A School History of the United States eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 507 pages of information about A School History of the United States.

[Illustration:  G Washington]

%184.  The First Inauguration.%—­As soon as Washington received the news of his election, he left Mount Vernon and started for New York.  His journey was one continuous triumphal march.  The population of every town through which he passed turned out to meet him.  Men, women, and children stood for hours by the roadside waiting for him to go by.  At New York his reception was most imposing, and there, on April 30, 1789, standing on the balcony in front of Federal Hall (p. 171), he took the oath of office in the presence of Congress and a great multitude of people that filled the streets, and crowded the windows, and sat on the roofs of the neighboring houses.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Full accounts of the inauguration of Washington may be found in Harper’s Magazine, and also in the Century Magazine, for April, 1889.]


1.  When independence was about decided on, Congress appointed a committee to draft a general plan of federal government.

2.  This plan, called Articles of Confederation, Maryland absolutely refused to ratify till the states claiming land west of the Alleghany Mountains ceded their claims to Congress.

3.  New York and Virginia having ceded their claims, Maryland ratified in March, 1781.

4.  These cessions were followed by others from Massachusetts and Connecticut; and from them all, Congress formed the public domain to be sold to pay the debt.

5.  The sale of this land led to the land ordinance of 1785 and the ordinance of 1787, for the government of the domain and the new political organism called the territory.

6.  The defects of the Articles made revision necessary, and produced such distress that two conventions were called to consider the state of the country.  That at Annapolis attempted nothing.  That at Philadelphia framed the Constitution of the United States.

7.  The Constitution was then passed to the Continental Congress, which sent it to the legislatures of the states to be by them referred to conventions elected by the people for acceptance or rejection.

8.  Eleven having ratified, Congress in 1788 fixed a day in 1789 (which happened to be March 4), when the First Congress under the Constitution was to assemble.

9.  The date of the first presidential election was also fixed, and George Washington was made our first President.

1776.  New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode
The Colonies adopt | Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Constitutions and —­| Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North become States. | Carolina, South Carolina.
|1777.  New York, Georgia.
\1780.  Massachusetts.

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A School History of the United States from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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