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How George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson effected America

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George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson all effected America’s democratic government which started off shaky after the Revolution, followed by stabilization with the policies and contributions of these Presidents. George Washington’s talent for selecting cabinet members and decision-making would lead to his second term in office. John Adams’s presidency was filled with much tension because of wars going on in between Britain and France. However he managed it well considering the circumstances. Thomas Jefferson’s vision for America was widely different from his predecessors, as an agricultural republic with more rights and economic liberty for all. Washington, Adams and Jefferson helped shape a stable government for the new nation by contributing equality, goal accomplishing, and stabilizing relations between the government, foreign nations, and its people.

Events such as the Louisiana Purchase in their presidencies shaped America’s future as an industrial country with a spirit of freedom and opportunity for all citizens. Washington, the US’s first president, laid the foundation for America’s freedom and government. He set the precedent for all to follow in his footsteps. One of the ways he did this was by sending soldiers to the protestors involved in the Whiskey Rebellion. Although he didn’t use force, the protestors broke up and he was able to calm the animosity. This helped stabilize the relations between people and the tax collectors who had resigned out of fear by calming the crowds and repealing the tax. One of his goals was the increase equality and not be like a British monarch, which was the main reason for becoming their own nation. He accomplished this by forming the first cabinet of secretaries in American history.

He appointed powerful and intelligent men such as Henry Knox as war secretary, Alexander Hamilton as secretary of the treasury, Edmund Randolph as Attorney General, and John Adams as his Vice President. This increased equality because he got advice from many perspectives, creating a sphere of representation and stable government. Washington’s actions were carefully chosen and planned to create a stable government for America’s future. John Adams had a hard time living up to the standards Washington had set, especially since there were foreign affairs that caused much tension. France and Britain were at war and this did not help with the U.S. trade. In fact, it greatly damaged the trade. Adams tried sending delegates to negotiate, but not to his avail. The French prime minister wanted a bribe and Adams decided not to deal with this. This became known as the XYZ affairs, which mad Adams rather popular. Adams later signed the Alien and Sedition acts that made many people angry.

These acts gave the government broad powers to get rid of any “enemy” aliens and arrest anyone who strongly disagreed with the government. Several political figures, including Jefferson, claimed that these laws were unconstitutional and that he should get rid of this act. So even though Adams dealt with much tension within the government and foreign matters, he was able to contribute to a stable government in this time of uncertainty. Thomas Jefferson’s presidency started with the Revolution of 1800, the first time political parties sent candidates and campaigned. He managed to stabilize and empower the people of the United States during his two terms as president. One of his major accomplishments was cleared the Revolutionary debt the US incurred. However, he did this by reducing the navy to several ships and the army down to small militias. This was one of his 3 main goals at the start of his presidency that he accomplished. His most known accomplishment was in fact the purchase that doubled the U.S. in size for only $15 million.

He acquired the Louisiana Territory from a war-weary Napoleon Bonaparte who needed allies and money. Jefferson instantly went to work by sending expeditions westward to explore this new land. This was important because previously, people had simply pushed past the boundary illegally, and now they could move there freely. Jefferson also nixed Adam’s and Washington’s monarchial lives by not using a horse-drawn carriage or being called “Majesty” and gave more power to the states. As a strict-constructionist, he believed all powers not given to the federal government belonged to the states. This was important because there was now a more equal distribution of power, stabilizing relations between the government and citizens.

Jefferson’s accomplishments were successors to the standards set by Washington and Adams. Washington, Adams, and Jefferson all had contributions in creating the government’s stability. Washington created the precedent for all presidents to follow. He created the cabinet and helped build a functioning government from scratch. Adams dealt with foreign affairs and internal government complications. However, even though his presidency was more complicated than the one he followed, he was still able to control and build the government. Jefferson gained French relations by helping them out when they needed money by purchasing the Louisiana Territory and doubling the size of the U.S. In the end, they all made contributions to a stable government and a great nation to be.


http://www.constitution.org/primarysources/primarysources.html http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/sou.asp
http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/george-washington http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/john-adams
http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/thomas-jefferson http://www.law.ou.edu/ushistory/index.shtml#1800
Eighth Annual Message of George Washington
Fourth Annual Message of John Adams
Eighth Annual Message of Thomas Jefferson

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