Millercenter.org’s summary of speech:
“Adams praises the patriotism of his predecessors and celebrates the virtues of the Constitution. The President cautions Americans not to lose sight of the danger their liberties face before offering up his qualifications and resources for the job.”
Thoughts on Transcript:
The inauguration of President Adams may be best marked not by his taking the oath of office but by President Washington stepping down from a position that he was popular enough to hold until his death. Washington set the precedent of an unofficial 2 term limit: a limit which lasted until Franklin Delano Roosevelt and was then enshrined into law through the 22nd Amendment. This practice played well into the concerns of the Anti-Federalists, who were hesitant about signing the Constitution due to the danger of career politicians in Washington DC. These concerns still last through the 21st Century, where there is now a growing discontent with no term limits on Representatives and Senators who may be corrupted by the power of The District.