Did you know that Washington's annual salary as President in 1789 was $25,000? Find out more fun facts in Did You Know?

George Washington

Presidential Accomplishments

Washington voluntarily resigned as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in 1783. Because of his victories in the Revolutionary War, some wanted to make him king of the new nation. But Washington refused. He wanted a free, democratic and united country.

Washington longed to retire to his fields in Mount Vernon, Virginia. But he soon realized that the nation, under its Articles of Confederation, was not moving ahead. He helped organize the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia in 1787. When the new Constitution was ratified, the Electoral College unanimously elected Washington the first President.

During his first term in office, Washington joined the states together and helped establish the federal government. He did not interfere with the policy-making powers that he felt the Constitution gave Congress. He believed that foreign policy was a main concern for the young nation.

When the French Revolution led to a major war between France and England, Washington insisted that the United States remain neutral. He did not accept the recommendations of his Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who was pro-French, or his Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, who was pro-British. The President feared that getting involved in this European war would shatter his young country's new government. On April 22, 1793, he issued a proclamation of neutrality that urged American citizens to be impartial and not send aid or war materials to either England or France.

Learn more about our George Washington:

Life Before the Presidency
Presidential Accomplishments
Did You Know?
Life After the Presidency
Washington's Legacy