Presidency

Edmond Charles Genet

Edmond Charles Genet

Edmond Charles Genet was a French diplomat sent to the United States during George Washington's first term as president in 1792.

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Accepting the Presidency

Amongst George Washington's contributions to the burgeoning American Republic included presiding over?

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Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton was a founding father of the United States, who fought in the American Revolutionary War, helped draft the Constitution, and served as the first secretary of the treasury. He was the founder and chief architect of the American financial system.

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Benjamin Franklin Bache

Benjamin Bache is regarded as one of the fathers of the American tradition of the ideological and partisan political press.

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Cabinet Members

While the current presidential cabinet includes sixteen members, George Washington?s cabinet included just four original members: Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of War Henry Knox, and ...

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Cherokee

A nation of native North Americans, the Cherokee have a long connection to the present-day eastern and?

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Creek Nation

The Creek or Muscogee Nation (Este Mvskokvlke) is a modern, federally-recognized Native American tribe in the United States. In the eighteenth-century, though, the Creek Nation was instead the Creek Confederacy, a multi-ethnic coalition of migrant peoples with a territorial expanse that encompassed much of the Deep South: from South Carolina to Alabama. The Confederacy evolved out of the Mississippian civilizations that collapsed in the southeast during the sixteenth and seventeenth-centuries as a consequence of European colonialism. Specifically, Muskogean-language groups such as the Abihka, Tallapoosa, and Apalachicola coalesced into a polyglot alliance of towns, who were later joined by groups of non-Muskogean speakers like the Yuchi, Hitchiti, Shawnee, Natchez, Chickasaw, Apalachee, and others. Over the course of a century, these multilingual communities continuously merged, precipitated by the founding of the “mother” towns – Coweta, Cusseta, Tukabatchee, and Abeka. By the turn of the eighteenth-century, they were all collectively identified by Europeans as the “Creek Indians.”

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Department of the Treasury

The Department of Treasury is a cabinet department within the United States Executive Branch. It is managed by a secretary that is appointed by the president. The Department of Treasury was officially formed by the Treasury Bill (HR-9), passed on July 2, 1789. The bill was signed into law by President George Washington on September 2, 1789. The department’s mission is to improve, regulate and provide reports to Congress on the United States’ revenue, expenditures and public credit. 

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Edmond Charles Genet

Edmond Charles Genet was a French diplomat sent to the United States during George Washington's first term as president in 1792.

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Edmund Randolph

Edmund Randolph was born on August 10, 1753, to a prominent Virginia family. After graduating from the College of William & Mary, he pursued a career in law. He served as an aide-de-camp to General George Washington in 1775, and later had an extensive political career. Randolph is perhaps best remembered for introducing the Virginia Plan to the Constitutional Convention, which proposed a legislative branch consisting of two chambers, in which each state would be represented in proportion to their “Quotas of contribution, or to the number of free inhabitants.”1 Following his time as Delegate to the Constitutional Convention, he was a member of President Washington’s administration, first as Attorney General and then as Secretary of State until he resigned in 1795. 

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First and Second Inaugurals

After taking the oath of office on the portico at Federal Hall in New York City on April 30, 1789 before?

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First Annual Address to Congress

On January 8, 1790, President George Washington delivered the very first Annual Message to a Joint Session of Congress (now known as the State of the Union address), in the Senate chamber of Federal Hall in New York City. The address fulfilled Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the U.S.

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Genet Affair

The “Genet Affair,” also known as the French Neutrality Crisis, was a diplomatic incident that occurred during George Washington’s second term as President of the United States. The debate centered around whether the United States should intervene in the French Republic’s war with Great Britain and what constituted “neutrality” under young American laws.

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George Washington and the Supreme Court

Article III of the Constitution specifically called for a Supreme Court and other inferior courts as Congress saw fit to establish. Once the new federal government began operation in the spring of 1789, the Senate immediately set to work drafting the legislation to create the federal judiciary.

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George Washington's Farewell Address

In 1796, as his second term in office drew to a close, President George Washington chose not to seek re-election. Mindful of the precedent his conduct set for future presidents, Washington feared that if he were to die while in office, Americans would view the presidency as a lifetime appointment. Instead, he decided to step down from power, providing the standard of a two-term limit that would eventually be enshrined in the Twenty-Second Amendment to the Constitution.

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James Madison

The fourth president of the United States, James Madison, Jr., was born on March 16, 1751, in King George?

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Jay Treaty

The 1794 Jay Treaty restored relations with Great Britain and caused great political rifts within the American public.

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John Adams

Born in 1735 to a Braintree, Massachusetts farmer and cobbler, John Adams was one of the most influential?

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John Jay

An important Federalist figure during the early days of the American republic, John Jay was also a close?

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Levees (Receptions)

During George Washington's presidency, receptions and other social gatherings that he and his wife, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, hosted were usually called "levees." In part because this word previously referred to receptions at a king's court, the Washingtons' gatherings were controversial. A notable first attempt to establish ceremonies and etiquette for the American republic, Washington's levees undermined his reputation in the eyes of many citizens in the politically volatile 1790s.

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Life in New York City

When George Washington arrived in New York City in April of 1789, his task was clear: he needed to invent?

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Martha Washington During the Presidency

When the American Revolution ended and George Washington returned to his home after an eight-year absence?

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Morocco

Learn more about President George Washington's interactions with the Kingdom of Morocco.

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Moses Seixas

Born on March 28, 1744, Moses Seixas was a first generation Jewish-American whose parents migrated from?

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National Gazette

Writing in the first issue of the National Gazette published on October 31, 1791, editor Philip Freneau?

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Neutrality Proclamation

On April 22, 1793 President George Washington issued a Neutrality Proclamation to define the policy of the United States in response to the spreading war in Europe. “The duty and interest of the United States require,” the Proclamation stated, “that they [the United States] should with sincerity and good faith adopt and pursue a conduct friendly and impartial toward the belligerent Powers.” The Proclamation warned Americans that the federal government would prosecute any violations of this policy by its citizens, and would not protect them should they be tried by a belligerent nation. This statement of policy triggered a fierce reaction from those who considered it a sellout of the nation’s revolutionary soul for the financial gain of the merchant class. “The cause of France is the cause of man, and neutrality is desertion,” one anonymous correspondent wrote the president. Critics believed that the Proclamation marked a dishonorable betrayal of our oldest and dearest ally and to a sacred alliance made in the darkest hours of the American Revolution. The Proclamation was important for the constitutional precedent it established in the exertion of executive authority in the realm of foreign policy, as well as for exciting partisan passions that were formative to the creation of political parties in the first party system.  

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New England Tour

George Washington went on his New England Tour from October 15 to November 13, 1789, during the first Congressional recess under the new federal government. He travelled from New York City, then the capital of the United States, through Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. He visited nearly sixty towns, stopping along the way to visit factories, talk with farmers, and partake in celebratory festivities. From Washington’s perspective, it was a fact-finding and promotional tour; from the perspective of the people he visited, it was both a chance to celebrate and to advise their new president.

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Pierre L'Enfant

Noted as one of the most influential architects and city planners in American history, Pierre “Peter” Charles L’Enfant is most famous for designing the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.  Though today he is commonly referred by his French birth name, Pierre, L’Enfant referred to himself as “Peter,” the anglicized version of his name, after coming to America to fight in the Revolutionary War.1 

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Presidential Diplomacy

Learn more about the various diplomatic and foreign policy challenges facing the Washington administration.

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Presidential Election of 1789

In 1789, the first presidential election, George Washington was unanimously elected president of the United States. With 69 electoral votes, Washington won the support of each participating elector. No other president since has come into office with a universal mandate to lead.

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Presidential Election of 1792

In 1792, the second presidential election, George Washington was unanimously re-elected president of the United States. Carrying large and small states, northern and southern states, Washington received 132 electoral votes, one vote from each participant in the Electoral College. Fifteen states cast electoral votes in 1792: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia.

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Presidential Entertaining

On April 30, 1789, George Washington was inaugurated the first President of the United States at Federal?

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Presidential Precedents

On the afternoon of April 30, 1789, George Washington stepped out onto the balcony of Federal Hall in?

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Presidential Residency in New York

On April 14, 1789, George Washington was informed that he received the Electoral College's unanimous?

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Southern Tour

President George Washington coordinated a journey to the southern states between March 21 and June 4?

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Thomas Jefferson

Martha Washington often recalled the two saddest days of her life. The first was December 14, 1799 when?

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Touro Synagogue

On August 18, 1790, congregants of the Touro Synagogue of Newport, Rhode Island, warmly welcomed George?

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Whiskey Rebellion

In January 1791, President George Washington's Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton proposed?

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