Was George Washington really the 1st President of the United States?

Or have we all been deceived?

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Washington, born in Virginia was the 1st President of the Executive Branch of the US for 8 years from April 30th, 1789 to March 4th, 1797.

But who was President before 1789?

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Washington was elected to be president unanimously by the electors of the States .

Some States were unable to vote as they had not yet Ratified The “New” Constitution.

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The “New” Constitution was created to replace the Articles of Confederation that had been in place between the 13th States since 1781.

So who was President under the Articles of Confederation?

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The Articles of Confederation:

A guiding principle of the Articles was to preserve the independence and sovereignty of the States.

Under the Articles there was no Executive Branch of government and no real President.

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Under the Articles of Confederation, The Representatives of the 13th States met as part of the Continental Congress.

The 3rd Continental Congress or Congress of the Confederation lasted from 1781-1789.
Under the Articles of Confederation, the presiding officer of Congress, referred to as the President of Congress, chaired the Committee of the States when Congress was in recess, and performed other administrative functions.

He was not, however, an executive like today.
The presiding officer of The Continental Congress was often referred to as “The President of the United States in Congress Assembled”.

As part of Congress, The President’s power was limited. All of the functions he executed were under the direct control of Congress.
Under the Articles of Confederation, There were 10 presidents of Congress from 1781 to 1789.

The first President under the Articles, Samuel Huntington, also served as president of the 2nd Continental Congress. His term began on September 28, 1779.
Samuel Huntington served in the Connecticut Assembly from 1764-1784.

From 1784-1787 he served a Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Connecticut.

Huntington also attended the Philadelphia Convention and signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Samuel Huntington was elected to President of the 2nd Continental Congress in 1779.

Although, the Articles of Confederation were wrote in 1777, they were ratified on March 1st, 1781.

As the current President of Congress, Huntington became the 1st President of the Confederation.
There were a total of 10 Presidents of Congress under the 8 years of the Articles on Confederation.

Samuel Huntington
Thomas McKean
John Hanson
Elias Boudinot
Thomas Mifflin
Richard Henry Lee
John Hancock
Nathaniel Gorham
Arthur St. Claire
Cyrus Griffin
Samuel Huntington resigned from The Congress of the Confederation in 1781 and returned to Connecticut.

He was elected the 18th Governor of Connecticut from 1786 until his death in 1796.

He also resided over the Connecticut Convention in 1788 to approve the US Constitution.
Huntington was succeeded as President of Congress by Thomas McKean on July 10th 1781.

McKean was born March 19th, 1733 in New London, Pennsylvania, a colony of British America.

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Thomas McKean was the son of Scots. At the age of 16 he moved to Delaware to study law and soon became a judge.

In 1765 he represented Delaware in the Stamp Act Congress where he presented the idea that each colony regardless of size or population should only have one vote!
Thomas McKean was a Delaware delegate in both the First Continental Congress in 1774 and Second Continental Congress in 1775/1776.

He was an outspoken advocate for independence from Britain and key voice in persuading others vote for the split.

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After McKean cast his vote, he left Congress to serve as colonel in command of the Fourth Battalion of the Pennsylvania.

He was not present when most of the signers placed their signatures on the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776, but he did add it at a later date.
McKean returned from the Revolutionary War & rejoined the Continental Congress in 1777 just as the Articles of Confederation were being approved.

He was elected President of Congress in July 1781 after Samuel Huntington resigned, becoming the 2nd President under the Articles.
McKean started his long tenure as Chief Justice of Pennsylvania on July 28, 1777 and served in that capacity until 1799.

There he largely set the rules of justice for revolutionary Pennsylvania.

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As chief justice under a Pennsylvania constitution, Thomas McKean considered it flawed, he assumed it the right of the court to strike down legislative acts it deemed unconstitutional, preceding by ten years the U.S. Supreme Court's doctrine of judicial review.

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Thomas McKean was a member of the convention of Pennsylvania, which ratified the Constitution of the United States.

In the Pennsylvania State Constitutional Convention of 1789/90, he argued for a strong executive and was himself a Federalist.

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The 3rd President of Congress under the Articles of Confederation was John Hanson.

Hanson served as President of the Continental Congress from November 5th, 1781 until November 4th, 1782.

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John Hanson was born on April 21st, 1721 to wealthy parents on a large Maryland plantation.

Hanson began his political career as a county sheriff for 7 years and was later elected to the Maryland General Assembly for 12 years.
When relations between Great Britain & the colonies came a crisis in 1774, Hanson became one of Frederick County's leading Patriots.

In 1775, Hanson chaired the Frederick County Committee of Observation, part of the Patriot organization that assumed control of local governance.
Responsible for recruiting and arming soldiers, Hanson proved to be an excellent organizer, and Frederick County sent the first southern troops to join George Washington's army.

Because funds were scarce, Hanson frequently paid soldiers and others with his own money.
In June 1776, Hanson urged Maryland's delegates in the Continental Congress to declare independence from Great Britain.

While Congress worked on the Declaration of Independence, Hanson was making gunlocks, storing powder, guarding prisoners, raising money and troops.
Hanson was elected to the newly reformed Maryland House of Delegates in 1777, the first of five annual terms.

In December 1779, the House of Delegates named Hanson as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress; he began serving in Congress in Philadelphia in June 1780.
Hanson came to Philadelphia with the reputation of having been the leading financier of the revolution in western Maryland, and soon he was a member of several committees dealing with finance.

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On November 5, 1781, Congress elected Hanson as its president. Under the Articles of Confederation, the president of Congress was a mostly ceremonial position, but did require Hanson to serve as neutral discussion moderator, handle official correspondence, and sign documents.
The Articles of Confederation stipulated that presidents of Congress serve 1 year terms, and Hanson became the first to do so.

Contrary to the claims, John Hanson was not the first president to serve under the Articles, nor the first to be elected under the Articles.
The 4th man to serve as President of Congress under the Articles of Confederation was Elias Boudinot.

Elias Boudinot served as President of Congress from November 4th, 1782 to November 2nd, 1783.

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Elias Boudinot was born in Philadelphia on May 2, 1740. His father, Elias Boudinot III, was a merchant and silversmith; he was a neighbor and friend of Benjamin Franklin.

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After studying and being tutored at home, Elias Boudinot went to Princeton, New Jersey to read the law as a legal apprentice to Richard Stockton, an Attorney.

Stockton was later a signatory of the Declaration of Independence.
Boudinot became a prominent lawyer and prospered.

As the revolution drew near, he was elected to the New Jersey provincial assembly in 1775.

In the early stages of the War, he was active in promoting enlistment and even loaned money to field commanders to purchase supplies.
On May 5, 1777, General George Washington asked Boudinot to be appointed as commissary general for prisoners.

Congress through the board of war concurred. Boudinot was commissioned as a colonel in the Continental Army for this work.
In November 1777, the New Jersey legislature named Boudinot as one of their delegates to the Second Continental Congress.

In November 1782, he was elected as President of the Continental Congress for a one-year term.
In 1794, Boudinot declined to serve another term, and left Congress in early 1795.

In October 1795, President George Washington appointed him as Director of the United States Mint, a position he held through succeeding administrations until he retired in 1805.
Elias Boudonit was succeeded as President of the Continental Congress by A Major General of the Revolutionary Army named Thomas Mifflin.

Thomas Mifflin served as President of Congress from November 3rd, 1783 to June 3rd, 1784.

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Thomas Mifflin was born in Philadelphia on January 10th, 1744.

He was a merchant who graduated from the College of Philadelphia and joined the Continental Army.

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Early in the Revolutionary War, Mifflin left the Continental Congress to serve in the Continental Army.

He was commissioned as a major, then became an aide-de-camp of General George Washington.
On August 14, 1775, Washington appointed him to become the army's first Quartermaster General, under order of Congress.

Although it has been said that he was good at the job, Mifflin preferred to be on the front lines.
In Congress, there was debate regarding whether a national army was more efficient or if individual states should maintain their own forces. As a result of this debate the Congressional Board of War was created, on which Mifflin served from 1777 to 1778.
Mifflin served two terms in the Continental Congress (1774–1775 and 1782–1784).

He served as President of Congress from November 1783 to June 1784.

His most important duty was to accept on behalf of Congress the resignation of General George Washington on December 23, 1783.
After the war, the importance of Congress declined and Mifflin found it difficult to convince the states to send enough delegates to Congress to ratify the Treaty of Paris, which finally took place on January 14, 1784 at the Maryland State House in Annapolis.

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After the ratified versions of the Treaty of Paris were exchanged between the US and Britain on May 12, 1784, Mifflin became the first US President of Congress officially recognized by Great Britain.

Mifflin appointed Thomas Jefferson as a minister to France on May 7, 1784.
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