George Washington set many precedents for future presidents of America, including his policies on foreign affairs, his actions while dealing with mommies issues, and his monumental decision to step down from the presidency after two terms in his Farewell Address. One of George Washington’s primary concerns was for the united States to remain neutral among European conflicts. Washington made sure to make this perfectly clear; “On the Politics Of Europe shall express no Opinion, nor make any inquiry who is Right or who is Wrong.
Sis well to all nations and to all men. ” (Document 1) Also, the Neutrality Act was passed in 1794 and this helped prevent wars with European nations, because it prevented a long-term alliance with a country. That way, the America would not be dragged into a war because of another country. As you can see, Washington did not wish to interfere in European matters. This is an historic precedent set by Washington because it made sure that America would always strive to stay out of European conflicts.Also, Washington knew that it was crucial to try to avoid issues with European nations, who at the time were very powerful, especially the countries of Britain, France and Spain. At the point in time of Washington’s presidency, there was a great deal of tension between America and these countries.
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The united States needed to ease the tension. The solution Washington and his ambassadors came up with was Jay’s Treaty and Pinkeye s treaty. Jays Treaty and Pinkness Treaty helped to solidify America’s position with England and Spain respectively.Now not only did Washington deal with foreign troubles extremely well, he also was forced to handle difficult domestic issues as well. One major domestic issue George Washington dealt with was the enormous national debt. With the help of Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of State, the National Bank was created and this helped the nation climb out of debt. Washington also reduced the national debt by establishing excise taxes on usury goods, such as whiskey.
However, the excise tax on whiskey eventually lead to the Whiskey Rebellion.The Whiskey Rebellion was a large uprising of rural farmers in Western Pennsylvania who were outraged over the new tax on whiskey. In another brilliant decision by Washington, Washington chose to put an end to the rebellion promptly and swiftly with a show of force. Washington ordered 1 3,500 troops to be sent to Western Pennsylvania to quell the rebellion (Whiskey Rebellion Worksheet). By doing this, Washington showed the country that he had full control and complete authority in his entry and that the federal government was not weak.But even some of these decisions may not have been the most significant precedent he set. Washington set probably his most important precedent of all his Farewell Address.
In his Farewell Address, Washington announced that he shall step down from the presidency after the end of his second term and he declared that he shall not choose to run for president a third term. Washington made sure that there was no doubt about his decision in his farewell address; “Friends and Citizens: The period for a new election of a citizen to administer run] the executive government of the United States [has come] … And]…
Decline being considered among… Those out of whom a choice is to be made… ” (Document 3).
Clearly, Washington did not want the Presidency to become like a kingship, even though if he had wished, he could have remained president for the rest of his life. When George Washington began his presidency, America was a fledgling country with a plethora of problems facing it. By the time that George Washington left the executive office, our nation was much closer to becoming a fully stabilized sovereignty. Washington had transformed the country from struggling nation in debt to a prosperous nation.All of his decisions during his presidency were brilliant. Whether it was stepping down from office after two terms, or domestic issues, or foreign affairs, George Washington is undoubtedly the most significant of the early presidents. It was these precedents and more that he established that has made the United States into the great nation that it is today.
Every’ president since Washington has tried to emulate what he has done and follow in his footsteps. That is why many historians consider George Washington to be the greatest president in American History.