United States Presidents play an integral role toward shaping governmental policies, both domestic and foreign. Presidential actions also have had a significant impact on the United states and American society. Over the course of history, George Washington’s decisions during his presidency have shaped the world we live in today. He was born on February 22, 1732 in Bridges Creek Virginia and died on December 14 1799 in Mount Vernon Virginia (Gale).
Washington is known for the title of being the founding father of the United States. Not only was he the first president of the United States in 1789, he was an American general and commander in chief of the colonial armies in the American Revolution as well (Britannica). He was the son of Augustine Washington and Mary Ball and had 9 siblings.
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Later in his life he got married to Martha Washington. They did not have any children together, but instead raised Martha’s two children. George Washington’s political career began in 1758, when was elected as a representative to the Virginia House of Burgesses. He served as a justice of Fairfax County from 1760 to 1774. His knowledge modeled his views on parliamentary taxation. He called for a continental congress to take action against British control. The plan created by the First Continental Congress was to enforce non importation of British goods.
A creation of militia company, independent of government control was also proposed. When the second Continental congress was met, after the battles, Washington became commander in chief of the continental army (Gale). George Washington was an American general and commander in chief of the colonial armies during the American Revolution. Throughout his military career he developed a strong military leadership and skills. His wartime experiences gave him a continental outlook and made it clear he favored a strong central government (Gale).
Washington became the first american president in 1789, soon after being a general in the military. He served two terms as president. During his presidency he formed the new constitution with an added Bill of Rights. An executive branch branch was added as well, with departments in State, Treasury, and War. Along with that federal judiciary being created.
To pay the war debt of the American Revolution and establish credit the congressional taxing power was established. These were one of the many contributions Washington made during his presidency. He did so much more and by the end of his first term the American party system was already being developed (Gale). It is hard to imagine where we would be in the world without Washington being president. He did so much at the time and we are still impacted by his decisions today. Washington was involved in many conflicts while being president.
A major conflict happened on August 1, 1794. Seven thousand armed militiamen assembled on the plains, with George Washington again leading the troops. This occasion however, was for the Whiskey Rebellion (Kyff). The uprise of this comes from an excise tax on whiskey proposed by Alexander Hamilton. He did this to raise money for the national debt caused by the American Revolution and declare power of the national government.
Officials moved to western Pennsylvania to put an end to settlers rebelling against the liquor tax.This was especially unpopular for farmers, they took the tax on whiskey the hardest. They considered it to be a violation of their rights . Whiskey sold at a low price was effectively taxed at twice the price of whiskey sold at a higher price. Farmers were taxed on the liquor they consumed and how much they sold (Saveth). There major cash crops were corn, wheat, and rye which they could distilled into whiskey. Farmers could transport barrels of whiskey much easier than they could with grain.
For instance a packhorse could carry two bushels of grain, or two barrels of whiskey distilled from twenty-four bushels of grain. Although farmers in more settled areas had it easier getting grain to market so they were less likely to distill whiskey (Watts). Opposition to the whiskey tax grew as farms were being searched and arrest warrants were being served.
They resisted this tax by tarring and feathering officials who tried to collect it from them (Britannica). This revolt tested the principles of representative government and the powers of taxation on the new nation. Many used violence as their unwillingness to pay the taxes. On july 16, 40 armed men surrounded John Neville’s house, who was a tax collector.
They demanded he step down from his position and once shots were fired they withdrew, only to return again the next day with 500 rebels. Before they could withdraw again the rebel leader, James McFarlane was killed by on of the federal soldiers. On August 1, they threatened to burn down the city but instead were convinced to march in a protest by city representatives. Three days later Supreme court confirmed the federal courts could not meet because of an armed revolt.
This gave Washington permission to issue a proclamation on August 7. He invoked federal law that gave the President authority to call state militias into federal service when the federal law was being obstructed by combinations that were overpowering for the courts and marshals to suppress. With two out of four of the states being drafted 12,900 soldiers were raised.
Republicans who opposed a strong federal government tried to create a deal without the use of force. Henry lee was in charge of leading the army on September 24 (Watts). They arrived in November in Pittsburgh, they were faced with immense force and resistance, the leaders of the farmer fled. This led to the collapse of the rebellion.