EACH of the thirteen original States having duly accepted the Federal Constitution, it was ratified by Congress, and went into operation in 1789. At this time public opinion pointed unmistakably to General Washington as the first President of the new republic. The first Wednesday of January, 1789, was set apart for the choice of presidential electors in each of the States by the voters thereof; the first Wednesday of February, 1789, was fixed upon for the selection of a President by the chosen electors, and the first Wednesday of March, 1789, as the date when the new administration of governmental affairs should commence operations.

The first Congress of the Federal Union met without a quorum in the House of Representatives, and did not organize until March 30, 1789, nor did the Senate convene until April 6, following, at which time presidential ballots were counted. All the States, except New York (which neglected, through indifference, to hold an election), had chosen presidential electors, and Washington was their unanimous choice for President, receiving sixty-nine votes, while John Adams, having received thirty-four votes, was declared Vice-President.

April 30, 1789, the new executive officers were publicly inaugurated at the City Hall, in New York; and thus the Republic began its long career of prosperity, with a government as complete as that of either Great Britain or France.