George Washington

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George Washington was the first person to win the Electoral College and become president of the United States.

Elections[edit | edit source]

In the 1788-1789 election, voters (adult white male landowners) chose electors, who then cast votes for up to two candidates. Washington received a unanimous vote from every elector. The electors' 2nd votes were heavily split but John Adams won a plurality (34/69) and became Vice President.

Washington easily won re-election in 1792, and undoubtedly could have won a third term, but he famously chose to step down despite his popularity, a precedent-setting decision that was later enacted as the 22nd Amendment of the US Constitution.

Political Parties[edit | edit source]

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Washington opposed party politics. His wrote all about it in his farewell address. Washington died in 1799. Soon after his death (and following the defeat of incumbent President John Adams in the election of 1800), Alexander Hamilton emerged as the leader of the "Federalist" party. Thomas Jefferson (a staunch political opponent of Adams) emerged as the leader of the "Anti-Federalist" party. See United States#Political Eras for more on this topic.