George Washington: Setting Up a New Republic


US History The Early Republic George Washington: Setting Up a New Republic
Students learn about the election of George Washington as the first President of the United States and the challenges he faced in this new job. They watch a video that explains these challenges and the steps that Washington took to solve the problems of the new republic. Finally, they explain the steps in further detail and consider how Washington might have felt about the awesome responsibility he was handed.

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Overview

In this experience, students learn about the election of George Washington as the first President of the United States and the challenges he faced in this new job. They watch a video that explains these challenges and the steps that Washington took to solve the problems of the new republic. Finally, they explain the steps in further detail and consider how Washington might have felt about the awesome responsibility he was handed.

Objective:

  • Describe the steps Washington took to set up the government of the new republic.


Did you know that when first asked to be President, George Washington declined the offer to run the new republic? He was reluctant to accept the job because he felt that the challenges of setting up a new government would be a difficult task and that he lacked the skills necessary for the Presidency. In this lesson, you will learn how Washington worked during his first term to establish the policies and precedents for running the new republic. Finally, you will write a short inaugural address that Washington might have given at the beginning of his first term.

Objective:

  • Describe the steps Washington took to set up the government of the new republic.




Washington delivering his inaugural address, April 1789, painted by T.H. Matteson


When Washington took office he set out to organize the government so it would run smoothly and efficiently. He began by establishing his cabinet—surrounding himself with the smartest men he knew. Alexander Hamilton was appointed Secretary of the Treasury; Thomas Jefferson was the Secretary of State, and James Madison was a key advisor. Once in place, Washington and his cabinet began establishing policies for the new republic.


List an action you think would be necessary to establish a new government. If someone has already posted the action you have in mind, try to think of a different one.



Student answers will vary, but students will likely say that a government would need a judicial system, a banking system, a political system, and policies to govern foreign and domestic relations.


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The Complete List of Learning Experiences in The Early Republic Unit.
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