Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Helene Harter

How George Washington was elected in his first Executive Functions? Part 3

By July 2, 1788, 9 States out of the 13 have ratified the Constitutional text.

On may 29, 1790, all the Stated signed on.

Between October 1787 and May 1788, Alexander Hamilton, James Mason and John Fray published 85 open letters in New York dailies to explain their conception of the executive federal function.

These letters are collected in The Federalist in the Spring of 1788 in order to interpret the Constitution of Federation.

For additional guarantees to individual freedom, 10 amendments are joined to the initial text, and by the end of 1791, the Federal Constitution goes into application.

It was George Washington that was in the mind of the delegates when they agreed on the presidential function and central power.

Born in 1732 in Virginia, Washington leads the local colony militia at the age of 22. He fought against the French during the European war of the 7 years.

The Continental Congress designate Washington as military chief as the battles with the British started.

With the aid of the French, the 13 colonies gained independence from England.

Washington was not famous as a military strategist but his competence was recognized.

At the end of the War for Independence, Washington put down the New-burgh mutiny and retired to his property in Mount Vernon.

Washington had already presided the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention and is highly qualified for the executive function.

The delegates had to work hard in order to convince Washington to accept to be a candidate.

The electoral process begins on the first Wednesday of January 1789. The legislature of each State designates its two candidates for the Presidency.

On the first Wednesday of the next month, the Grand Electors of each State select their choices. North Carolina, Rhode Island and New York didn’t participate in the election.

Among the 12 candidates are John Jay, John Adams and the governor of New York George Clinton.

The legislature election was done in January, but the voting on the President had to wait till April 6, 1789. Washington received 69 votes and in second place came John Adams with 34 and became the vice-president according to the Constitution.

Washington arrived to New York (the capital since 1785) on April 30, the Inauguration Day.

The ceremony of investiture is done in the Federal Hall at the angle of Wall Street and Broad street.

At noon, Robert Livingston, the chancellor of New York administers the Presidential oath.

This ceremony institutes two precedents that were not covered by the Constitution:

1. Washington swore with right hand on the Bible

2. And concludes “May God assists me

Washington’s inaugural speech was the shortest in history, and then they converge to St. Paul Church for mass.

Next post will cover how Washington transformed the executive functions and added by filling loopholes and gaps in the initial Constitution

Note 1: Read part 2 on power of Executive function https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/initial-constitutional-text-on-the-usa-presidential-institutionpart-2/

Note 2: Read “Les Presidents Americains” by Andre Kaspi and Helene Harter

History of The USA Presidential Institution…

In August 1786, Daniel Shays, a retired officer, lead a revolt of the debtors in Massachusetts in order to block actions of the creditors in courts. The proprietors, rich elite classes and politicians who defended the concept of public order were terribly worried of this turn of events.

What to do in periods of crisis, economic and foreign wars on the US territory?

Since May 1775, before independence, delegates from the 13 colonies took residence in Philadelphia and voted for the Declaration of Independence.

In Nov. 15, 1777, the same delegates adopted the Articles of Confederation and the North-West ordinance of 1787 related to colonization of territories westwards. These articles were applied on March 1781.

During the Confederation status, the power resided in a unicameral legislative body (printing money, naming military chiefs, voting laws and regulating justice differences among the States…)

This legislative body Congress was assisted by 3 departments: Finance, war, and foreign affairs and presided by an honorific President. When not in session, a counsel of States took care of the general affairs of the Confederation.

With the exception of Rhode Island, all 12 States dispatched representatives to Philadelphia on May 25, 1787.

A third of the delegates have fought in the independence war. Most of them were educated, had experience public affairs and were financially comfortable (proprietors of vast land and slaves). These delegates were later named “The Founding Fathers

They discussed for weeks and reached an agreement on Sept. 17, 1787 on a project that replaced the Confederation with articles of Federation and a centralized power. The power resides in the people and includes 3 separate powers: Legislative, Executive and Judiciary.

The project for discussion was conceived by the delegates of Virginia and the notes taken by James Madison were published in 1840 after his death.

The hardest of issues was the level of power attributed to the President: The southern States wanted a weak executive in order to preserve “individual freedom” and keep at bay tyrannical and monarchic tendencies… Thomas Jefferson was leading this group who apprehended the encroachment of the central power on the Rights of the States.

Alexander Hamilton in daily The Federalist pressed for a strong Executive: “A powerful executive which is the essential condition for good governance with a substantial budget to run the interest of the country facing powerful European nations…”

A third group of delegates offered the alternative of Collegiate Executive, emulating the model in Switzerland, where the authority is diluted in the name of liberties.

Mind you that 25% of the Constitutional text were dedicated to the Congress for just 5% to the executive. This means, the Founding Father gave Congress priority in the Constitution which initially had the power to vote on laws, taxing, declaring war, external commerce…

Slowly but surely, the first strong presidents (mainly George Washington and the third president Thomas Jefferson) implicitly encroached on the power of Congress when not in session under various excuses related to “time of crisis” and many loopholes not covered in the initial Constitutional text.

During a full century, most Presidents were of the weaker kinds in exercising their power because Congress took over the selection of the candidates.

The next post will discuss the power of the executive and the selection process as defined by the first Constitutional text

Note 1: Story taken from the French book “Les Presidents Americains” by Andre Kaspi and Helene Harter

Note 2: At the time of independence in July 4, 1776, the colonies had barely 4 million. Virginia was the most populous and richest of the 13 colonies. Massachusetts  was the second most influential in political clout and followed by New York. The other colonies were: Delaware, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Connecticut, Rhode Island.

Note 3: By 1800, the 13 States had 300 dailies that constituted the main media to promote ideas, programs, political positions and candidates for the presidency and Senate. A little over 67,000 popular votes were expressed during the election of the Grand Electors.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

September 2020
M T W T F S S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Blog Stats

  • 1,416,154 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 767 other followers

%d bloggers like this: