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