The Full Wiki

United States presidential election, 1788–1789: Wikis

Advertisements
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States 1792
United States presidential election, 1789
December 15, 1788 - January 10, 1789
Gilbert Stuart Williamstown Portrait of George Washington.jpg JohnAdams 2nd US President.jpg
Nominee George Washington John Adams
Party Independent Federalist
Home state Virginia Massachusetts
Electoral vote 69 34
States carried 10 _
Popular vote 38,818 _
Percentage 100% _
ElectoralCollege1789.svg
Presidential election results map. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

Previous President
None

President-elect
George Washington
Independent

The United States presidential election of 1789 was the first presidential election in the United States of America, and was the only one to not take place in an even numbered year. The election took place following the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788. The polls opened on December 15, 1788, and closed on January 10, 1789.[1] In this election, George Washington was elected for the first of his two terms as President of the United States, and John Adams became the first Vice President of the United States.

Before this election, the United States had no chief executive.[2] Under the previous system—the Articles of Confederation—the national government was headed by the Confederation Congress, which had a ceremonial presiding officer and several executive departments, but no independent executive branch.[3]

In this election, the enormously popular Washington essentially ran unopposed. The only real issue to be decided was who would be chosen as vice president. Under the system then in place, each elector cast two votes; if a person received a vote from a majority of the electors, that person became president, and the runner-up became vice president. All 69 electors cast one vote for Washington. Their other votes were divided among eleven other candidates; John Adams received the most, becoming vice president. The Twelfth Amendment, ratified in 1804, would change this procedure, requiring each elector to cast distinct votes for president and vice president.

Contents

The candidates


General election

In the absence of conventions, there was no formal nomination process. The framers of the Constitution had presumed that Washington would be the first president, and once he agreed to come out of retirement to accept the office, there was no opposition to him. Individual states chose their electors, who voted all together for Washington when they met.

Electors used their second vote to cast a scattering of votes, many voting for someone besides Adams (a carefully organized scheme originating with Alexander Hamilton) less out of opposition to him than to prevent Adams from matching Washington's total.[citation needed]

Only ten states out of the original thirteen cast electoral votes in this election. North Carolina and Rhode Island were ineligible to participate as they had not yet ratified the United States Constitution. New York failed to appoint its allotment of eight electors because of a deadlock in the state legislature.

Advertisements

Results

Popular vote

Slate Popular Vote(a), (b), (c)
Count Percentage
Federalist electors 35,866 92.4%
Anti-Federalist electors 2,952 7.6%
Total 38,818 100.0%

Source: U.S. President National Vote. Our Campaigns. (February 11, 2006).

(a) Only 6 of the 10 states casting electoral votes chose electors by any form of popular vote.
(b) Less than 1.3% of the population voted: the 1790 Census would count a total population of 3.0 million with a free population of 2.4 million and 600,000 slaves in those states casting electoral votes in this election.
(c) Those states that did choose electors by popular vote had widely varying restrictions on suffrage via property requirements.

Electoral vote

Presidential Candidate Party Home State Popular Vote(a), (b), (c) Electoral Vote(d), (e), (f)
Count Percentage
George Washington (None) Virginia 38,818 100.0% 69
John Adams (Federalist) Massachusetts 34
John Jay (Federalist) New York 9
Robert H. Harrison (Federalist) Maryland 6
John Rutledge (Federalist) South Carolina 6
John Hancock (Federalist) Massachusetts 4
George Clinton (Anti-Federalist) New York 3
Samuel Huntington (Federalist) Connecticut 2
John Milton (Federalist) Georgia 2
James Armstrong(g) (Federalist) Georgia(g) 1
Benjamin Lincoln (Federalist) Massachusetts 1
Edward Telfair (Anti-Federalist) Georgia 1
Total 38,818 100.0% 138
Needed to win 35

Source: Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (July 30, 2005).

(a) Only 6 of the 10 states casting electoral votes chose electors by any form of popular vote.
(b) Less than 1.3% of the population voted: the 1790 Census would count a total population of 3.0 million with a free population of 2.4 million and 600,000 slaves in those states casting electoral votes in this election.
(c) Those states that did choose electors by popular vote had widely varying restrictions on suffrage via property requirements.
(d) The New York legislature failed to appoint its allotted 8 electors in time, so there were no voting electors from New York.
(e) Two electors from Maryland did not vote.
(f) One elector from Virginia did not vote and another elector from Virginia was not chosen because an election district failed to submit returns.
(g) The identity of this candidate comes from The Documentary History of the First Federal Elections (Gordon DenBoer (ed.), University of Wisconsin Press, 1984, p. 441). Several respected sources, including the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress and the Political Graveyard, instead show this individual to be James Armstrong of Pennsylvania. However, primary sources, such as the Senate Journal, list only Armstrong's name, not his state. Skeptics observe that Armstrong received his single vote from a Georgia elector. They find this improbable because Armstrong of Pennsylvania was not nationally famous—his public service to that date consisted of being a medical officer during the American Revolution and, at most, a single year as a Pennsylvania judge.

Breakdown by ticket

Presidential Candidate Running Mate Electoral Vote
George Washington John Adams 34
George Washington John Jay 9
George Washington Robert H. Harrison 6
George Washington John Rutledge 6
George Washington John Hancock 4
George Washington George Clinton 3
George Washington Samuel Huntington 2
George Washington John Milton 2
George Washington James Armstrong 1
George Washington Benjamin Lincoln 1
George Washington Edward Telfair 1

Electoral college selection [4]

Method of choosing Electors State(s)
each elector appointed by the state legislature - 5 states Connecticut
Georgia
New Jersey
New York (a)
South Carolina
  • two electors appointed by state legislature
  • each remaining elector chosen by state legislature from list of top two vote-getters in each congressional district
- 1 state
Massachusetts
each elector chosen by voters statewide; however, if no candidate wins majority, state legislature appoints elector from top two candidates - 1 state New Hampshire
state is divided into electoral districts, with one elector chosen per district by the voters of that district - 2 states Virginia (b)Delaware
electors chosen at large by voters - 2 states Maryland
Pennsylvania
state had not yet ratified the Constitution, so was not eligible to choose electors - 2 states North Carolina
Rhode Island

(a) New York's legislature deadlocked, so no electors were chosen.
(b) One electoral district failed to choose an elector.

See also

References

  1. ^ Election of 1789
  2. ^ Ellis, Founding the American Presidency, 1.
  3. ^ Ellis, Founding the American Presidency, 2.
  4. ^ [1]
Books
  • Ellis, Richard J. Founding the American Presidency. Rowman & Littlefield, 1999. ISBN 0847694992.
  • Jenson, Merrill, et al., eds. The Documentary History of the First Federal Elections, 1788–1790. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1976–1989. ISBN 0-299-06690-8.
Web sites

External links

Navigation


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message