Friday, September 22, 2017

President Washington's Second Term

       During this term international affairs for a time overshadowed domestic issues. A war between France and England vastly aroused the sympathies of a group friendly to France, and there were some extremists who demanded that the nation go to its assistance. Another faction as vehemently urged neutrality or support for England. Washington, who saw clearly that the United States was too weak and insecure to be implicated in European quarrels, issued a proclamation of neutrality and refused to take sides. An unfortunate incident of this affair was the activity of Edmon, or "Citizen," Genet, a Frenchman whose defiance of the proclamation caused the government considerable anxiety. The French sympathizers were also greatly exercised over the acceptance of the Jay Treaty (1794) with England. This treaty was not so favorable to America as its sponsors wished, but it was the best that could be obtained, and it served the purpose of averting war with England, which Washington felt would be a national calamity.
       The power of the Federal government was vigorously exercised in this administration. In Pennsylvania in 1794 there occurred an insurrection in protest against the excise tax, to quell which Washington ordered out 15,000 militia. Trouble with the Indians was settled by Anthony Wayne's victory over them at Fallen Timbers in 1794, and by the negotiation of treaties. Other events include the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney; the erection of the first woolen mill in Massachusetts; the admission of Tennessee into the Union, and the development of two great political parties, by followers of Hamilton and Jefferson, respectively.

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