United States elections, 1789

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Factional control of Congress and the presidency
Incoming faction
President Independent
House Pro-Administration
Senate Pro-Administration

The 1789 United States elections elected the members of the 1st United States Congress. It was the first general election since the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788, and it elected the first President and the first members of Congress. Formal political parties did not exist, as the leading politicians of the day largely distrusted the idea of "factions." However, Congress would become broadly divided by the economic policies of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, with the Pro-Administration faction supporting those policies. Opposing them was the Anti-Administration faction, which saw a smaller role for the federal government.[1] North Carolina and Rhode Island did not take part in the presidential election, as they had not yet ratified the Constitution, while a deadlocked legislature prevented New York from appointing its electors.

General George Washington won the presidency without any major opposition.[2] As the runner-up in the electoral college, John Adams was elected vice president. Fearing an electoral college tie that could end with Adams winning the Presidency, Alexander Hamilton arranged for several electors to vote for other candidates, including John Jay, who finished with the third most electoral votes.[3]

The Pro-Administration faction won majorities in both houses of Congress.[4][5]

See also


  1. ^ Reichley, A. James (2000). The Life of the Parties (Paperback ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 29–30. 
  2. ^ "1789 Presidential Election". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Presidential elections". History.com. History Channel. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Party Divisions of the House of Representatives". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "Party Division in the Senate, 1789-Present". United States Senate. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 

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