George Washington’s nonviolent ability to handle both foreign and domestic affairs, people of different political parties, and to lead a newly independent nation has made him well known as an impressive, historical figure. Washington’s experiences with foreign affairs, Constitutional ideas, and national concerns have helped to shape our nation at a crucial time. As Washington left office, he held the belief that America should remain isolated and avoid permanent alliances with other countries, a theory he developed from his experiences with foreign affairs. Washington first earned the nation reputation as a war hero of Braddock’s defeat. Throughout the French and Indian War, Washington became known as a leader and celebrated hero.
Although Indians were a potential threat, they became dependent upon the colonists and Washington managed to negotiate successfully with the Indians in the Ohio River valley. Many Americans supported the French in their revolution, partially due to the aid France had offered America in their own revolution and war with Britain. The most impressive factor in the way Washington dealt with foreign affairs was his lack of violence. As a result of the Provision Order in 1794, Washington signed a temporary embargo on transatlantic trade. Washington then attempted to end the British seizing of American ships by negotiating, rather than violence. Throughout Washington’s life, he managed to have large success in foreign affairs, from the Revolutionary War to later relations with European powers.
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Although Washington did not have strong political views regarding most of its principles, he was very effective in the development of the Constitution. Washington brought the concept of separate government branches to check and balance each other to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. He favoured a powerful central government, believing that the Constitution should leave local matters to the states, giving the federal government control over matters affecting the entire Union. Washington knew that some sort of new government was necessary or anarchy and confusion would soon ensue. Washington was aware that every state needed to ratify the Constitution and he wrote that the Constitution, although not perfect, was the best that could be obtained at the time. Throughout the development of the Constitution, Washington demonstrated his ability to work with people of differing political parties in order to reach the common goal of building a strong nation.
Washington acted in favour of both the Federalists and Republicans in many domestic affairs as he aimed to reach his goals. Washington resolved to make the government as cheap as possible and to reduce taxes. He saw no need for a navy as long as Americans kept on the sea vessels that could be armed in an emergency, and he did not believe in having a large standing army. Washington worked to expand America, and in the 1780s Congress extended governmental bodies across the mountains, establishing the Southwest Territory, and admitting Kentucky to the union. To become less dependent on other nations, Washington encouraged increased manufacturing in America.
Washington believed that different political parties could work together to act in America’s best interest, and he tried to break the barrier between the beliefs of colonists in the South and those in the Northeast. During his presidency, Washington managed to please most of the nation, experiencing few rebellions or uprisings. Throughout his lifetime role as a leader, Washington managed to accomplish many of his goals for the nation. He was an independent and devoted leader who was one of the most important people in unifying and shaping our nation. Washington managed to work together with both the Federalists and the Republicans, to resolve conflicts without violence, and to become one of the most important people in our nation’s history.
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