(Giving his retirement address)
By March 1797, when Washington left office, the country's financial system was well established;
the Indian threat east of the Mississippi had been largely eliminated;
and Jay's Treaty and Pinckney's Treaty (1795) with Spain had enlarged U.S. territory and removed serious diplomatic difficulties.
In spite of the animosities and conflicting opinions between Democratic-Republicans and members of the Hamiltonian Federalist party,
the two groups were at least united in acceptance of the new federal government.
Washington refused to run for a third term and, after a masterly Farewell Address
in which he warned the United States against permanent alliances abroad, he went home to Mount Vernon.
He was succeeded by his vice-president, Federalist John Adams.
Although Washington reluctantly accepted command of the army in 1798
when war with France seemed imminent, he did not assume an active role.
He preferred to spend his last years in happy retirement at Mount Vernon.
In mid-December, Washington contracted what was probably quinsy or acute laryngitis;
he declined rapidly and died at his estate on Dec. 14, 1799.