Presidential Elections

why they were hard at first

The First Few Presidents Had it Rough

Being President to the new country was a challenge. No one had ever been a president before. There were no rules, guidelines, or a how to book. Other Nations didn't help the new country's President out either. Raging war, provoking natives, and attacking Americans all worked to vex presidents. There were also many challenges closer to home, with pleasing parties and the people. It took the presidents awhile to get into the swing of things.

International Problems

Many things that were not close to home caused the Presidents some grief. In 1789 the French started their Revolution. Many Americans supported the revolution, but when rich nobles started being killed, many Americans feared it would happen to America. The government didn't have money to fund the army. Many Americans thought having a strong national army would make it easier to take away their liberty. As this could be true, it also left them vulnerable to other nations attacks. This put pressure on the President, leave the nation close to defenseless or please the people?

French vs. British

It seemed that throughout the years the French and the British were always butting heads. They were at war in 1793 and 1803. Both times America faced the challenge of choosing a side. George Washington promoted isolationism, avoiding political or military agreements with other countries. This resulted in attack of American ships, and the taking of American sailors. When George Washington send a man named Jay to establish a treaty with the British stating that they would leave the Ohio Valley, the French saw it as a violation of an earlier treaty made with the Americans. The French demanded a tribute, or large sum of money, in exchange for them to stop attacking American ships. The Americans refused. Again, American ships were attacked.

One solution they came up with in 1807 was to stop the American ships from being attacked was an embargo, stopping trading with other nations. In 1809 they repealed the embargo because it was hurting the American economy. James Madison offered in exchange for not attacking American ships, they United States would stop trading with the other country's enemy.

Closer to Home

Other problems were a little closer to home. Such as Political Parties becoming part of the election process. Republicans and Federalists were being elected together, causing disagreement. Also in 1811, Shawnee warriors fought against Americans led by Willian Henery Harrison. The Americans won, but the Shawnee were armed with British guns. Another problem that arose was the embargo that hurt American sailors, they lost jobs and had to find work. There are always some sort of problems!

The First Three



  • Other Nations
- At War

- Attacking American ships and sailors

- Giving Natives Guns

- Having their revolutions

  • Political Parties
-Republicans and Federalists were being elected together

  • Lack of Funds
-Didn't have money to fund the National Army

- Many thought a strong national army could be used to take away peoples liberty