Washington voluntarily resigned as Commander-in-Chief
of the Continental Army in 1783. Because of his victories
in the Revolutionary War, some wanted to make him
king of the new nation. But Washington refused. He
wanted a free, democratic and united country.
longed to retire to his fields in Mount Vernon, Virginia.
But he soon realized that the nation, under its Articles
of Confederation, was not moving ahead. He helped
organize the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia
in 1787. When the new Constitution was ratified, the
Electoral College unanimously elected Washington the
his first term in office, Washington joined the states
together and helped establish the federal government.
He did not interfere with the policy-making powers
that he felt the Constitution gave Congress. He believed
that foreign policy was a main concern for the young
the French Revolution led to a major war between France
and England, Washington insisted that the United States
remain neutral. He did not accept the recommendations
of his Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who was
pro-French, or his Secretary of the Treasury Alexander
Hamilton, who was pro-British. The President feared
that getting involved in this European war would shatter
his young country's new government. On April 22, 1793,
he issued a proclamation of neutrality that urged
American citizens to be impartial and not send aid
or war materials to either England or France.
more about our George Washington:
Before the Presidency
Did You Know?
Life After the Presidency