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.
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I THINK GEORGE WAS RIGHT, DO YOU?
When George Washington was inaugurated President of the United States in 1789, there were no political parties. But soon after, they started to emerge. In 1791, it was Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Party and in the following year, Thomas Jefferson’s Anti-Federalist Party.
So, one could easily wonder, what was the man’s who never belonged in a political party, opinion about political parties?
Well, as you may have guessed by now, George Washington was strongly against the political parties. He feared their growing influence and warned of the “continual mischiefs of the spirit ofparty”. He thought that it would lead to “the alternate domination” of each party, taking revenge on each other in the form of reactionary political policies, and that it would eventually cause the North and South to split.
In his farewell address to the nation, George Washington made it the “interest and duty of wise people to discourage and restrain the spirit of the party”. In other words, he cautioned the American people against the dangers of political parties.
But, as it seems, no one listened. Just a few centuries later, and we can see the devastating effects of the parties, not only in the US, but all over the world.
He told us so!