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The book covers the central concerns of Washington's administration: a complex tangle of war debts; the organization of the Bank of the United States; geographical and social factionalism; the emergence of strong national partisan politics; adjustments in federal-state relations; the effort to remain neutral in the face of European tumult; the opening of the Mississippi River; and the removal of the threat of Indians and British in the Northwest Territory. McDonald also describes the rivalry between Washington's two most important department heads, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.
Author Biography: Forrest McDonald is Distinguished Research Professor of History at the University of Alabama and the author of fifteen books including States' Rights and the Union: Imperium in Imperio, 1776-1876; The American Presidency: An Intellectual History; Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution; "We the People": Economic Origins of the Constitution; E Pluribus Unum: The Foundation of the American Republic, 1776-1790; and The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson. He was named by the National Endowment for the Humanities as the sixteenth Jefferson Lecturer, the nation's highest honor in the humanities.