Thematic Essay on George Washington
The Electoral College elected Washington unanimously in 1789, and again in the 1792 election. John Adams was elected vice president. Washington took the oath of office as the first President under the Constitution for the United States of America on April 30, 1789, at Federal Hall. At first, he had not wanted the position. Washington proved himself to be an able administrator. An excellent delegator and judge of talent and character, he held regular cabinet meetings to debate issues before making a final decision. In handling routine tasks, he was "systematic, orderly, energetic, solicitous of the opinion of others but decisive, intent upon general goals and the consistency of particular actions with them." In 1789, Washington became President of the United States and promptly established many of the customs and usages of the new government's executive department. He sought to create a great nation capable of surviving in a world torn by war between Britain and France. His decisions set the path for future presidents and impacted our nation immensely. Washington created the first established foreign policy of the United States, the policy of neutrality or non-involvement. Having just defeated the English and gaining our independence, the US faced the challenging task of creating a new nation. In an effort to guard ourselves from involvement in the wider conflicts of the Europeans and focus on domestic affairs, a course of neutrality was followed. Washington’s Proclamation of Neutrality of 1793 provided a basis for avoiding these conflicts. The action of non-involvement or neutrality meant that the United States would not take part in the affairs of other nations. Surprisingly, most Americans were in agreement with this choice and decided that war was not in the new nation’s interest. The purpose of Washington's caution against entanglements with foreign powers was to minimize the chance of war. James Madison,...
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