After George Washington decided not to pursue a third term, he began writing his farewell address to the American people. With a text mostly by Alexander Hamilton, using Washington’s own thoughts, the Address was published in 1796. In this quote, he declares that the peoples’ differences are not as great as their similarities and ultimately these similarities are what binds them as Americans.
Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.