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OUR 1 ST PRESIDENT 3-20-2012 “A Nation Emerges”. Our First President  George Washington became President—reluctantly—at a critical time in the history.

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Presentation on theme: "OUR 1 ST PRESIDENT 3-20-2012 “A Nation Emerges”. Our First President  George Washington became President—reluctantly—at a critical time in the history."— Presentation transcript:

1 OUR 1 ST PRESIDENT “A Nation Emerges”

2 Our First President  George Washington became President—reluctantly—at a critical time in the history of the United States. The Confederation had threatened to unravel; the weak central government (which included a weak executive with the sole responsibility of presiding over meetings of Congress and no special power to initiate laws beyond that of any member of Congress, enforce laws, or check acts of Congress) created by the Articles of Confederation had failed. As part of its goal to form a “more perfect government,” the Constitution of the US defined a new role for the executive, the President, in a much stronger federal system. However, a definition on paper and a President in practice could be two very different things.

3 Becoming the 1 st President  Washington was a general in the US Army during the American Revolution.  Was elected to the Constitutional Convention, and consistently voted for a strong national government.  Office of the President was designed with GW in mind.  Unanimously voted into office by the Electoral College.

4 GW The General GW was revered as an American General. His exploits during the war as a leader are well documented and remembered.

5 The “Precedent” President  “My movements to the chair of Government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his own execution.”  By being the 1 st President GW knew no matter what he did, it would set the tone for all future Presidents. He acted cautiously, and with the office of the President in mind.

6 Nice Outfit huh?  GW being sworn in as the 1 st President.  Where was he sworn in?

7 GW the accessible President  Washington took journeys to all states early in his term.  At each stop he was treated with formal addresses, and the reaffirming of their loyalty to the United States.  The President came to embody national unity, drawing ordinary people into the sphere of national politics.

8 Establishment of the “Cabinet”  First major task was to choose the heads of the executive departments. This group came to be known as the “cabinet” and this part of the Executive Branch still exists today.  George Washington had a small cabinet, much smaller than the presidents of today. His cabinet consisted of only 4 people, Alexander Hamilton as Treasury Secretary, Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State, Henry Knox as Secretary of War, and Edmund Randolph as Attorney General. 

9 Legacy of GW  “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in humble and enduring scenes of private life. Pious, just, humane, temperate, and sincere; uniform, dignified, and commanding; his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting.... Correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence and virtue always felt his fostering hand. The purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues.... Such was the man for whom our nation mourns.”

10 GW Legacy cont.  One dollar bill and quarter  Mount Rushmore  Washington D.C. and the State of Washington  Washington Monument  GW University  George Washington Bridge  Ships in the US Navy

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