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George Washington: The First President. Starting The Nation. In 1789, George Washington was unanimously chosen as the first president of the United States. Washington was concerned that his age and lack of political experience would make him a poor president.

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george washington the first president
George Washington:

The First President

starting the nation
Starting The Nation
  • In 1789, George Washington was unanimously chosen as the first president of the United States.
  • Washington was concerned that his age and lack of political experience would make him a poor president.
slide3
Many Americans admired Washington.
  • They believed that his strong character, honesty, and patriotism would make him an excellent leader.
  • They felt he would be a model forall citizens.
slide5
It took Washington 8 days to make the 235 mile journey from Mt. Vernon (Washington’s home) to New York.
  • NY was to be the capital until a new one could be built.
  • Along the way, citizens cheered him on with parades.
  • They were excited that Washington was their president, however, few of them had ever considered themselves part of a united nation.
setting precedents
Setting Precedents
  • No one could tell Washington how to be president since no one had ever done the job before.
  • He knew he would set an example for all future presidents-”The first of everything in our situation will serve to establish a precedent.”
slide7
He didn’t want to act like a king, but he wanted the presidency to be grand.
  • He traveled in a yellow carriage pulled by horses powdered white with marble dust.
  • He wore formal attire to his weekly receptions-knee breeches and a sword strapped to his waist.
slide8

Washington was now head of the executive branch, but he knew he could not make all of the decisions on his own, so he appointed advisers.These advisers made up the cabinet. Washington picked the very best and brightest to fill these positions-Thomas Jefferson was chosen Secretary of State because he knew a lot about foreign nations. Alexander Hamilton was chosen Secretary of the Treasury because he knew a lot about finances.

slide9
Washington established other precedents including:
  • Being called the President of the United States, or “Mr.President.”
  • Serving only Two Terms
  • No Alliances with foreign countries because it could lead to war.
slide10
The judicial branch needed some organizing since the Constitution did not specify the number or location of federal courts.
  • In September 1789, Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789.
  • The Judiciary Act of 1789 created our federal court system with three levels-

District courts

Courts of Appeals

Supreme Court.

slide11
President Washington nominated the candidates for federal judgeships at each level, which needed congressional approval.
  • John Jay served as the first chief justice of the Supreme Court.
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