MRSADW asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

was george washington the first president of USA?

I read that there was already people who had control over the US when George Washington arrived. And some sort of treaty was signed to give him(or the British) control.

8 Answers

  • icabod
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    The first president was John Hanson

    This answer has some qualifications. If by "president" you mean under the Constitution, Washington was the first. If by "president" you mean "President of the Congress," under the Articles of Confederation, then there are several. Cyrus Griffin was the last "President of Congress" before the Constitution took effect and Washington was elected.If you want to be technical, John Hanson was our "first" president.

    Under Article 9 of the Articles of Confederation, a committee conducted the nation's business when Congress wasn't in session. The "Committee of the States" elected a President of Congress." The person served a one year term. However, this office had none of the power Washington held as President. Mainly the person monitored the committee's debates.

    To quote the listed website:

    "The following is a list of those men who were elected President of Congress while the United States operated under the Articles:

    John Hanson (Nov 5 1781 - Nov 3 1782)

    Elias Boudinot (Nov 4 1782 - Nov 2 1783)

    Thomas Mifflin (Nov 3 1783 - Nov 29 1784)

    Richard Henry Lee (Nov 30 1784 - Nov 22 1785)

    John Hancock (Nov 23 1785 - Jun 5 1786)

    Nathan Gorman (Jun 6 1786 - Feb 1 1787)

    Arthur St. Clair (Feb 2 1787 - Jan 21 1788)

    Cyrus Griffin (Jan 22 1788 - Apr 30 1789) "

    As was said earlier, to get an answer to the question you have to made some qualifications. When asking the question, most people are not aware the Articles of Confederation provided for a position as "president." This position was unlike the position of President provided for under the Constitution. The names were similar and that was about the only thing they shared.

  • 1 decade ago

    George Washington was the first President of the United States under the Constitution, sworn into office in 1789, the first year of effective government by the Constitution. But there were 10 Presidents of the Continental Congress from 1777-1788 during the time that the USA was held together under the Articles of Confederation. They didn't hold nearly the same kind of power as the Constitutional Presidents since, though; so they aren't usually considered to be "Presidents of the United States".

    Generally, The British didn't hold power anywhere in the United States after the Declaration of Independence in 1776, other than where their armies happened to be.

  • #7
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    When George Washington ARRIVED? Where do you think he came from? I don't know what you've been reading, but you must have totally misunderstood it. Or else this is a troll question.

    Washington was born in the (then) British colony of Virginia, became a land surveyor and cartographer, served in the French and Indian War (in the then territory of Ohio), inherited his brother's Virginia farm, married a local widow, served in the Virginia House of Burgesses, led the Continental Army during the American Revolution, served as one of Virginia's delegates to the Constitutional Convention, and was unanimously elected the first President of the United States.

    By the way, the British had control over the colonies BEFORE the American Revolution, not after; before the Revolution, there was no United States.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes he was. Several men presided (hence; president) over the Continental Congress and over the Constitutional Convention, but Washington was the first man to be President of the United States under the Constitution of the US.

    ps Washington was born in the American colony of Virginia, so he "arrived" via - childbirth!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, General George Washington was the first President of the United States of America.

    Before the Revolutionary War, the thirteen American Colonies were under British rule.

    Here's what the American flag looked like before the Revolutionary War - The Grand Union Flag.

    Hawaii, which was once a former British Colony, has kept it's original British flag to become the State Flag of Hawaii

    American Flag at the time of the Revolutionary War - the British Union Flag removed to be replaced by a circle of stars (13) on a blue background.

    The blue bit at the bottom of this flag should be removed - it's not actually part of the flag.

    Presidents of the United States of America

    John Adams USA, meets King George III in London.

    Youtube thumbnail

    I would just like to add at this point that for the British people back then, King George III was their most popular king - he was loved by the people, he never gave up on us then and at his funeral the crowds were standing ten deep to watch him go by.

    The last King of America

    British Army c1776 - the Brown Bess Musket

    Youtube thumbnail

    The Fifes and Drums of Yorktown USA

    Youtube thumbnail


    Life goes on. . . .

    Youtube thumbnail

    The Boss is in the House.

  • Veto R
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    George Washington is the first President under our current Constitution, which was ratified in 1788. However, my belief is that John Hancock is the first president of the United States and here are the reasons why...

    Washington, even though he IS the first President under our current Constitution, is not the first person to hold the title of "President" of the United States. Before the Constitution, the United States was governed by the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation, which is the first constitution of the U.S., superseded the Continental Congress, which did not have a constitution undergirding it. The presiding officer of the Continental Congress and the Congress of the Articles of Confederation was titled "President" -- or, as he became known, the President of the United States in Congress Assembled. Under the Continental Congress and Articles of Confederation, the president occupied a very weak office and held very little executive authority, but he was still the "president." And when we talk about titles, that is the key point. Who was the first person to hold the title of "president" in an independent United States.

    Further, the answer to the question of who was the first "president" of the United States depends on the date that we became independent of Great Britain. Anyone serving as "president" before that date is not president of the United States, but of the united colonies. Therefore, Peyton Randolph, who was the first, serving from Sept. 5, 1774, to Oct. 22, 1774, and third, serving from May 10-May 24, 1775, president of the Continental Congress nor Henry Middleton, serving from Oct. 22-26, 1774, can not be considered first presidents of the United States.

    So, let's look at the possible dates of United States independence and see who was president at that time:

    July 4, 1776: Continental Congress ratifies the Declaration of Independence, declaring that the colonies are a new nation... the president at this time is John Hancock.

    Words, though, do not make a nation independent. Had the colonialists lost the Revolutionary War, the signers of the Declaration of Independence would have been hanged as traitors by the British. Therefore, it is possible to argue that the true date of American independence is the conclusion of the Battle of Yorktown, the last battle of the American Revolution, the signing of the Treaty of Paris or the final ratification of the treaty by both parties.

    The Battle of Yorktown ended all British efforts to restore the colonies.... October 19, 1781, and the president was Thomas McKean, who served from July 10 to Nov. 5, 1781.

    The Treaty of Paris was signed on Sept. 3, 1783.... the president is Elias Boudinot, who served from Nov. 4, 1782 to Nov. 3, 1783.

    The British King was the last party to sign the treaty, giving the treaty full legal authority and he signed on April 9, 1784. The president then was Thomas Mifflin, who served from Nov. 3, 1783 to June 3, 1784.

    So, here are the claimants to the title of first president of the United States:

    John Hancock, President of Congress on July 4, 1776, when the U.S. declared independence.

    Thomas McKean, President of Congress on Oct. 19, 1781, when Washington forced Cornwallis to surrender at Yorktown, ending military action in the Revolutionary War.

    Elias Boudinot, President of Congress when the Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War, was signed on Sept. 3, 1783.

    Thomas Mifflin, President of Congress when the Treaty of Paris was finally ratified by all parties on April 9, 1784.

    Other claimants include:

    Samuel Huntington, who was President of Congress when the Articles of Confederation were ratified on March 1, 1781. Huntington served as President from Sept. 28, 1779, to July 10, 1781, making him the second-longest serving President under the Continental Congress and Articles of Confederation with only Hancock serving an uninterrupted longer term.

    Thomas McKean, who was President at the time Cornwallis surrendered. He was the first elected President under the Articles of Confederation and filled Huntington's unexpired term through Nov. 5, 1781.

    John Hanson, the first person elected to a full one-year term as President of Congress under the Articles of Confederation, serving from Nov. 5, 1781 to Nov. 3, 1782. However, we have seen that there were two Presidents under the Articles before Hanson, one of which was elected, although not to a full term.

    George Washington, the first person to hold the title of President of the United States under our current Constitution, holding office from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797.

    Source(s): Constitutional writers in 1787 greatly empowered the Presidential office over that held by the members of the Articles of Confederation or Continental Congress. But, it is not the powers that makes someone a "President". It is the title and only the title. Since Hancock was President of the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, when the delegates declared the United States to be a new nation, he is the first man to hold the office of "President." That makes Hancock the first President of the United States.
  • 1 decade ago


    Source(s): A variety of sources.
  • 1 decade ago

    of course he was the 1st president of the US

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