The Impact of the Founding Fathers on the Presidency The job of the President of the United States was non-existent before George Washington was elected in 1788. During his two terms of office, he established precedents that future presidents would follow. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson followed, adding their own unique additions to the role. The first three presidents of the United States established a means of fairly governing a brand-new nation. George Washington’s first significant contribution was to insist that he not be named “king”.
By relying on administrative heads for advice, he established the tradition of relying on one’s cabinet for guidance for matters of state. He served two terms, which became the standard until 1940. During negotiations of the Jay Treaty in 1795, Washington established executive authority by choosing which documents to hand over and which to keep private. John Adams was the second president, different from Washington both in his aloofness and his reliance on his wife, Abigail. Adams refused to give in to public opinion when it went against his own beliefs.
While Adams was not nearly as popular as Washington on the domestic front, he established himself as an authority in foreign policy. Adams signed the Sedition Act to prevent acts of terrorism against the government, but had no hand in writing the law. Thomas Jefferson was unique in his hypocrisy. Jefferson was the advocate of the idea that “all men are created equal”, yet was a notorious slave owner, thus limiting the equality only to white men who were citizens of the United States.
His impact on the presidency was to establish the concept that America was a place where every voice would be heard and where every citizen had a say in government matters. Works Cited:(2008). American president:. Retrieved January 13, 2009, from Miller center of public affairs Web site: http://millercenter.
org/academic/americanpresident/jefferson/essays/biography/9(1996). American presidents. Retrieved January 13, 2009, from Study world Web site: http://studyworld.com/John_Adams.htm