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Navigating Through the Unbalanced Waters of a Newly Formed Country: Washington, Adams and Jefferson

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During the time of the first three presidencies of the U.S.A, America was going through great changes especially during the time of the first president George Washington when the country was unstable and etc. During the presidencies of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson things were a little more stable but not extremely. During these three presidencies the U.S.A was beginning to stabilize as well as expand during the time of the next two presidents and their policies helped their fellow politicians also join the cause for a more stable America. During Washington presidency the National Bank was created which helped them to get out of international debt and pay off the more than 45 million dollars the government owed the people. John Adams got caught in a messy situation as well American ships were being captured and their merchandise was being stolen as well as in some cases sailors were taken as prisoners/slaves (mainly by the British). Thomas Jefferson sought to get rid of all national debt and did so as well as doubled the size of the U.S.A. These first three presidents tried to build a strong political base for the U.S.A; we can see this through their policies.

George Washington was the First commander and chief, he was under a lot of pressure, especially when the country just independence, out of a war, and in huge national and international debt. The first problem was that Great Britain was unwilling to fully acknowledge the treaty of Paris they wanted the states to pay back all the money they had borrowed. So to create stability he wanted to pay off debt and saw the Mississippi as a great money making opportunity and gained access to it through more than one treaty, Pinckney treaty and the Jay treaty, got permission from Spain and Great Britain. Another way to pay of the millions they owed the citizens George Washington sought Alexander Hamilton’s advice and set up a National Bank. This led the way to being more stable and George Washington set an example for all future presidents.

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John Adams, the second president of the U.S.A, was also given mess to deal with when he became president. With the tension with France and the XYZ affair this made his presidency difficult. The anti-French Americans wanted to go to war with France because of the anti-French sentiment that was floating around the states. Also The Alien and Sedition acts were passed during this time which Jefferson and Madison saw unconstitutional. A combination of these things almost caused a civil war, which is exactly what America did not need. Civil war did not happen. To make sure nothing more would stir up between France in 1800 they got everything figured out and also ended the peace treaty they had made during the civil war. John Adams had a mess and ended with a slightly better mess which still contained debt and instability. This made sure he wasn’t voted again in the elections of 1800. The people began to lean toward a Jeffersonian Democracy which they voted for in 1800.

Thomas Jefferson, President number three, pushed towards federalist policies…even though it was against his political philosophies. Jefferson had few international problems, one of them being the issue with the Barbary States (North Africa). They were terrorizing American merchant ships in the Mediterranean sea. The Barbary states asked for tribute but Jefferson sent some ships to try to blockade one of the small nations. This failed since Jefferson severely cut Navy expenses. After his failure a treaty was signed to avoid war and Jefferson realized how important a navy was so he kept it in the National budget. Jefferson changed a lot in his political philosophies as he sought the best for his country. He was first against the idea of a National bank, but then this helped him completely get rid of debt and also at first he believed that buying the Louisiana Purchase was unconstitutional, we see that the U.S.A was extremely successful after using the land.

All three presidents did what they thought was best to stabilize America because the very first years of a national are extremely crucial. George Washington helped set a good example as he resigned when people thought he leaning to create a Britain like society, because of John Adams unpopular ways Jeffersonian Democracy came in and their political philosophies changed as they saw the needs of their country and the needs of foreign and domestic policies for different things at different times.


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