A New Nation

Creation of the Treasury Department

Creation of the Treasury Department
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.94

     challenging words:    audit, comptroller, excise, treasurer, controversial, horse-drawn, alcoholic, luxury, assistant, auditor, collection, tobacco, collector, income, favor, title
     content words:    Treasury Department, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, United States, Boston Tea Party, Internal Revenue Service, US Mint, San Francisco, West Point, Civil War

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Creation of the Treasury Department
By Sharon Fabian

1     The Treasury Department was established in 1789. George Washington appointed Alexander Hamilton as its first leader. Hamilton's ideas were controversial, but they set the United States on a path that it still follows today. His plan was for the United States to have a strong financial system.
2     The act of Congress that established the Treasury Department also named the important positions within the department. The department would be led by a person with the title of Secretary of the Treasury. The Secretary of the Treasury would be in charge of making plans for managing the nation's money. He would supervise the collection of money and other activities of the department, and he would make reports to the president on the nation's finances. The comptroller and the auditor would be in charge of keeping the accounts. The treasurer would collect and pay out money, and the register would manage the records.
3     In George Washington's time, the Treasury Department only collected excise taxes, which were taxes on luxury items. At that time, luxury items included tobacco, alcoholic beverages, sugar, and horse-drawn carriages.

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