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George Washington

            George Washington was probably the single most influential person in the development of the United States government. He not only set the standards for those presidents who would succeed him, but also for the country that would rise out of the ashes of the Revolutionary War. Washington fully understood the significance of his presidency. "I walk on untrodden ground," he said, "there is scarcely any part of my conduct that could not be drawn into precedent." Washington invented the model for the presidency that has been preserved to this day: gathering a cabinet of advisors, limiting himself to two terms, establishing the authority of the executive branch, and respecting the separate powers of the legislative and judicial branches of government. Besides that, Washington established foreign policy precedents, fostered the concept of a strong central government, and faced the problem of how strictly the constitution was to be interpreted.
             George Washington was inaugurated into office on April 30, 1789. Within six months of taking the oath, President Washington had staffed the new government. During his two terms, Washington would do innumerable things to influence the future of the presidency. One of the first things that he did with his new staff was to establish a cabinet of advisors. Washington found the perfect mix of liberals and conservatives, combining the talents of Alexander Hamilton, Henry Knox, Thomas Jefferson, and Edmund Randolph. This appointment of a group of advisors by the president continued on, and is now pretty much a requirement for the president. .
             The Constitutional Convention had occurred only two years before Washington's inauguration, and there were still many issues to be resolved. He knew that there was a widespread wish to add a Bill of Rights to the original Constitution, specifying in plain words the inalienable rights of individual citizens, and this he approved.

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