As the first leader of the country, George Washington wanted to set an example for future Presidents. Early America was trying very hard to create a country without a super-powerful ruler like a British king, and Washington thought that if a President stayed in office for too long he risked abusing that kind of power.
We unofficially kept to his two-term limit until World War II, when we re-elected Franklin Roosevelt four times (although he only served three of those terms before he died). After that we made a law that said a President can’t be in office for more than two terms.
“The letter was written by Washington after years of exhaustion due to his advanced age, years of service to his country, the duties of the presidency, and increased attacks by his political opponents.”
I usually try not to quote Wikipedia but I couldn’t have put it better myself! I’m also including a link to the actual text of the Farewell Address. It’s quite long, but doubly interesting.
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