First President Steps Down After Two Terms

1797

President George Washington is still widely admired when he completes his second term as President, and many hope that he will run for a third term. Washington declines on the grounds that an orderly transition of authority is necessary to prevent rule by a king-like power. Washington also grew sensitive to the increased partisanship and resulting newspaper attacks on his administration during his second term, which made him anxious to retire to Mount Vernon.