Did George Washington succeed with his task to get the country off on the start to democracy? 

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

George Washington was successful in getting the country off to a good start with its system of democracy. Upon being elected, President Washington appointed very capable people to his cabinet. These advisors were very helpful to him. Alexander Hamilton was the Secretary of the Treasury. He developed a plan to deal with the nation’s debt. Thomas Jefferson was our Secretary of State. He helped Washington in dealing with issues we faced with other countries.

One order of business that needed to be handled was our financial system. Relying on Alexander Hamilton, we established a system to pay our debts. We also created a banking system and had only the federal government issuing money. This helped to restore our credit and to establish faith in our financial system.

Another order of business was dealing with internal conflict. When farmers in western Pennsylvania rebelled against the whisky tax, in what was known as the Whiskey Rebellion, President Washington sent the military to restore order. There wasn’t going to be any doubt about how the federal government would handle challenges to its authority.

We also had to show other countries we could handle challenges that developed because of the actions of these countries. When Spain and Great Britain interfered with our trade and helped encourage attacks by Native Americans, President Washington used diplomacy to resolve these issues. Both Jay’s Treaty with Great Britain and Pinckney’s treaty with Spain are examples of how President Washington responded to challenges by other countries without having to go to war.

Finally, when President Washington announced he wasn’t going to run for a third term, political power changed hands peacefully when John Adams became President. There was no fighting when President Washington gave up the power of the presidency. It was done exactly as outlined in the Constitution, which was orderly and peacefully.