But the most important question, what message was trying to be delivered?
Washington likely delivered his address in September, 1796. James Madison began drafting it four years earlier and George Washington himself composed a draft sometime between 1792 and 1796. Alexander Hamilton very likely penned an ensuing draft. Washington made changes to that and Hamilton, again most likely, delivered the final draft.
Washington melded his sense of duty with the common sense of national self-preservation in his farewell address. He shared his beliefs that political unity would empower the nation at home and that neutrality would preserve the nation's esteem and interests abroad.
(see avalon.law.yale.edu and www.ushistory.org)
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