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George Washington: 6 Important Events in First President's Political Career

Image: George Washington: 6 Important Events in First President's Political Career
President of the United States General George Washington (1732 -1799) and members of congress consulting with Betsy Ross s at 239 Arch St. in Philadelphia where the first American flag is reputed to have been made in1776. (Photo via Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 07 Sep 2014 04:41 PM

George Washington was already a war hero when he became the overwhelming choice as the new country's first president. Six important events and his vision of a democracy helped shape the way government operates and establish clear limitations on the most powerful office.

1. Washington decided against becoming "king" of the United States. After risking his life and the lives of his troops to lead the fight for independence, Washington returned the power to the people and the representatives they elected. He wanted a free, democratic and united country.

Vote Now: Was George Washington the Greatest American President?

2. Faced with individual state war debts, runaway inflation, and a poor economic outlook, Washington tasked Alexander Hamilton with directing financial policy. Washington then supported his new treasury secretary's then-radical idea to create a centralized Bank of the United States that would help make the new country's economy strong through a more stable paper currency. Despite opposition, the bank was chartered and headquartered in Philadelphia.

3. Washington stayed neutral during the war in Europe between the English and French, proclaiming that the U.S. would remain "friendly and impartial towards the belligerent powers." He also realized that his newly created country didn't have the strength or stability to fight someone else's battle. By doing so, he went against the recommendations of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who was pro-French, and Hamilton, who was pro-British.

4. He personally ensured that the U.S. government would enforce its laws by mobilizing troops to squelch the Whiskey Rebellion, fought as a protest of a tax imposed on whiskey.

5. The ratification of the Bill of Rights happened on Washington's watch, and granted many of the personal freedoms that Americans still enjoy today, such as the right to a trial by jury, the right to bear arms, protection against illegal searches, and free speech. It was ratified on Dec. 15, 1791.

6. In his first term, Washington joined the states together and helped form the federal government. He didn't interfere with the policy-making powers that he believed Congress had been given by the Constitution. He also declined to run for a third term in office, establishing a precedent of the two-term president.

Vote Here: Which U.S. President Would Be Considered the Greatest in History?

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George Washington was already a war hero when he became the overwhelming choice as the new country's first president. Six important events and his vision of a democracy helped shape the way government operates and establish clear limitations on the most powerful office.
george washington, important, events, political, career
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2014-41-07
Sunday, 07 Sep 2014 04:41 PM
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