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 create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism.
The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories, 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....
It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find 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.
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 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.
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.
Here, perhaps, I ought to stop.
Unless the principles of the Federal Government are properly supported, and the powers of the Union increased, the honor, dignity, and justice of the nation will be lost for ever.
If we mean to support the liberty and independence, which it has cost as so much blood and treasure to establish, we must drive far away the demon of party spirit and local reproach.