President Washington Reading with Questions | Student Handouts
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President Washington

President Washington - American History reading with questions for high school (PDF file).One of the last acts of the Congress of the Confederation was to arrange for the first presidential election, setting March 4, 1789, as the date that the new government would come into being. One name was on everyone's lips for the new chief of state – George Washington.  He was unanimously chosen president and took the oath of office at his inauguration on April 30, 1789. In words spoken by every president since, Washington pledged to execute the duties of the presidency faithfully and, to the best of his ability, to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

When Washington took office, the new Constitution enjoyed neither tradition nor the full backing of organized public opinion.  The new government had to create its own machinery and legislate a system of taxation that would support it. Until a judiciary could be established, laws could not be enforced. The army was small. The navy had ceased to exist...

Questions with answers in bold:

1. Who served as the first President of the United States?
George Washington
2. Who served as the first Secretary of State?
Thomas Jefferson
3. Who served as the first Secretary of the Treasury?
Alexander Hamilton
4. The _____ consists of the heads of all the departments created by Congress.
a. Cabinet
b. Senate
c. State Department
d. Supreme Court
5. What major historical period was beginning at the same time that the United States came into existence?
a. Enlightenment
b. Industrial Revolution
c. Renaissance
d. Scientific Revolution
6. Which new state was not admitted during Washington’s presidency?
a. Kentucky
b. Ohio
c. Tennessee
d. Vermont
7. In his _____ Address, George Washington warned the nation to “steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.”
a. Farewell
b. Inaugural
c. Resignation
d. State of the Union

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Text courtesy of the U.S. State Department, Bureau of International Information Programs, 2005