Study Guide

George Washington Second Term

Second Term

By the end of his first term, it had become clear to Washington that he needed to stay on. The division within his cabinet between Hamilton and Jefferson had a regional dimension to it. It wasn't just a disagreement between two private individuals. It reflected a split between northern states, with economies dependent on trade and finance (like Hamilton's New York) and southern states, which relied on agriculture (like Jefferson's Virginia). This fault line, just like the earlier divisions between large and small states and slave and free states, risked undoing all the progress toward unity that Washington had accomplished in his first term. As Jefferson argued, "North & South will hang together [only] if they have you to hang on[to]."blank" rel="nofollow">Jefferson's Republican allies hated the treaty: they felt it was a betrayal of America's founding principles. But their disagreement never led them to withdraw or threaten to break the Union. Rather, it spurred them to want to take control of the government and change its policies from within. The spirit of partisan division was unexpected, but it proved that the government's framework had "set." The United States was very much established.