.Why did Washington retire?
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Ellis theorizes that Washington feared the possibility of dying while in office. However, Ellis sees in this motivation more than just personal pride; he reads in it Washington's desire to keep the republic intact. As the United States republic had no historical precedent, there was no model to suggest when and how a President should retire. By voluntarily stepping down from office, Washington was reaffirming the nation’s unique position, by refusing to act a monarch. He wished to quit while his reputation was strong, to thereby suggest that every President was replaceable, and that what mattered most was the republic itself.