Logo Homeschool World ® Official Web Site of Practical Homeschooling Magazine Practical Homeschooling Magazine
Practical Homeschooling® :

George Washington: Our First President’s Second Term

By Sam Blumenfeld
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #86, 2009.

President during the French revolution - George Washington: Our First President’s Second Term

   Pin It

Sam Blumenfeld

On March 4, 1793, George Washington was inaugurated for his Second Administration at Federal House, Philadelphia. John Adams was elected Vice President, and the Cabinet posts were held by the same men as in the First Administration. Although he had been reluctant to serve a second term, Washington gave in to the pleadings of Madison, Jefferson, and others who argued that without him at the helm, the Union might break apart.

In the 3rd Congress (1793-95) there were 17 Federalists and 13 Democratic-Republicans in the Senate, and 48 Federalists and 57 Democratic-Republicans in the House. In the 4th Congress (1795-97) there were 19 Federalists (Tennessee had joined the Union) and 13 Democratic-Republicans in the Senate. In the House the Federalists increased their numbers from 48 to 54 and the Democratic-Republicans were down from 57 to 52.

On July 31, 1793, Thomas Jefferson resigned as Secretary of State after President Washington accepted Hamilton’s advice on foreign affairs. The French Revolution had begun in 1789 and in September 1792 the French monarchy was abolished. Jefferson, who had been ambassador to France, tended to favor the Revolution while Hamilton was critical of the Revolution’s reign of terror.

Hamilton and Jefferson also disagreed on the basic philosophy of government. Jefferson saw the U.S. as an agrarian nation with as much decentralized democratic freedom as possible, while Hamilton, preoccupied with finding the financial means to sustain a strong federal government, favored a nation of thriving cities and new industries.

In November 1792, the British began seizing American ships carrying French goods in the West Indies and impressing (kidnapping and forcibly enlisting) American sailors into the British Navy. Washington then sent John Jay, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, to Great Britain seeking British withdrawal from the Northwest, an end to the impressment of American sailors, compensation for slaves seized during the American Revolution, and restoration of trade rights in the West Indies.

Congress also passed the Neutrality Act, forbidding U.S. citizens from enlisting in the service of a foreign government. The French government had hoped to use American seamen to serve as mercenary privateers against British shipping in the West Indies.

In November 1794, Britain signed Jay’s Treaty, agreeing to withdraw its troops from the Northwest Territory by 1796. It also agreed to pay the U.S. $10 million in reparations for seized ships. In return, the U.S. agreed to settle pre-Revolutionary War debts owed to British creditors.

When the terms of the agreement were made public in March 1795, Southern planters were outraged at the Treaty’s failure to compensate them for the loss of their slaves. Nevertheless, the Senate ratified the Treaty and Washington reluctantly signed it.

As the end of his second term neared, Washington rejected the idea of a third term. He felt that he had done his duty to the new nation and that he could finally retire to his beloved Mount Vernon.

On September 19, 1796, America’s first President gave his Farewell Address. In it he warned his fellow citizens of the dangers of becoming involved in “entangling alliances” with foreign countries. He also stressed the importance of maintaining the Union despite regional differences. He said:

“The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. [I]t is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned.

“The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind and exhibit the continuance of the Union as a primary object of patriotic desire.”

Yet, only sixty years later, the nation was rent in two by the Southern Secessionists, who obviously had forgotten Washington’s sound warnings and advice. The result was a horrendous Civil War, the destruction of the South, and the deaths of almost a half-million soldiers.

Washington died on December 14, 1799. But before dying, he freed his slaves. He abhorred the slave system because of its basic inhumanity and hoped that it would gradually disappear. But it took a Civil War to finally get rid of it.

Education expert Sam Blumenfeld’s Alpha-Phonics reading program is available on www.samblumenfeld.net. His latest book, The Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection, is about the Shakespeare authorship mystery.

Was this article helpful to you?
Subscribe to Practical Homeschooling today, and you'll get this quality of information and encouragement five times per year, delivered to your door. To start, click on the link below that describes you:

USA Individual
USA Librarian (purchasing for a library)
Outside USA Individual
Outside USA Library

University of Nebraska High School University of Nebraska High School
Free Email Newsletter!
Sign up to receive our free email newsletter, and up to three special offers from homeschool providers every week.

Articles by Sam Blumenfeld

The Whole-Language Boondoggle

High School for Freedom!

Dyslexia: The Man-Made Disease

Teach Reading to the “Learning Disabled”

Uncle Sam Wants Your Child on his National Database

Why the Internet will Never Replace Books

Teach Reading to the "Learning Disabled"

Homeschooling and Charter Schools

Homeschoolers and Vouchers

The History of Public Education

College At Home

Learning from The "Old Dead Guys"

The Meaning of Educational Freedom

The Importance of Rote Learning

The Exodus Continues

A World Without Public School

The Benefits of Teaching History at Home

How to Tell Real from Phony Phonics?

Getting Started in Arithmetic

Teaching Arithmetic

Teaching the Alphabet

Teaching the Alphabet Sounds

Teaching Blends

Teaching Long Vowels

The History of Geometry Education

Never Bored Again

Learning Greek

How and Why to Teach Shakespeare

How to Get the Most Out of Homeschool Conventions

Forgotten American History: The Barbary Wars

Forgotten American History: God's Providence in the American Revolution

Forgotten American History: The Spanish-American War

Forgotten American History: The Great Awakening

Forgotten American History: Puritan Education

Colonial Education: The Free Market in Action

America Started with Educational Freedom

How Harvard Became Liberal

The Glory of the Alphabet

19th Century Communists & the Origin of American Public Education

The Benefits of Cursive Writing

It Pays to Know Your Legislator

Intelligent by Design

Teaching Kids to Enjoy Classical Music

Before Compulsory Education: The Private Academies

What Schools Teach: Then and Now

The Real Meaning of Easter

The Truth About Independence Day

The Benefits of Reading Biographies

Why We Celebrate Veterans Day

The Purposes of Education

Why Homeschoolers Should be Book Collectors

How History Was Taught Back Then

The American Almanac: A Great Learning Tool

The Fun of Going to an Antiques Auction

Politics and Homeschoolers: A Primer

A Novel Suggestion

Who Wrote Shakespeare?

Why Homeschoolers Should Learn Public Speaking

The Presidency

Party Politics in the United States

The Road to an American Independent Nation

George Washington: Our First President's First Term

George Washington: Our First President's Second Term

Celebrating Flag Day

Going to School Back in the Great Depression

Middle School During the Great Depression

High School During the Depression

Inventions and Progress

On Falling in Love

A Taste of the Old Days

The True Root of American Freedom

Classical Gems on YouTube

Curing Dyslexia

How to Increase Your Vocabulary

The Joy of Journaling

Popular Articles

What We Can Learn from the Homeschooled 2002 National Geography Bee Winners

The Benefits of Cursive Writing

Who Needs the Prom?

Myth of the Teenager

Narration Beats Tests

Can Homeschoolers Participate In Public School Programs?

Discover Your Child's Learning Style

Top Jobs for the College Graduate

Critical Thinking and Logic

I Was an Accelerated Child

Montessori Language Arts at Home, Part 1

Shakespeare Camp

Bears in the House

Phonics the Montessori Way

Combining Work and Homeschool

Columbus and the Flat Earth...

Top Tips for Teaching Toddlers

Don't Give Up on Your Late Bloomers

Why the Internet will Never Replace Books

Patriarchy, Meet Matriarchy

Teach Your Children to Work

The Charlotte Mason Approach to Poetry

How to "Bee" a Spelling Success

The Charlotte Mason Method

Art Appreciation the Charlotte Mason Way

Classical Education

The Equal Sign - Symbol, Name, Meaning

The Benefits of Debate

Give Yourself a "CLEP Scholarship"

How to Win the Geography Bee

The History of Public Education

Interview with John Taylor Gatto

Getting Organized Part 1 - Tips & Tricks

Getting Organized Part 3

Saxon Math: Facts vs. Rumors

Montessori Math

Laptop Homeschool

Advanced Math: Trig, PreCalc, and more!

Teaching Blends

A Reason for Reading

University Model Schools

Joyce Swann's Homeschool Tips

The Gift of a Mentor

AP Courses At Home

A Homeschooler Wins the Heisman

Start a Nature Notebook

Getting Started in Homeschooling: The First Ten Steps

What Does My Preschooler Need to Know?

Character Matters for Kids

Whole-Language Boondoggle

Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1993-2021 Home Life, Inc.