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The Shaping Of A Nation Essay

1154 words - 5 pages

July 1, 1776. John Dickinson, a representative from Philadelphia, delivered a speech to the Continental Congress, saying that declaring independence from Britain would be suicide. John Adams, from Massachusetts, gave his rebuttal, supporting a declaration of independence. When the time came for a vote, Pennsylvania voted no, New York abstained, and South Carolina requested a continuance. The following day, South Carolina reversed its position and independence was adopted with twelve votes. The Committee of Five appointed to draft the Declaration of Independence, including John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman, produced a finished product and, on July 4, 1776, sent it to the printers. The adoption of a Declaration Of Independence was the start of a long, hard road towards separation from Britain. The end of the road would be reached with the Treaty Of Paris in 1783. Now, the Founders had a whole new problem on their hands: who to elect to run the hatchling government? George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army was the most obvious choice. He was a born leader, possessing great poise and political skill. Following Washington’s two-term presidency, John Adams was elected. These two presidencies are important for the fact that they were the first of their kind. However, to the public eye, Washington and Adams were two completely different individuals and politicians, the latter president being despised by the public and the media.
George Washington, the Unites States Of America’s first President, was inaugurated on April 30, 1789, after being unanimously elected. He entered the presidency humbly, saying,
My movements to the chair of government will be
accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit
who is going to the place of his execution, so unwilling
am I, in the evening of a life nearly consumed in public
cares, to quit a peaceful abode for an ocean of difficulties,
without that competency of political skill, abilities and inclination
which is necessary to manage the helm.
He was adored by the new nation, inspired by his want for unity (“Washington“). His administration was dead-set on shining a light on the areas of the Constitution left dark. Most importantly, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill Of Rights, were ratified, setting up important civil liberties. Not only did Washington define what the Declaration declared as “inalienable rights,” he created a Supreme Court, subsequently establishing the judicial branch of government. Strengthening the federal government was also at the forefront of his administration. Leaving what the Constitution defined as Congress’s powers, Washington focused on formulating a foreign policy. Britain was still refusing to release several forts in the northern part of the states. Many Americans were still sympathetic to the British, since their trade depended on the country. However, in...

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