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George Washingtons Federal Government

George Washington’s Federal Government

When a modern US kingpin travels, he or she expects the electorate to cover the cost. In

1789, however, George Washington borrowed his rise travel funds from a

buddy. In varied ways, the “Father of Our Country” was starting a government from


The federal government grew rapidly in the years just following George Washington’s

first inauguration. By the end of his presidential career, the democratic system had

developed much of its modern character, including 1 ) a highly lauded three - branch

foundation, and 2 ) an oft - criticized disposition toward internal polarization.

Washington’s first term began with little dissent from Audience. His presidential contest

was arguably the least complicated in all of US history. Now a famed hero of the

Revolutionary War, General Washington easily transitioned to President Washington in

1789; he campaigned with virtually no opposition, and he unanimously won the electoral

vote for each of two terms.

Below Washington’s welcome executive leadership, the young nation quickly established

its judicial and legislative branches. Congress passed the Judiciary End in 1789, bringing

a hierarchy of state and federal courts and setting the Supreme Court as arbiter of

conflicts between tell laws and national laws. Washington’s government then conducted

the first state census in 1790. This facilitated the formation of congressional districts,

allowing voters to elect local legislative representatives. In addition to these relevant

judicial and legislative accomplishments, the early Washington years strengthened civil

liberties as Congress sent the Skipper elegant constitutional amendments, ultimately ratified

and known over the Bill of Rights.

Washington attributed his effective governing in part to his balanced consideration of

ideas. The Constitution had granted him executive power, but in many ways it left open

how a President might deliberate or interact with Congress. Washington was not

personally a party member, and he hoped to set a precedent of non - sectarian leadership.

Entirely willing to consider multiple perspectives, he populated his Cabinet with men

holding differing perspectives. Ironically however, these very advisors – hand - picked now

their ability to bring wholeness to Washington’s inborn thinking – soon formed two

political factions to promote their own polarized agendas.

Unity had proved easiest at the start of Washington’s first term. Once the three branches

of government were formed, the President was charged with a larger divisive task:

handling debt from the Revolutionary War. As currency and taxation became more

prominent issues, the differing values of sectarian Cabinet members crystallized.

Presidential advisor and staunch Federalist Alexander Hamilton, who had developed

national currency and taxation plans, had visions of a strong central bank. This clashed

with Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson’s ideal of meager government. By 1793, each

man had assembled a network of supporters. By the end of Washington’s second term,

Hamilton’s Federalists and Jefferson’s Democratic - Republicans were regularly slinging

mud via sectarian newspapers.

When George Washington retired from public office, his Farewell Address named his

nation’s struggle for unity and its current trend toward separation. He described the

federal government’s unity as “a leading pillar in the edifice of your real independence... of

your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that

very liberty which you so highly prize. ” This unity was threatened, in his view, by the

newly - formed political parties. Washington warned citizens against “the baneful spirit of

faction” and said it would only “enfeeble the Public Administration. ”

Today, this Farewell Address is annually read aloud in both houses of Congress, to our

voguish - - and perhaps enfeebled - - factions, in tribute to Washington’s service and as a

reminder of his political foresight.


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