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Lesson Purpose

A lesson that asks students to connect George Washington’s Farewell Address to later presidential foreign policy messages. As a group, the class will discuss the influence Washington’s message had on the nation and posterity. Working in groups, students investigate excerpts from later presidential foreign policy messages and compare and contrast these with Washington’s Farewell Address.


Lesson Objectives:

  • Analyze Washington’s Farewell Address in the context of his legacy and U.S. foreign policy afterwards.
  • Compare and contrast U.S. foreign policy over time using primary sources.
  • Work as a group to come to a consensus and present.
  • Participate in a Socratic Seminar and debate to discuss the course of U.S. foreign policy since George Washington.

Related Standards:

  • Reading and Writing Literacy in History/Social Studies
  • Reading Informational Texts
  • Analysis of Primary Sources
  • Revolution and New Nation
  • Other Nations and World Affairs