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Encyclopedia > U.S. presidential election, 1789
Presidential electoral votes by state.
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Presidential electoral votes by state.

The U.S. presidential election of 1789 was the first presidential election in the United States of America. Prior to the adoption of the United States Constitution in 1789, the United States had no office of President. (While there was an office under the Articles of Confederation called the President of the United States in Congress Assembled, it was the chair of the Congress and was akin to the Speaker of the House or the President of the Senate.) Image File history File links Download high resolution version (674x635, 58 KB) This map was obtained from an edition of the National Atlas of the United States. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (674x635, 58 KB) This map was obtained from an edition of the National Atlas of the United States. ... The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. ... 1789 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... The Articles of Confederation The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, commonly known as the Articles of Confederation, formed the first governing document of the United States of America. ... The President of the Continental Congress was the presiding officer of the Continental Congress elected by the delegates to the congress. ... A congress is a gathering of people, especially a gathering for a political purpose. ... Dennis Hastert, the current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. ... The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest executive official of the United States government, the person who, in the words of Adlai Stevenson, is a heartbeat from the presidency. ...


For all intents and purposes, George Washington ran unopposed for election as President. Under the system then in place, each voting elector cast two votes, and the recipient of the greatest number of votes was elected President, providing they equaled or exceeded half the total number of electors. The runner-up became Vice President. (See Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution for a fuller description of the pre-12th Amendment electoral system.) George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the successful Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and later became the first President of the United States, an office to which he was elected, unanimously, twice (1789-1797). ... The President of the United States (often abbreviated POTUS) is the head of state of the United States. ... The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest executive official of the United States government, the person who, in the words of Adlai Stevenson, is a heartbeat from the presidency. ... The Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution altered Article II pertaining to presidential elections. ...


The recipient of 34 electoral votes, John Adams of Massachusetts, finished second in voting and as such was elected Vice President of the United States. John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was the first (1789–1797) Vice President of the United States, and the second (1797–1801) President of the United States. ... Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 44th 10,555 mi²; 27,360 km² 183 mi; 295 km 113 mi; 182 km 13. ... The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest executive official of the United States government, the person who, in the words of Adlai Stevenson, is a heartbeat from the presidency. ...

Contents


General election

In the absence of parties, there was no formal nomination process. The framers of Constitution had presumed that Washington would be the first President, and once he agreed to come out of retirement to accept the office, there was no opposition to him. Individual states chose their electors, who voted en bloc for Washington when they met.


Electors used their second vote to cast a scattering of votes, many voting for someone besides Adams less out of opposition to him than to prevent Adams from matching Washington's total.


New York failed to appoint its allotment of eight electors, and subsequently cast no electoral votes. North Carolina and Rhode Island also did not cast votes, as they had not yet ratified the United States Constitution. Official language(s) English Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 27th 141,205 km² 455 km 530 km 13. ... Official language(s) English Capital Raleigh Largest city Charlotte Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 28th 139,509 km² 805 km 240 km 9. ... Official language(s) None Capital Providence Largest city Providence Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 50th 4,005 km² 50 km 65 km 32. ... The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. ...


Results

Presidential Candidate Party Home State Popular Vote(a) Electoral Vote(b), (c), (d)
Count Percentage
George Washington (none) Virginia 69
John Adams (none) Massachusetts 34
John Jay (none) New York 9
Robert H. Harrison (none) Maryland 6
John Rutledge (none) South Carolina 6
John Hancock (none) Massachusetts 4
George Clinton (none) New York 3
Samuel Huntington (none) Connecticut 2
John Milton (none) Georgia 2
James Armstrong (none) Pennsylvania 1
Benjamin Lincoln (none) Massachusetts 1
Edward Telfair (none) Georgia 1
Total 100.0% 138
Needed to win 35

Source (Electoral Vote): Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (July 30, 2005). George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the successful Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and later became the first President of the United States, an office to which he was elected, unanimously, twice (1789-1797). ... Official language(s) English Capital Richmond Largest city Virginia Beach Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 35th 110,862 km² 320 km 690 km 7. ... John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was the first (1789–1797) Vice President of the United States, and the second (1797–1801) President of the United States. ... Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 44th 10,555 mi²; 27,360 km² 183 mi; 295 km 113 mi; 182 km 13. ... John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American politician, statesman, revolutionary, diplomat and jurist. ... Official language(s) English Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 27th 141,205 km² 455 km 530 km 13. ... The Hon. ... Official language(s) None Capital Annapolis Largest city Baltimore Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 42nd 32,160 km² 145 km 400 km 21 37°53N to 39°43N 75°4W to 79°33W Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 19th 5,296,486 165... John Rutledge (September 17, 1739-July 18, 1800) was Governor of South Carolina, delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and served on the U.S. Supreme Court (Chief Justice from August to December 1795). ... State nickname: Palmetto State Official languages English Capital Columbia Largest city Columbia Governor Mark Sanford (R) Senators Lindsey Graham (R) Jim DeMint (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 40th 82,965 km² 6 Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 26th 4,012,012 51. ... Portrait of Hancock (full portrait) Hancocks signature on the United States Declaration of Independence John Hancock (January 12, 1737 (O.S.) – October 8, 1793 (N.S.)) was President of the Second Continental Congress and of the Congress of the Confederation; first Governor of Massachusetts; and the first person to... Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 44th 10,555 mi²; 27,360 km² 183 mi; 295 km 113 mi; 182 km 13. ... This page is for the Vice President George Clinton. ... Official language(s) English Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 27th 141,205 km² 455 km 530 km 13. ... Samuel Huntington (July 16, 1731–January 5, 1796) was an American jurist, statesman, and revolutionary leader from Connecticut. ... Official language(s) English Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 48th 14,371 km² 113 km 177 km 12. ... John Milton (April 20, 1807–April 1, 1865) was an American politician who was the fifth governor of Florida. ... James Armstrong (August 29, 1748– May 6, 1828) was an American physician and politician from Carlisle, Pennsylvania. ... Official language(s) None Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 33rd 119,283 km² 255 km 455 km 2. ... Benjamin Lincoln ( 1733– 1810) was a General on the American side in the American Revolutionary War. ... Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 44th 10,555 mi²; 27,360 km² 183 mi; 295 km 113 mi; 182 km 13. ... Edward Telfair (1735– September 17, 1807) was governor of the state of Georgia in 1786 and 1790-1793. ... July 30 is the 211th day (212th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 154 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


(a) The popular vote is not tabulated because (1) only 6 of the 10 states casting electoral votes chose electors by any form of popular vote and (2) pre-Twelfth Amendment electoral vote rules obscure the intentions of the voters.
(b) The New York legislature failed to appoint its allotted 8 electors in time, so there were no voting electors from New York.
(c) Two electors from Maryland did not vote.
(d) One elector from Virginia did not vote and another elector from Virginia was not chosen because an election district failed to submit returns.


Breakdown by ticket

Presidential Candidate Running Mate Electoral Vote
George Washington John Adams 34
George Washington John Jay 9
George Washington Robert H. Harrison 6
George Washington John Rutledge 6
George Washington John Hancock 4
George Washington George Clinton 3
George Washington Samuel Huntington 2
George Washington John Milton 2
George Washington James Armstrong 1
George Washington Benjamin Lincoln 1
George Washington Edward Telfair 1

George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the successful Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and later became the first President of the United States, an office to which he was elected, unanimously, twice (1789-1797). ... John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was the first (1789–1797) Vice President of the United States, and the second (1797–1801) President of the United States. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the successful Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and later became the first President of the United States, an office to which he was elected, unanimously, twice (1789-1797). ... John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American politician, statesman, revolutionary, diplomat and jurist. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the successful Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and later became the first President of the United States, an office to which he was elected, unanimously, twice (1789-1797). ... The Hon. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the successful Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and later became the first President of the United States, an office to which he was elected, unanimously, twice (1789-1797). ... John Rutledge (September 17, 1739-July 18, 1800) was Governor of South Carolina, delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and served on the U.S. Supreme Court (Chief Justice from August to December 1795). ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the successful Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and later became the first President of the United States, an office to which he was elected, unanimously, twice (1789-1797). ... Portrait of Hancock (full portrait) Hancocks signature on the United States Declaration of Independence John Hancock (January 12, 1737 (O.S.) – October 8, 1793 (N.S.)) was President of the Second Continental Congress and of the Congress of the Confederation; first Governor of Massachusetts; and the first person to... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the successful Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and later became the first President of the United States, an office to which he was elected, unanimously, twice (1789-1797). ... This page is for the Vice President George Clinton. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the successful Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and later became the first President of the United States, an office to which he was elected, unanimously, twice (1789-1797). ... Samuel Huntington (July 16, 1731–January 5, 1796) was an American jurist, statesman, and revolutionary leader from Connecticut. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the successful Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and later became the first President of the United States, an office to which he was elected, unanimously, twice (1789-1797). ... John Milton (April 20, 1807–April 1, 1865) was an American politician who was the fifth governor of Florida. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the successful Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and later became the first President of the United States, an office to which he was elected, unanimously, twice (1789-1797). ... Commodore James Armstrong (17 January 1794 – 27 August 1868) was an officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the successful Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and later became the first President of the United States, an office to which he was elected, unanimously, twice (1789-1797). ... Benjamin Lincoln ( 1733– 1810) was a General on the American side in the American Revolutionary War. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the successful Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and later became the first President of the United States, an office to which he was elected, unanimously, twice (1789-1797). ... Edward Telfair (1735– September 17, 1807) was governor of the state of Georgia in 1786 and 1790-1793. ...

Electoral college selection

Method of choosing Electors State(s)
each elector appointed by the state legislature Connecticut
Georgia
New Jersey
New York (a)
South Carolina
each elector chosen by voters statewide Maryland
Pennsylvania
each elector chosen by voters statewide; however, each voter only allowed to pick one candidate and top three vote-getters become electors Delaware
  • two electors appointed by state legislature
  • each remaining elector chosen by state legislature from list of top two vote-getters in each congressional district
Massachusetts
each elector chosen by voters statewide; however, if no candidate wins majority, state legislature appoints elector from top two candidates New Hampshire
state is divided into electoral districts, with one elector chosen per district by the voters of that district Virginia (b)

(a) New York's legislature deadlocked, so no electors were chosen.
(b) One electoral district failed to chose an elector. Official language(s) English Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 48th 14,371 km² 113 km 177 km 12. ... Official language(s) None defined, English de facto Capital Trenton Largest city Newark Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 47th 22,608 km² 110 km 240 km 14. ... Official language(s) English Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 27th 141,205 km² 455 km 530 km 13. ... State nickname: Palmetto State Official languages English Capital Columbia Largest city Columbia Governor Mark Sanford (R) Senators Lindsey Graham (R) Jim DeMint (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 40th 82,965 km² 6 Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 26th 4,012,012 51. ... Official language(s) None Capital Annapolis Largest city Baltimore Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 42nd 32,160 km² 145 km 400 km 21 37°53N to 39°43N 75°4W to 79°33W Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 19th 5,296,486 165... Official language(s) None Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 33rd 119,283 km² 255 km 455 km 2. ... Official language(s) None Capital Dover Largest city Wilmington Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 49th 6,452 km² 48 km 161 km 21. ... Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 44th 10,555 mi²; 27,360 km² 183 mi; 295 km 113 mi; 182 km 13. ... Official language(s) English Capital Concord Largest city Manchester Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 46th 24,239 km² 110 km 305 km 3. ... Official language(s) English Capital Richmond Largest city Virginia Beach Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 35th 110,862 km² 320 km 690 km 7. ...


References

Books
  • Jenson, Merrill, et al., eds. (1976 – 1989). The Documentary History of the First Federal Elections, 1788–1790, Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0299066908.
Web sites

May 4 is the 124th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (125th in leap years). ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... February 17 is the 48th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

United States Presidential Elections

1789–1844: 1789 | 1792 | 1796 | 1800 | 1804 | 1808 | 1812 | 1816 | 1820 | 1824 | 1828 | 1832 | 1836 | 1840 | 1844
1848–1904: 1848 | 1852 | 1856 | 1860 | 1864 | 1868 | 1872 | 1876 | 1880 | 1884 | 1888 | 1892 | 1896 | 1900 | 1904
1908–1964: 1908 | 1912 | 1916 | 1920 | 1924 | 1928 | 1932 | 1936 | 1940 | 1944 | 1948 | 1952 | 1956 | 1960 | 1964
1968–2008: 1968 | 1972 | 1976 | 1980 | 1984 | 1988 | 1992 | 1996 | 2000 | 2004 | future: 2008
This article covers the History of the United States from 1789 through 1849. ... It has been suggested that List of members of the first U.S. Senate be merged into this article or section. ... United States presidential elections determine who serves as President and Vice President of the United States for four-year terms, starting on Inauguration Day (January 20th of the year after the election). ... Presidential electoral votes by state The U.S. presidential election of 1792 was the second presidential election in the United States, and the first in which each of the original 13 states appointed electors (in addition to newly added states Kentucky and Vermont). ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state The U.S. presidential election of 1804 was the first presidential election conducted following the ratification of the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution. ... The election of 1808 was the first of only two cases where a new President would be elected, but the Vice Presidency remained in the same hands. ... Summary Taking place in the shadow of the War of 1812, the election of 1812 featured an intriguing competition between incumbent President James Madison and the nephew of his former Vice President, DeWitt Clinton (uncle George Clinton had died in office). ... Summary As Secretary of State under James Madison, James Monroe was seen by many as pre-ordained to succeed him into the presidency. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Summary President James Polk, having achieved virtually all of his objectives in one term and suffering from declining health that would take his life less than four months after leaving office, chose not to seek re-election. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Summary Keeping a promise made during the 1876 campaign, incumbent President Rutherford Hayes did not seek re-election. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Summary The election was held on November 6, 1900. ... Summary The election was held on November 8, 1904. ... Major party conventions The 1908 Republican Convention was held in Chicago from 16 June to 19 June. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Electoral College results In 1916, Europe was embroiled in World War I. American sentiment leaned towards the Allied Powers due to the occupation of parts of France and Belgium by the German Empire, but most American voters wanted to avoid involvement in the war, and preferred a policy of strict... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Introduction Incumbent President Coolidge was relatively popular, and the economy was booming. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... The election was held on November 8, 1988. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential election results map. ... Presidential electoral votes by state The U.S. presidential election of 2008 is scheduled to occur on November 4, 2008. ...


 
 

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