Anyone who watched or heard Obama’s state of the union address of 2014 cannot argue that Obama addressed many important topics from job opportunities to security. Looking back 220 years, it is clear that the Priorities of the country and the presidents have changed. In George Washington’s speech in 1794, the subject he talked most was the country’s debt, strengthening the military and relationships with other countries. Although the two presidents talked about similar issues,it seems as though to different extents.
In Washington’s speech, he says the country needs to strengthen their military in order to prevent the people’s uprising on excise taxes (George Washington: “Sixth Annual Message,” November 19, 1794. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=29436).whereas in Obama’s speech he says “But I strongly believe our leadership and our security cannot depend on our military alone” Obama believes that if we strike against other countries, the best way to protect is to improve our surveillance system so that we can stop the attacks before they happen, thereby protecting our country and soldiers. It is obvious that Obama and Washington’s military tactics differ. Not only does Obama want to reduce the amount of troops we have, the extent of danger today is more serious because in Washington’s day, he the military was mostly to protect the country from the people; today, the main job of the military is to protect us from outside countries and terrorist attacks.
It is safe to say that the economy has had its ups and downs since Washington’s day. In his speech, Washington does not focus on jobs for Americans, but in Obama’s speech, he makes it very apparent that employment is very crucial to our economy “We know where to start: the best measure of opportunity is access to a good job” (cbs news, Obama’s 2014 state of the Union address) ; Washington talks about reviving the economy; however, his main point is to exercise the collection of excise taxes, instead of increasing jobs, in order to get the economy back on its feet. Both presidents seem to share the same views on foreign relations. Obama is working to bring together businesses and governments to double access to electricity and help to extreme poverty. He also wants the country to support our allies and extend a hand to those affected by disaster. (cbs news, Obama’s 2014 state of the Union address) and Washington shows that he feels the same way when he said “my policy in our foreign transactions has been to cultivate peace with all the world; to observe the treaties with pure and absolute faith; to check every deviation from the line of impartiality; to explain what may have been misapprehended and correct what may have been injurious to any nation”. Looking back 220 years ago, it is evident that Washington had the same concerns for America as Obama does today; nevertheless, it is without doubt that the seriousness of the matter has changed because America has advanced from the way it was 220 years ago, meaning that have more people so our unemployment rate is lower than it used to be, we have also grown more powerful along the way, which means that we of course have more rivals and a need for more military protection. The two presidents may have had similar goals for America but it is clear that today, Obama is going to have to work very hard to get the country where he wants it to be.