Launching of the New Government 1789 1800 1 Washington Takes Office read pgs 276 – 283

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US History

Fort Burrows

Launching of the New Government - 1789 - 1800

9.1 -- Washington Takes Office

READ pgs 276 – 283

Time Line:
1789 - George Washington is inaugurated as the 1st United States President

- French Revolution begins

1791 - Benjamin Banneker helps lay out the District of Columbia, new capital

1793 - Neutrality Act prevented USA from going to war in Europe

1796 - Washington Farewell Address lays out American Foreign Policy

1797 - John Adams becomes the 2nd United States President

1798 - Congress passes the Alien and Sedition Acts - restricts entry of foreigners

and limits freedom of speech

1799 - Napoleon Bonaparte seizes power in France
What if you really disagree with someone about how something should be done ?

You use persuasion, perhaps, to change minds! You get other neighbors who agree with you to join your cause. But how do you change something you disagree with on a state or national level ? It seems obvious to us today: join a political party, or start your own. But that wasn’t obvious when the first President took office. The idea of political parties that we take for granted today took time to grow and develop.

Main Idea:
As the nation’s 1st President, GW faced many challenges, including how to organize the new government and build a strong economy.


inauguration - ceremony in which the President officially takes the oath of office
precedent - an act or decision that sets the example for others to follow
Cabinet - group of officials who head government departments and advise the

Judiciary Act - law that created the structure of the Supreme Court and set up a

system of district courts and circuit courts
national debt - total amount of money that a government owes to others
bond - certificate that promises to repay money loaned, plus interest, on a certain


speculator - an investor in a risky venture in the hope of making a large profit
Bank of the United States - bank set up in 1791 to hold government deposits, to

issue paper money to pay government bills, and to

make loans to farmers and businesses
tariff - tax on foreign goods brought into a country
Whiskey Rebellion - protest over a tax on all liquor made and sold in the U.S.

Setting the Scene:
When the new Congress met in 1789, it debated a curious question. How should people address the President ? Some members of Congress favored the simple title “President Washington.” Others urged for a more dignified title, such as “His Highness the President of the United States and Protector of the Rights of the Same.”
Washington soon let Congress know that he preferred “President of the United States.” By choosing that simple title, he rejected the grandeur and power linked to European monarchs. With that decision, as many others, Washington set an example for later Presidents.
Washington’s First Steps
£ Washington was inaugurated in NYC on April 30, 1789

£ President Washington looked “grave, almost to sadness”

£ Americans were looking at him to make the new gov’t work

£ As 1st President, Washington was setting an example for future generations

£ Washington set a precedent at the end of his 2nd term – he did not run for a 3rd term (precedent lasted until 1940)

£ The First Cabinet

¿ In 1789, Congress created 5 executive departments – Secretaries of -- State, Treasury, War, and Attorney General, and Postmaster General

¿ The heads of these departments made up the President’s Cabinet to give advice and direct their cabinets

¿ Washington set a 2nd precedent by choosing well-known leaders to serve in his Cabinet – Jefferson/State and Hamilton/Treasury
¿¿ What two precedents did President George Washington establish ?


£ The Federal Court System
¿ Constitution called for a Supreme Court

¿ Congress had to set-up the federal court system

¿ Congress passed the Judiciary Act which called for one Chief Justice and five Associate Justices

¿ Washington named John Jay the 1st Chief Justice

¿ Judiciary Act set-up the lower courts - district and circuit courts

Reducing the Nation’s Debt
£ As Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton faced many problems

£ Most pressing problem was the large national debt

£ National gov’t and states borrowed money during Revolution

£ Governments borrowed money by issuing bonds
£ Hamilton’s Plan

¿ Hamilton called for the gov’t to repay both federal and state debts

¿ He wanted to buy up ALL the old bonds issued before 1789

¿ He planned to issue new bonds to pay off the old debts

¿ As the economy improved, gov’t would pay off new bonds

¿ Bankers and Investors welcomed the plan – others attacked it
£ Debating Hamilton’s Plan

¿ Madison led the opposition arguing that Hamilton’s plan would reward speculators

¿ Speculators bought bonds worth $1 for only .10 to .15 from bondholders

¿ if gov’t paid bonds in full, speculators would make huge profits

¿ Hamilton argued that US must repay debts or lose investors that were crucial to building the nation’s economy

¿ Congress approved full repayment of national debt

¿ Madison also opposed the plan to repay state’s debts because southern states had already paid off their debts – other states should follow suit
£ Hamilton’s Compromise

¿ Hamilton offered to move the nation’s capital to the South if southerners agreed to his plan to repay state debts

¿ Madison agreed to the compromise

¿ new capital would not be part of any state – it would be built between Virginia and Maryland called the District of Columbia

¿ today, it is known as Washington, D.C.
Plans to Build the Economy
£ Hamilton’s next plan was to strengthen the faltering national economy to help agriculture and industry

£ Hamilton asked Congress to set-up a national bank – Congress created the Bank of the United States in 1791

£ Gov’t deposited money from taxes and the Bank issued paper money to pay bills and made loans to farmers and businesses

£ Hamilton asked Congress to pass a high tariff on foreign goods brought into country to make imported goods more expensive than American goods

£ A tariff meant to protect local industry from foreign competition is called a protective tariff

£ Northerners supported the protective tariff because they had factories and wanted the US to buy American-made goods

£ Southerners opposed the protective tariff because they bought many imported goods

£ The protective tariff was passed by Congress but was much lower than Hamilton proposed
¿¿ Summarize the argument for and then against the protective tariff.
For - ________________________________________________________________________


Against - ________________________________________________________________________


The Whiskey Rebellion
£ To pay for the Treasury, Congress approved a tax on all liquor made and sold in the US

£ The tax sparked a rebellion that tested the strength of the new gov’t

£ A Hated Tax
¿ Backcountry farmers grew corn and converted their corn into whiskey

¿ Backcountry farmers hated the tax on whiskey and compared it to the taxes

Britain had forced on the colonies

¿ In 1794, the farmers rebelled in Pennsylvania when officials tried to collect the


¿ They sang revolutionary songs and tarred and feathered the tax collectors

£ A Show of Strength

¿ Washington responded quickly and sent the militia to Pennsylvania

¿ Hearing this news, the farmers fled back to their farms

¿ Hamilton wanted the rebellion leaders executed but GW pardoned them

¿ The gov’t had shown their strength and now needed to show mercy

¿ The Whiskey Rebellion tested the will of the new gov’t

¿ GW proved the new gov’t would act firmly in times of crisis and that violence would not be tolerated
1. What steps did Washington take to make the new government work ?


2. What was Hamilton’s plan to reduce the nation’s debt and build the economy ?
Debt –

Economy – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

3. What were the causes and results of the Whiskey Rebellion ?
Causes – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
Results – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

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