Who was the first President of the United States of America|
George Washington ? Are you sure? Please read on.
Please read on.
The Articles of Confederation
Agreed to by Congress November 15, 1777; ratified and in force, March 1, 1781.
To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our Names send greeting.
Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
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Articles of Confederation
Article I. The Stile of this Confederacy shall be "The United States of America."
Article II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.
Article III. The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever.
Article IX.(in part)
The United States in Congress assembled shall have authority to appoint a committee, to sit in the recess of Congress, to be denominated 'A Committee of the States', and to consist of one delegate from each State; and to appoint such other committees and civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs of the United States under their direction — to appoint one of their members to preside, provided that no person be allowed to serve in the office of president more than one year in any term of three years; to ascertain the necessary sums of money to be raised for the service of the United States, and to appropriate and apply the same for defraying the public expenses — to borrow money, or emit bills on the credit of the United States, transmitting every half-year to the respective States an account of the sums of money so borrowed or emitted — to build and equip a navy — to agree upon the number of land forces, and to make requisitions from each State for its quota, in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in such State; which requisition shall be binding, and thereupon the legislature of each State shall appoint the regimental officers, raise the men and cloath, arm and equip them in a solid- like manner, at the expense of the United States; and the officers and men so cloathed, armed and equipped shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States in Congress assembled. But if the United States in Congress assembled shall, on consideration of circumstances judge proper that any State should not raise men, or should raise a smaller number of men than the quota thereof, such extra number shall be raised, officered, cloathed, armed and equipped in the same manner as the quota of each State, unless the legislature of such State shall judge that such extra number cannot be safely spread out in the same, in which case they shall raise, officer, cloath, arm and equip as many of such extra number as they judge can be safely spared. And the officers and men so cloathed, armed, and equipped, shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States in Congress assembled.
Now that I have your attention, the true answer to the question;
Who was the first president of the United States of America?
The first president of the United States of America was a man by the name of John Hanson, and who was John Hanson?
The United States declared its independence in 1776, yet Washington did not take office until April 30, 1789.
So who was running the country during these initial years of this young country? It was the first eight U. S. Presidents.
The new country was actually formed on March 1, 1781 with the adoption of The Articles of Confederation. This document was actually proposed on June 11, 1776, but not agreed upon by Congress until November 15, 1777.
Maryland refused to sign this document until Virginia and New York Ceded their western lands (Maryland was afraid that these states would gain too much power in the new government from such large amounts of land).
Once the signing took place in 1781, a President was needed to run the Country. John Hanson was chosen unanimously by Congress (which included George Washington). In fact, all the other potential candidates refused to run against him, as he was a major player in the revolution and an extremely influential member of Congress.
As the first President, Hanson had quite the shoes to fill. No one had ever been President and the role was poorly defined. His actions in office would set precedent for all future Presidents. He took office just as the Revolutionary War ended.
Almost immediately, the troops demanded to be paid. As would be expected after any long war, there were no funds to meet the salaries. As a result, the soldiers threatened to overthrow the new government and put Washington on the throne as a monarch.
All the members of Congress ran for their lives, leaving Hanson as the only man left running the government. He somehow managed to calm the troops down and hold the country together. If he had failed, the government could have fallen almost immediately and everyone might have been bowing to King Washington.
Hanson, as President, ordered all foreign troops off American soil, as well as the removal of all foreign flags. This was quite the feat, considering the fact that so many European countries had a stake in the United States since the days following Columbus.
Hanson established the Great Seal of the United States, which all Presidents have since been required to use on all official documents.
President Hanson also established the first Treasury Department, the first Secretary of War, and the first Foreign Affairs Department.
The Articles of Confederation only allowed a President to serve a one year term during any three year period, so Hanson actually accomplished quite a bit in such little time.
Seven other presidents were elected after him:
Elias Boundinot (1782-1783)
Thomas Mifflin (1783-1784)
Richard Henry Lee (1784-1785)
John Hancock (1785-1786)
Nathan Gorman (1786-1787)
Arthur St. Clair (1787-1788)
Cyrus Griffin (1788-1789)
All prior to Washington taking office, so what happened? Why don't we hear about the first eight presidents?
It's quite simple - The Articles of Confederation didn't work well. The individual states had too much power and nothing could be agreed upon.
A new doctrine needed to be written - something we know as the Constitution.
The Congress of the Confederation or the United States in Congress Assembled ran from March 1, 1781, until a more effective federal government under the Constitution became operative on March 4, 1789
And as we say, the rest is history.
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