The Contributions of Washing and Jefferson Essay
In 1789 George Washington was elected as the First President of the United States of America under the Constitution. In the following years after George Washington’s administration was John Adams and succeeding him was the Third President of the United States Thomas Jefferson. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson’s’ administrations contributed to establishing a stable government after the adoption of the Constitution. They strengthened the national government by passing important legislature, peaceful international affairs and economic plans.
Washington strengthened the government financially because during his presidency the financial system was built. George Washington himself did not create the financial system but Alexander Hamilton the secretary of the treasury did. After the Revolutionary War the United States had gathered a lot of debt because of the expensive cost it takes to fight a war. Hamilton saw this debt as a good thing. Hamilton saw debt as a good thing because he believed that a national debt was motivate and push the government and the people to work together to get the debt repaid. Hamilton combined each individual state debt into the national debt because of his belief that debt was beneficial. Hamilton’s idea for reshaping the American Economy included creating a national financial institution. He proposed the idea of the First Bank of the United States. The bank would help make the new economy stable through a paper currency. Hamilton wanted the United States to become a mercantilist economy.
It would benefit and help protect the American manufacturers through direct government Subsidies and Tariffs. This Protectionist policy would help the American producers to compete with inexpensive European imports. Thomas Jefferson had a polar opposite view of the economy than Hamilton who was running the economy during Washington’s presidency. The belief of debt being beneficial was not held by Jefferson. Jefferson and his Secretary of the treasury Albert Gallatin that a national debt was a bane rather than a blessing. Jefferson wanted the country to be agrarian so the economy would be completely dependent on Agriculture. He wanted Americans to be individual and self reliant on what they made. If this happened there would be less room for corruption in the daily life. This was his wish but it never was accomplished. Jefferson accomplished during his Presidency decreasing the national debt by half.
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson helped stabilized the government through international affairs. After the Revolutionary War in order to avoid another war with Britain George Washington signed Jay’s Treaty with Britain. Jay’s Treaty set a peaceful trade between Britain and the United States, it made British troops leave their northwestern posts but forced the United States to pay the prerevolutionary debts they owed Britain. The treaty was immensely unpopular in the public but George Washington signed it realizing it was the price of peace with Great Britain.The FrenchBritain conflict in 1793 posed another problem to the United States. Both France and Britain want the United States to side with them. France wanted the United States to side with them because of the FrancoAmerican Alliance in 1778. George Washington refused both countries. He thought that the United States being a new country needed to sort out their domestic problems before they get involved with the rest of the world.
In 1793 George Washington created the Neutrality Proclamation which declared the United Sates neutral between the conflict of Great Britain and France. The United States was struggling at the same time to ship their goods from the South. Spain had banned the United States from using the Mississippi River or from using New Orleans to trade. This was hurting the UnIted States trade because it was hard to get the goods from inland out to the coast. Pinckney’s treaty in 1795 was so vital because it established good intentions with the Spanish and allowed the United States to use the MIssissippi River so they could trade their product. Thomas Jefferson carried on George Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation. Even though Jefferson was an owner of many slaves he banned the foreign slave trade January 1, 1808. The first problem in Jeffersons international affairs was the war with the barbary pirates. Recently the UnIted States had paid bribes to the Barbary States to keep them from Harassing with American merchants. Thomas Jefferson stopped paying the Bribes which led to a war. Jefferson tried using the navy to create a complete blockade around Tripoli. Jefferson ended up paying a last time fee of 60,000 dollars and made him build up the navy because of the weakness it showed. When Jefferson learned that Spain had given France the Louisiana territory it made him nervous.
He believed that another battle for America was going to arise and he did not want to face the brilliant military mind of Napoleon. Thomas Jefferson sent two diplomats James Monroe and Robert R. Livingston to negotiate a purchase of Louisiana. Napoleon who desperately needed money to fight his european battles agreed to a price of fifteen millions dollars amounted to about four cents per acre for 828,000 square miles.. The United States obtained the land from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains which more than doubled the size of the nation. Napoleon next declared war on Great Britain. Both countries than banned Almost every American commerce with the other country. The British Navy then began impressing AMerican sailors into the British Navy.
One incident the british warship Leopard fired on the American Chesapeake when they did not allow the British to board their ship. This was a chance for Jefferson to declare war on Britain but he did not want to involve himself in a war. He really wanted peace for the United States. In 1807 Jefferson signed the Embargo Act which banned all foreign trade so that the British and French would desperately need them. Both French and British Economies survived without the United States. Meanwhile the American economy was devastated. Thomas Jefferson was forced to sign the NonIntercourse Act (1809) which lifted the embargo of every country but France and Britain.
When George Washington took office the Judicial branch hadn’t really been established by the Constitution. George Washington’s first plan was to establish the judicial branch. THe Judicial Act of 1789 created a six member Supreme court with one Chief Justice and five associate members. It also created the office of the general attorney whose job was to prosecute on behalf of the United States.George Washington also surrounded himself with intelligent consultants also known as a cabinet. The United States Constitution said nothing about the creation of the cabinet. The creation of the Cabinet was so important because every President since Washington has used his cabinet to guide him through important decisions. Washington was forced to create a excise tax on domestic products because the government needed money to pay back bondholders. Washington signed this law and it went into effect in 1791. This excise tax created the Whiskey Rebellion where farmers from Pennsylvania started a rebellion.
They believed that the whiskey excise tax to be unfair because they created whiskey with their leftover grain. when Washington heard about the Rebellion he assembled the local militias and Washington took command of them and brought down the rebellion. Since John Adams and THomas Jefferson believed in different political points Jefferson spent the beginning of his presidency getting rid of Adams’ late policies. Thomas Jefferson removed the excise tax because he believed it was unfair and was going to solve the debt problem in a different way.
He repealed the Alien and Sedition Act created by Adams with the Neutralization Law of 1802 which changed United States citizenship from fourteen years back to five. The Judiciary Act of 1801 which was signed by John Adams at the end of his presidency. It created sixteen new federal Judgeships and Judicial offices which were all filled by Federalists. This was a way for the federalist to have complete control of the Judicial Branch. When Thomas Jefferson repealed this Act with the new Judicial Act of 1802 it led to the Marbury vs. Madison case in 1803. William Marbury petitioned the Supreme Court because the job(Justice of the Peace in the District of Columbia) that was created for him under the Judiciary Act of 1801 ceased to exist and his commission was taken away. Marbury vs. Madison created judicial review (Article III of the Constitution). The Resolution of this conflict strengthened the JUdicial Branch in the United States government.
Legislature, international affairs and economic plans shaped both Jefferson and Washington’s presidency’s. They created a stable government for the United States and established the government form that the United States would look like in the coming years.