Yet Congress resisted creating a national standing army, again relying on state militias for collective security. President George Washington needed to send an emissary to Britain to try reduce the escalating tensions between the two nations through negotiations. GW's first choice was his Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, but he lacked the necessary credibility in order to be sent (he had paid a tremendous political cost in working most of his economic plan through Congress). GW then selected John Jay, the nation's first Chief Justice, and his selection was greeted with much hostility and opposition . . . but Washington stuck by Jay.
In 1794, the Whiskey Rebellion occurred, which was not only the largest domestic uprising before the Civil War, but also the first time a federal law was enforced. Western Pennsylvanians were beyond-incensed with SecTreas Hamilton's excise tax on whiskey, but far-more so with the investigative powers of the new federal government. 6000 Whiskey Rebels mobilized at Braddock's Field (site of the Battle of Ft. Duquesne in the F&I War) in order to organize and launch their revolt.
GW urged the Pennsylvania government to deal with the rebellion, but Governor Thomas Mifflin refused to use his militia (Mifflin had been a thorn in General Washington's side during the Revolution as well). As a result, GW federalized 13,000 men, mostly from the Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania militias, and he sent his Attorney General west with the lead troops. GW's SecWar, Henry Knox, was unable to accompany GW to Western Pennsylvania in that he had huge estate problems in what is now the state of Maine. Washington then made SecTreas Hamilton his Acting SecWar in Knox's absence.
Washington was irked that SecWar Knox hadn't yet returned . . . he hadn't even written to let his Commander-in-Chief know his whereabouts or his situation. Therefore, it was SecTreas / Acting SecWar Alexander Hamilton that took charge as the federal commander of the assembled militias at Carlisle so GW could settle back and focus on supervision. SecWar Knox finally returned to Philadelphia, and waiting for him was a letter from GW which told him to stay put; the letter was a rather harsh rebuke.
GW believed that the Whiskey Rebels were defiant only when the army was distant; he wanted unequivocal proof of absolute submission before he ordered the federalized militia to stop marching. Therefore, GW decided to keep going west of Carlisle with the troops, often running point on horseback.
The Whiskey Rebellion ended when the rebels themselves voted (using private ballots) to accept President Washington's offer of amnesty (a Presidential pardon for a group). Soon after the Whiskey Rebellion ended, Hamilton resigned as SecTreas effective January 1795. GW was very sorry to see Hamilton leave; he was the only Cabinet member that never let him down. Also, the 20+ year relationship between Washington and SecWar Henry Knox was over; Knox resigned on 28 December 1794, and GW made no effort to keep Knox in his administration. GW's new Cabinet was a truly Federalist Cabinet, with Oliver Wolcott the new SecTreas, and Timothy Pickering the new SecState . . . but why did GW need to find a new Secretary of State . . . the Jay Treaty caused a firestorm in American politics.
The Senate ratified the Jay Treaty by the slimmest of margins (20-10); the 2/3's majority was only reached due to a crucial adjustment in the clauses related to trade in the West Indies (Southerners desperately wanted no limit on the size of ships sailing the Caribbean). Washington reached out to Hamilton for advice as to whether-or-not to sign the Jay Treaty . . . Hamilton responded by crafting a 53 page analysis supporting the treaty.
Washington even turned to Hamilton to be the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court after John Jay resigned. Hamilton turned down Washington's offer, mostly because the position was not yet prestigious. After the controversial success of putting down the Whiskey Rebellion, and the furor over the Jay Treaty, Washington was the most politically isolated he had ever been, whether as General or as President . . . he couldn't wait to get free of the shackles of the Presidency, which wouldn't occur until March 1797 . . .
Randolph wasn't guilty of treason, but it turned out that he wasn't as loyal to Washington as he portrayed himself to be, and that he had definite Republican political leanings; so therefore, treason was the "default" charge. When confronted (ambushed is a better description) by Washington and those prominent Federalists, Randolph, the Narcissistic Egomaniac, surfaced (yet again) . . . the overall theme of his defense was "How Dare You Question Anything I Do". SecState Edmund Randolph was the first Cabinet member to leave the Cabinet involuntarily. Randolph, as a private citizen, savaged Washington in a very public defense of his actions. In short, Randolph betrayed Washington, in particular after he left the Cabinet, in that GW was the main reason for Randolph's ascent, relevance, and influence in the new federal government.