George Washington`s Precedents Power Point Notes

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
• 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
• 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
4. Created the Executive Department
• 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
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
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
• 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
• 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

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