upon to organize in 1789. The states had been dependent on England but wanted no more
of it. They had been in fact 13 independent republics, and they wanted no more of that
either. No one knew how the new Constitution would work or how it would effect the
freedom of the states. Washington was determined to build a real federal government for
the United States. The new government was launched April 30, 1789, when Washington
took his oath as president in New York City, the first national capital. In 1792 the nation
reelected him to a second term.
Washington appointed John Jay as chief justice of the Supreme Court, Edmund
Randolph attorney general, Thomas Jefferson Secretary of State. General Henry Knox
Secretary of War, and Alexander Hamilton took over the Department of the Treasury. He
avoided personal favoritism in his appointments.
George organized his Cabinet into an executive council in basically the same
structure as it is today. He proceeded with the Cabinet and Congress cautiously at the
beginning of his presidency. The government was new and relationships were strained and
unsure. Both the administration and the legislature were trying the waters of sentiment,
testing its own power.
One of the first problems he took up was national defense. "To be prepared for
war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace," he said. Another problem
was national finance. The government under the Articles of Confederation was unable to
govern largely because it lacked the power to tax. The Constitution gave this power to
certain kinds of property. Money was soon paid into the treasury, and bills were settled.
Congress even agreed to assume debts incurred by the individual states during the
Revolution. The tasks Washington were credited for were a result of his relationship with
the government he was involved in creating. Througout his presidency George established
the use of the cabinet, and how to use the governments power without overstepping its
George Washington remains a critcal part of American history, because he set the
precedent for the presidency. The point remains, if Washington would have made any
critical mistakes we may not have the government we have today, there may not have been
another president. We owe our success as a country partly to George Washington, for
God’s sake he implemented Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday.
Word Count: 393