Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation - Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Joseph Ellis
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Chapter 4 Summary

George Washington was covered with an aura of omnipotence on September 19, 1796, when he announced to the people his intention not to stand for reelection in the upcoming election. Only Benjamin Franklin approached Washington in prominence, and he acknowledged the latter's preeminence. Many of the stories about Washington's bravery under fire were true, and in war and peace he had been the one indispensable character, the uniter. Every major newspaper published his "Farewell Address" — actually more an open letter rather than a speech. Its Olympian tone guaranteed that it would be studied for generations. Its most important point was that the President was laying down power voluntarily after two terms and that the office would be rotated. The American people were now on their own.

Insiders had seen the announcement coming and knew it would usher in an era of partisan politics, with...

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This section contains 2,195 words
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Buy the Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation Study Guide
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