From the time of 1787 to 1820 the United States started to become a country. When the revolution had come to an end the United States was a country still trying to find its bearings. There were a few things that were certain the country needed: “a legitimate and effective government, national unity, security, and economic progress.” [10-2-12] Each of these items were necessary for the United States to survive as a new country. George Washington was a man who embodied many great qualities which guided the US through the revolution. Washington would create a structured system of government and lay the groundwork for the future to come; many of these policies are still in place today. These key ideas would become the framework of the government and the success of the United States.
One key area of concern was the Articles of Confederation. This was the first form of government the US had emplaced during the revolution. This system was very weak and lacked many key features. “There was no chief executive, only a Congress in which each state would have one vote.” This was one of the first things the country would address. The creation of the constitution is a great achievement for the US; the constitution is the effective government that the US needed. Many states opposed the constitution but there would be a “Great Compromise” made to give states equal votes in Congress. Once the constitution was ratified there was no question that the first president would be George! Once George took office he started framing the nation. “He created the cabinet, head of state and government, also the senate.”[10-9-12] Shortly after Washington took the reins of the new US government the Bill Of Rights would be ratified in 1791. “States proposed amendments to limit the power of Congress to levy taxes and to protect the rights to bear arms, to trial by jury, and against unreasonable search and seizure.” The government was no becoming the powerful staple point the country needed. If there were needs for the country there was now an effective government that could resolve problems.
The country also had a big financial problem; the country was in a very large amount of debt. The economic progress was not moving in the direction Washington wanted. When Washington elected Hamilton as his treasurer he once again made a great choice. Hamilton was a bright young man who devised a way to eliminate the countries enormous debt. “This was known as Hamilton’s Economic Program. This was a three step plan that would consume the debt and put the countries money in a single location. The first bank of the United States, this bank would hold all of the US currency and would create a big umbrella for the country and allow the economic situation to improve and grow.”[10-9-12] After the Washington administration Jefferson would become president in 1800. Jefferson would make a great deal with France that would increase the size of the US by 883,000 miles. With the economy growing and an increase in population Thomas Jefferson new that Americans would eventually settle west of the Mississippi. With the buying of the Louisiana territory it opened many doors for westward movement and the ability to expand the “American Dream” There was also a great movement going on that created many jobs and an economic boom. The explosion of cotton with “the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1793.”[HO] The cotton boom created a need for northerners to build factories. The invention of the steamboat by Robert Fulton which allowed the northern and southern states to trade in much shorter times and establish a trading schedule was a big addition to the factories which created a big labor force.
The last key topic was the issue of national security both foreign and domestic. With the passing of Jay’s and Pinckney’s treaties it opened the west for settlement. [10-9-12] The country was…