George Washington hoped that his Circular Letter to the States would hold the American people together. He wished this letter to emphasize the need for unity, and that the independence of the nation was dependent on it.
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The people loved Washington, and Washington loved them back and loved serving his country. This letter, was a letter of resignation of his service to the country. It was originally sent to the thirteen governors, but was published for all citizens to read.
Washington had seen, and delivered, America through some of its toughest times. He also knew that it wasn’t over. He felt that the Articles of Confederation were of defects that needed to be addressed. And, with this letter, Washington wished to express his thoughts on four things, which he stated were “essential to the well being . . . to the existence of the United States as an Independent Power.”
1st: An indissoluble Union of the States under one Federal Head.
2ndly: A Sacred regard to Public Justice.
3rdly: The adoption of a proper Peace Establishment, and
4thly: The prevalence of that pacific and friendly Disposition, among the People of the United States, which will induce them to forget their local prejudices and policies, to make those mutual concession which are requisite to the general prosperity, and in some instances, to sacrifice their individual advantages to the interest of the Community.
And, there you have it. George Washington went on for the remainder of his letter addressing these four issues. His argument was this:
“These are the Pillars on which the glorious Fabric of our Independency and National Character must be supported; Liberty is the Basis, and whoever would dare to sap the foundation, or overturn the Structure, under whatever specious pretexts he may attempt it, will merit the bitterest execration, and the severest punishment which can be inflicted by his injured Country.”
There was, and is, no doubt that Washington loved his country. Washington knew that what was laid out before America was not perfect. But, Washington had faith in the people of America that they could and would make it better. And so it was, that after having operated under the Articles of Confederation for a period, something arguably much better came before this nation. The Constitution.
With special thanks to Constituting America and Heritage College, we will be taking part in their project:The U.S. Constitution: A Reader. It is a 90 day challenge to learn and dive deeper into understanding the Constitution.
We hope you are enjoying this journey to dig deeper into what inspired those who wrote the Constitution. If you are, TWEET IT!