George Washington's Presidency

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  • Do you know what the first president of the United States did for out country?
  • President Washington was nervous to attend the presidential inauguration because he knew that he had to set good examples for future generations. Washington decided not to run for third term. The first congress created five executive departments to make up the President's Cabinet. These people helped give Washington advice and were responsible for directing their departments. The two most influential in the Cabinet were Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton who were chosen to be the precedent.
  • "There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter be drawn into precedent."
  • The Constitution called for a Supreme Court and the Congress passed a Judiciary Act, which called for one Chief Justice and five Associate Justices. Washington named John Jay the first Chief Justice of the United States.
  • Alexander Hamilton wanted the government to repay both state and federal bonds because they used bonds, and if they did, speculators stood to make fortunes. He wanted to issue new bonds to pay off old debts. When the economy improved, then they would be able to pay off the new bonds. James Madison argued that Hamilton's idea would reward speculator. Madison thought they didn't need this profit. Congress approved full repayment of the national debt. Southern states had paid off their debts from the Revolution, and agreed with Madison, and thought that other states should do the same. Hamilton proposed a compromise saying if southerners agreed to repay state debts, he would put the state capital would be in the South.
  • Hamilton wanted to strengthen the national economy that was to help both agriculture and industry. Hamilton asked Congress to pass a tariff on foreign goods brought into country to help American manufacturers. The people in the North supported Hamilton's plan because they had a lot of factories there. Southern farmers opposed the tariff because they bought many imported goods, and it would make imports more expensive for them. Congress did pass a tariff, but it was lower than what Hamilton had wanted.
  • Alexander Hamilton proposed a tax called the Whiskey Rebellion against the United States to raise money for the Treasury. This tax hurt farmers extremely because they converted heir corn into whiskey, and they rebelled when Pennsylvania tried to collect the tax. Washington called up the militia and dispatched them to Pennsylvania. Washington taught Hamilton that the government needed it's strength.
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