Washington’s Second Term
Pres. Washington’s second term was occupied primarily with foreign policy concerns. In 1793, the revolutionary government in France executed the King. When war broke out between France and England, France asked the USA to come to its aid, citing a treaty signed in 1788. Britain, expecting the USA to come to France’s aid, began to attack US shipping. Meanwhile, France’s Minister to the US spent his time here planning attacks on Canada and Florida and hiring pirates to attack British ships. Washington issued his Proclamation of Neutrality on 4/22/1793, which eventually led to the resignation of SOS Jefferson on 7/31/1793 (although he remained in office until his successor took office).
The greatest domestic challenge facing Washington came from the Whiskey Rebellion in western PA (1794). Farmers there refused to pay the federal excise tax on whiskey. They burned the house of the excise collector and then tarred and feathered two federal agents. Washington, recalling Shay’s Rebellion, called out 15,000 soldiers to quell the rebellion.
The Anti-Federalists launched an all-out attack on Washington after the Whiskey Rebellion, and in the elections of 1794-1795 they gained control of the U.S. House.
Washington again returned to foreign policy in 1795. John Jay resigned as Chief Justice to go to England and try to resolve continuing grievances. Jay’s Treaty, signed in late 1794, did not accomplish all of Washingto