What were George Washington's biggest challenges as the first president?

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George Washington had many challenges as President of the United States. One of them was dealing with other countries that were trying to push us around to see how we would respond to their aggressive actions. Britain and Spain were causing issues in North America. Spain insisted that our border with Spanish Florida was further north than we said it was. Spain also made it difficult for us to use the Mississippi River. Both Britain and Spain were accused of encouraging the Native Americans to attack us. Britain interfered with our trade, impressed our sailors, and wouldn’t leave forts in the western areas. Washington decided the best way to deal with these issues was through negotiations with Britain and Spain. Washington believed a war would be harmful to us. Thus, Pinckney’s Treaty was negotiated with Spain, and Jay’s Treaty was negotiated with Great Britain. These treaties helped to resolve some of the issues we faced with these countries.

Another issue facing President Washington was dealing with our debt. We owed a lot of money to other countries. Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, proposed a plan that would combine the federal debt with the state debts. Then, the government would issue new bonds to pay the debt. Some tax dollars also would be used to be the debt. This plan was accepted after much discussion with an agreement also being made to move the capital to Washington, D.C.

A final issue that President Washington faced was getting people to buy into the new system of government created by the Constitution. Some people didn’t want to give up the power that they had with their state government and didn't want to follow federal laws. When farmers protested the whiskey tax and rebelled against it, President Washington sent in the military to show that he was going to enforce federal laws. President Washington made it clear that federal laws were supreme. President Washington faced many issues as President of the United States.

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