George Washington's Presidency

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What problems or issues did George Washington face?

Problems or issues that George Washington faced during his presidency included shaping the role of the presidency, dealing with the country's debts, settling conflicts with Britain and Spain, quelling the Whiskey Rebellion, and setting the new country on the path to democracy.

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An interesting lens from which to dissect this question is to examine some of Washington's own words.

In his first inaugural address, Washington makes clear some of his concerns. Because he was the very first person to hold this office, he had no bank of experience from which to draw wisdom. He states,

For I assure myself that whilst you carefully avoid every alteration which might endanger the benefits of an United and effective Government, or which ought to await the future lessons of experience; a reverence for the characteristic rights of freemen, and a regard for the public harmony, will sufficiently influence your deliberations on the question how far the former can be more impregnably fortified, or the latter be safely and advantageously promoted.

Washington decides to lean on basic principles of freedom, harmony, and public need as he decides what the role of president should truly look like—and how far his reach should extend. He was in a brand-new role leading a brand-new...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1413 words.)

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