George Washington's Presidency

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Assess the essential precedents that Washington established as President.

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One of the most critical precedents that Washington set was to seek to avoid political partisanship in his leadership.  Washington did not endorse the presence of political parties.  This was seen in his own cabinet, consisting of the Federalist Hamilton and Republican Jefferson.  Washington governed with a steady hand, ensuring that political partisan interest were put aside with the emphasis of the national form of governance as being most important.  His mere use of a cabinet of advisors is something that has become standard in the American Presidency, a precedent that has dramatically altered the Executive Branch.   Another precedent that was established in Washington's time as President was the use of direct action to ensure peace and domestic tranquility.  Washington was able to demonstrate this in his putting down of the Whiskey Rebellion.  He established the need for leaders to confront issues that threaten to damage the fabric of the nation's tapestry.  Certainly, the precedent Washington established in his Farewell Address of avoiding challenges abroad, "entangling alliances," became a standard that all Presidents understood, but few fully grasped.

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