March First: Birth of the United States

Discussion in 'Education' started by PoliticalChic, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    March 1, 1781
    The new United States was actually formed with the
    adoption of the Articles of Confederation. Although the
    document was agreed upon by Congress on Nov. 15, 1777,
    but was not signed until Maryland agreed to it on this date.

    Upon the signing, John Hanson (the first man to serve a full term in this position) is considered to be the first President, from 11/5/1781 to 11/3/1782

    A popular urban legend or bar bet suggests that Hanson was the "first President" of the United States.
    The origin of the claim that Hanson is the "forgotten" first President stems from a 1932 book by Seymour Wemyss Smith titled "John Hanson - Our First President."

    Nevertheless, officially Hanson was the third presiding officer of the Congress of the United States, and he considered himself a successor to the first two men to hold the office, Samuel Huntington and Thomas McKean, who themselves were successors to prior Presidents of the Second Continental Congress. Nor was the office an executive position like the office of President that was created under the Constitution.

    Hanson was, however, the first to serve a full one-year term, and the first to formally use the title President of the United States in Congress Assembled.

    The following men served as President of the United States in Congress Assembled:
    • Samuel Huntington (March 1, 17812 – July 9, 1781)
    • Thomas McKean (July 10, 1781 – November 4, 1781)3
    • John Hanson (November 5, 1781 – November 3, 1782)
    • Elias Boudinot (November 4, 1782 – November 2, 1783)
    • Thomas Mifflin (November 3, 1783 – October 31, 1784)
    • Richard Henry Lee (November 30, 1784 – November 6, 1785)
    • John Hancock (November 23, 1785 – May 29, 1786)
    • Nathaniel Gorham (June 6, 1786 – November 5, 1786)
    • Arthur St. Clair (February 2, 1787 – November 4, 1787)
    • Cyrus Griffin (January 22, 1788 – November 2, 1788

    The first president of the First Continental Congress was Payton Randolph, September 5, 1774


    Just thought you'd like to know. Carry on.
     
  2. lawbuff
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    lawbuff Member

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    Nice post PC. I first learned about the Hanson debate from an old World almanac. It had a list of the President's of the Continental Congress with a fn. on Hanson, noting he could be considered head of govt. but not head of state, but some do consider him the 1st President, especially this man in the link. I live in Ohio and Nick has had his Museum for many years, he is very strong in his conviction Hanson was the 1st Chief Executive.

    The First President of the United States, John Hanson, and more. Wayne Twp. Williamsfield, Ohio


    I more disagree with him than not, as the President of the Confederation had NO Cabinet, could not veto laws, was not elected by the Electoral College etc., as there were contrasting differences between the AOC and the Original 7.


    The 1st Continental Congress met at Carpenters Hall on this date and adjourned Oct. 26. Its is about 3 blocks east of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. I have toured it 3 times in my life.

    The meeting places of the Continental Congress and of the Confederation are considered as a part of history the Capital's of the United States, even though there were only 3 permanent ones.

    David Rice Atchison was considered by some the President of the United States for one day, his tombstone even states that.

    Ohio also became a state on March 1st, in 1803, as a side note.
     
  3. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Nice addition.

    And, of course, you are correct that, prior to the Constitution, the so-called 'president' was not much of an executive.

    (I almost said 'like our current...' Bite my tongue.)
     
  4. ihopehefails
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    ihopehefails BANNED

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    It seems to me that many of the provisions in the constitution were carryovers from the articles of the confederation.
     
  5. Dr.Traveler
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    Dr.Traveler Mathematician

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    Its good to bring this up from time to time. The Articles are a forgotten period of American history by most.

    They certainly had flaws, but they were an important first step in self government. It is unlikely that the US Constitution, as written, would have had a chance to be ratified immediately following the Revolutionary War. The Articles bought us time to come together as a nation.
     

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