On April 30 , 1789 Washington took the oath of office as the first President of the United States under the federal government. John Adams become the first vice President.
Washington had no one to go on or examples and he knew his decisions would shape the presidency.
“ Mr. President”
The first cabinet raised many questions: would they answer to the President or the Congress and once appointed if the President could dismiss them?
Secretary of State
Secretary of Treasury
Secretary of War
Judiciary Act of 1789
Disagreements between state courts and Federal Courts
A compromise allowing 13 district courts and three circuit courts with the Supreme Court having the final ruling over them all.
State courts and laws would remain, but federal courts had power to reverse (?)
Washington appointed John Jay to head the Supreme Court
Hamilton and the National Debt
The U.S. was in debt.
Foreign debt – money owed to foreign nations such as Spain and France Domestic debt – money owed to American citizens
The U.S. had borrowed money from its’ citizens in order to pay for the Revolutionary War through the sale of bonds .
Many citizens thought that the government would never be able to pay back their debt. Therefore, they sold their bonds to speculators at a loss.
Hamilton’s Economic Plan Alexander Hamilton wanted to restore people’s faith in the U.S. economy by doing the following:
pay back all federal and state bonds
combine all state and federal debts into one huge national debt
Southerners such as James Madison hated this plan because:
most Southern states had already paid their debts
most speculators, who became rich, lived in the North
The South agreed to… The North agreed to… … allow the federal government to take over the debts of the northern states. … move the capital of the U.S. to the South. (Washington, D.C.) Hamilton’s Compromise
After 2 terms in office Washington retired from the presidency, setting a precedent for future presidents