George Washington was not actually the first President of the United States. In fact, the first President was John Hanson, a Black revolutionary. We are not talking about John Hanson from Liberia or John Hanson a White businessman.
Do not go check the encyclopedia for that guy’s name – he’s one of those great men who are lost in history. If you are extremely lucky, you can find a brief mention of his name. It is nevertheless on the rare 2 dollar note.
Once the signing took place in 1781 for the formation of the confederation (united states), a president was needed to run the country. John Hanson was unanimously chosen by Congress (of which George Washington was a member). In fact, all potential candidates refused to apply against him, as he was an important player in the revolution and a very influential member of Congress.
As the first President, Hanson had a lot of work to do. No one had ever been President and the role was ill-defined. His actions set the stage for strengthening the authority of future Presidents.
He came into office just when the Revolutionary War was over. Almost immediately, the troops demanded to be paid. As one would expect after any long war, there was no fund to pay wages. As a result, the soldiers threatened to overthrow the new government to place George Washington as a monarch.
All members of Congress had fled for their lives, leaving Hanson as the only remaining member to lead the government. He somehow managed to calm the troops and keep the country together. If it had failed, the government would have fallen almost immediately and everyone would have allegiance to “King” Washington.
Hanson established the Great Seals of the United States that all Presidents have since used on all official documents. President Hanson also established the first Ministry of Economy and Finance, the first Ministry of Defense and the first Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Articles of Confederation only allowed a President to serve a one-year term every three years; so Hanson actually did a lot of things in such a short time.
Six other presidents were elected after him – Elias Boudinot (1783), Thomas Mifflin (1784), Richard Henry Lee (1785), Nathan Gorman (1786), Arthur st. Clair (1787) and Cyrus Griffin (1788 – well before Washington takes office The Articles of Confederation were not well fonctioné Individual states had too much power and nothing could be agreed…
A new doctrine had to be written – what we know today as the Constitution.
George Washington was the first President of the United States under the new Constitution which is still followed until today … And the first seven Presidents are forgotten by history!