Thursday, October 16, 2008

History Primer

Kevin's History Corner
A Frequently Publication by

Ok, here's the deal. We won the Revolutionary War when the British surrendered in 1781 at Yorktown. We then governed under the Articles of Confederation...which in fact we already had been operating under as colonies in rebellion. The articles basically gave all powers to the 13 states, with no nationally elected president. Instead, there was a very weak congress which elected, from its members, a president of that congress. His powers were nominal at best.

In 1789 many Americans realized there needed to be a central government. Things were a mess. Each state was literally printing its own currency. It just wasn't a system of government that could work in any practical sense. People of this belief were called Federalists. THE CONSTITUTION we now live under was written in Philadelphia and General George Washington was subsequently elected unanimously as the first President of the United States, BUT not by the public/popular vote as we see it today. He was elected by "electors" - basically political leaders of the day - and won unanimously from the 69 gathered. They each represented their states. The first president elected with a known popular vote was John Quincy Adams, the sixth president. 108,740 was his vote tally.

The "presidents" under the articles of confederation (again, keep in mind they were elected just by the members of the confederation congress) are as follows...........
Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled
Samuel Huntington (March 1, 1781– July 9, 1781)
Thomas McKean (July 10, 1781–November 4, 1781)
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)

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