George Washington’s Precedents as the First President 1. Added “so help me God” to the oath of office. • This phrase, though not required, has been said by everyone who has become president since George Washington. 2. Call me “Mr. President” • Your Highness • The Exalted • Your Greatness 3. Where the government should be located • This was a compromise within his cabinet and congressional leaders over debt. • Alexander Hamilton wanted to absorb all of the state’s debt following the American Revolution to create a new American economic system. • Many states like Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina had paid off this debt and did not think it was fair. • The Compromise: Move the capital from New York City to a new neutral location further to the south. • Washington choose the land, some of which he owned. – Designed the city – Designed many of the buildings – The capital would not officially move until after his death during the Presidency of John Adams 4. Created the Executive Department positions. • Rule with the support and information of advisors knowing he could not know everything that was going on under his command • Similar to a military hierarchy system – Delegate assignments to get the most out of a leader • Created regular meeting schedule with cabinet to talk about routine issues • Surrounded himself with the best of the best advisors Washington’s Cabinet • Vice President – John Adams, spent time in England as an ambassador was also a Federalist ( received the 2nd most popular votes) (not chosen by Washington) • Alexander Hamilton – Secretary of the Treasury, Federalist (brilliant financial mind) • Thomas Jefferson – Secretary of State, Democratic Republican (brilliant understanding of events in other counties especially France) • Henry Knox – Secretary of War (Washington’s artillery commander during the Revolution) • Samuel Osgood – Postmaster General 5. Set up the Federal Court System. • Helped to pass and implement the Judiciary Act of 1789. – Created and appointed the federal district courts and judges to fill these courts – Law established flow between the different levels of courts and how they worked on the state and federal level. 6. Established and promoted a new economic system in the United States. • Support for assuming (bringing together) all states debt to create a national debt to give us international credibility • Creating a national banking system • Increasing trade to build the American economy 7. Create a position of neutrality in foreign affairs. • Americans would not involve themselves in foreign affairs if at all possible. – Exceptions were if we came under attack • Followed mostly until WWI • Would establish strong trade relationships with Great Britain and France – Still strongest allies today 8. Two Terms as President • He would limit himself to 2 terms as president to create a change within our government and show how a succession of power should work • This would continue until President F.D. Roosevelt. 22 Amendment today enforces this policy. • Farewell Address – statement to the people and the incumbent as to what needs to be done to keep the country moving forward. – Washington established many policy warnings • President should only run for 2 terms • There was danger in the U.S. becoming to closely connected to other countries • Political conflicts within the country needed to be worked out in order to protect independence • The national debt needed to be paid quickly to keep us free.