Who was the first President of the United States?  

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hi1954 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, of course George Washington was the first President of the United States of America, in terms of the government as reorganized under the United States' Constitution in 1787.  But the United States did have a government before that, but after the successful resolution of the Revolution.  This government was under the Articles of Confederation, and under that structure of government the first president ("President of the Congress") was Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794), a Virginia planter who had served in the Continental Congress through the Revolution.  It was Lee who moved the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

Richard Henry Lee (and his son) should not be confused with Henry Lee ("Light Horse Harry"), a cavalry commander during the Revolution and father of Robert E. Lee, also a Virginia planter.  Nor should any of them be confused with Charles Lee, another Virginia planter and for a while general in the Continental Army during the Revolution.  Richard Henry Lee was also the first Senator appointed from Virginia under the new Constitution, of which he personally was not in favor.  He felt the tendency of the government under the Constitution would be to consolidate power so strongly to the Federal government that the individual states would become too subordinate, although he acknowledged the inadequacy of the Confederation.

Incidentally, the president of the First Continental Congress was Peyton Randolph, yet another Virginia planter.  The President of the Second Continental Congress was John Hancock.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator


"As the first of every thing, in our situation will serve to establish a Precedent," he wrote James Madison, "it is devoutly wished on my part, that these precedents may be fixed on true principles."

George Washington was an 18th century gentleman. He was raised with manners and a good set of strong morals. He had a strong interest in western expansion and helped survey the Shenandoah Lands.

Washington wanted to retire but he knew that the nation was not running smoothly under the Articles of the Confederation. The Constitutional Convention was held in Philadelphia in 1787 and when the new Constitution was ratified he was elected the first President.

ako6777 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first official president of the United States of America was George Washington.  He was born in 1732 and died in 1799.  His occupation was that of a planterand a solider. In 1749, he was appointed to his first public office, surveyor of newly created Culpeper County.  From 1775 to 1783 he served as the commander of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. "Because of his significant role in the revolution and in the formation of the United States, he is often revered by Americans as the "Father of Our Country."

sfstudent | Student

George Washington, April 30, 1789

krishna-agrawala | Student

The first president of United States of America was George Washington (1732-1799) who was elected unanimously by the Electoral College. His term as president was inaugurated in New York City, the capital of the United States at that time, on April 30, 1789. He was reelected in 1792. He held this office from 1789 to 1796. John Adams, who was vice-president under Washington, succeeded him as president in 1797, and held that office upto 1801.


florrosa22 | Student

george washigton


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