When George Washington decided to step down and not run for a third term, he released an address to his people. In his “Farewell Address,” he admonished the people to follow his advice in two areas. First, he warned the people about factions (political parties) and how they would divide us. Secondly, he warned us to stay out of foreign entanglements. We were too young to get caught up in Europe’s problems and wars. We took the second warning to heart and did not get into foreign wars until the 20th Century, and even then, we had to be dragged in. Too bad we did not listen to his first piece of advice. Washington had flaws like all men, but taken as a whole he was a great man who led this country wisely and deserves our respect.
Published by James Finck
Dr. James W. Finck was raised in the shadows of history in the great state of Virginia. Growing up it was difficult to travel too far without running into a monument or battlefield from the Revolutionary or Civil War. In this environment, Finck developed a love for studying the past and from his youth knew that he wanted to make it his life’s work. Finck received a B.A. from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. He then studied under James I. Robertson and William C. Davis at Virginia Tech, while earning a Master’s degree. Finally, he received his Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas, under the direction of Daniel Sutherland. For five years, Finck taught at the University of Texas-Pan American before accepting his current position as American Historian at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in 2011. At a small liberal arts institution, Finck considers himself a generalist in history, but his specialties are the Civil War and American Politics. Finck has established himself in Oklahoma with the creation of the Oklahoma Civil War Symposium, which has brought in leading Civil War scholars for the past eight years, and he has spoken at many venues around Oklahoma, especially working with the Honey Spring Battlefield. Finck is the author of Divided Loyalties: Kentucky’s Struggle for Armed Neutrality in the Civil War, as well as Images of America: Chickasha. Finck is also the author of the syndicated newspaper column “Historically Speaking.” View all posts by James Finck