Johnny Got A Life The states had been dependent on England but wanted no more of it. They had been in fact 13 independent republics, and they wanted no more of that either. No one knew how the new Constitution would work or how it would effect the freedom of the states. Washington was determined to build a real federal government for the United States. The new government was launched April 30, 1789, when Washington took his oath as president in New York City, the first national capital.
In 1792 the nation reelected him to a second term. Washington appointed John Jay as chief justice of the Supreme Court, Edmund Randolph attorney general, Thomas Jefferson Secretary of State. General Henry Knox Secretary of War, and Alexander Hamilton took over the Department of the Treasury. He avoided personal favoritism in his appointments. George organized his Cabinet into an executive council in basically the same structure as it is today. He proceeded with the Cabinet and Congress cautiously at the beginning of his presidency. The government was new and relationships were strained and unsure. Both the administration and the legislature were trying the waters of sentiment, testing its own power.
One of the first problems he took up was national defense. “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace,” he said. Another problem was national finance. The government under the Articles of Confederation was unable to govern largely because it lacked the power to tax. The Constitution gave this power to certain kinds of property.
Money was soon paid into the treasury, and bills were settled. Congress even agreed to assume debts incurred by the individual states during the Revolution. The tasks Washington were credited for were a result of his relationship with the government he was involved in creating. Througout his presidency George established the use of the cabinet, and how to use the governments power without overstepping its bounds. George Washington remains a critcal part of American history, because he set the precedent for the presidency. The point remains, if Washington would have made any critical mistakes we may not have the government we have today, there may not have been another president. We owe our success as a country partly to George Washington, for Gods sake he implemented Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday.