Facing declining health and an unstable political climate, George Washington was reluctant to run for a second term. The French Revolutionary Wars between Great Britain and its allies and revolutionary France, in which Washington had proclaimed American neutrality, were still ongoing and, closer to home, deep political divisions were emerging. It was these political disputes that caused Washington to fear for the country’s stability and, therefore, he was persuaded to run for re-election. 1792 was the first election in which each of the 15 states (13 former colonies and the new states of Vermont and Kentucky) appointed electors, and each elector voted for two candidates. Washington won unanimously, receiving the maximum of 132 electoral votes and was re-elected as president. John Adams, having successfully overcome attempts to unseat him by anti-federalists Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, retained the vice-presidency, triumphing over New York governor George Clinton.
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