RE: What lesser-known achievements did George Washington accomplish during his presidency?

What are some significant, but lesser-known, achievements of George Washington during his term as an American president?

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George Washington's presidency is often associated most commonly with his status as the first president of the United States, as well as his significant contributions during the American Revolutionary War. However, his presidency was also marked by many other lesser-known but equally important achievements. Here are a few: 1. **Establishment of the Cabinet System**: While the U.S. Constitution mentioned about heads of executive departments, it was Washington who established the cabinet system as we know it today. He appointed the Secretary of State, the Secretary of War (now Defense), the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Attorney General, establishing the President’s Cabinet as a crucial aspect of the Executive Branch. 2. **Enforcement of the "Supremacy of the Federal Law"**: Washington faced an early test of federal authority with the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. When western Pennsylvania farmers resisted an excise tax imposed on whiskey, Washington personally led troops to enforce the law, thus establishing the supremacy of federal law over state or regional opposition. 3. **Southern Tour**: In 1791, Washington undertook a tour of the southern states to promote national unity at a time when travel for a president was challenging. His efforts created a sense of inclusiveness among the states. 4. **Avoidance of War with the Proclamation of Neutrality**: In 1793, when war broke out between France and Britain (both of whom were America's trade partners), he issued a Proclamation of Neutrality, steering America clear of a potentially ruinous war, thereby ensuring its economic and political stability. 5. **Outline of Foreign Policy**: His Farewell Address is still used as a canonical statement of American foreign policy. His advice has left a monumental legacy, guiding America's approach towards neutrality and caution in international matters. 6. **Creation of U.S. Financial System**: Washington worked with his Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, to build a financial system that allowed America to stand on her own two feet financially. This included a national bank, consolidated debt, and federal taxes. These significant accomplishments, though less celebrated, greatly strengthened the new nation's domestic and global standing. Throughout his two terms, Washington worked tirelessly to create a smoothly functioning, effective federal government that could unify the disparate states and solidified the United States' position on the world stage.
Answered on September 2, 2023.
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