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Không ǵ nguy hiểm hơn bạn bè ngu dốt; tôi thà có kẻ thù khôn.

Nothing is as dangerous as an ignorant friend; a wise enemy is to be preferred.

La Fontaine

John Hanson

President of the Continental Congress


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other people named John Hanson, see John Hanson (disambiguation).

John Hanson



John Hanson Portrait 1770.jpg

Portrait of Hanson attributed to John Hesselius, c. late 1760s

President of the Continental Congress

In office

November 5, 1781 – November 3, 1782

Preceded by      Thomas McKean

Succeeded by    Elias Boudinot

Personal details

Born      April 14, 1721

near Port Tobacco, Province of Maryland

Died       November 15, 1783 (aged 62)

Prince George's County, Maryland

Occupation         merchant



John Hanson (April 14 [O.S. April 3] 1721 – November 15, 1783) was a merchant and public official from Maryland during the era of the American Revolution. After serving in a variety of roles for the Patriot cause in Maryland, in 1779 Hanson was elected as a delegate to the Continental Congress. He signed the Articles of Confederation in 1781 after Maryland finally joined the other states in ratifying them.


In November 1781, he was elected President of the Continental Congress, and became the first president to serve a one-year term under the provisions of the Articles of Confederation. While George Washington is universally recognized by historians as the first President of the United States formed under the United States Constitution, some biographies of Hanson have made the unconventional argument that Hanson was the first holder of the office.[1][2]


Contents  [hide]

1 Early life

2 Political career

2.1 President of Congress

3 Death and legacy

4 References

5 Bibliography

6 External links

Early life[edit]

John Hanson was born in Port Tobacco Parish in Charles County in the Province of Maryland on April 3, 1721,[1][3] which in the modern calendar system is equivalent to April 14. Sources published prior to a 1940 genealogical study[4] sometimes listed his birth date as April 13[5] or his year of birth as 1715.[6]


Hanson was born on a plantation called "Mulberry Grove" into a wealthy and prominent family.[7] His parents were Samuel (c. 1685–1740) and Elizabeth (Storey) Hanson (c. 1688–1764).[3] Samuel Hanson was a planter who owned more than 1,000 acres (4.0 km2),[1] and held a variety of political offices, including serving two terms in the Maryland General Assembly.[5]


John Hanson was of English ancestry; his grandfather, also named John, came to Charles County, Maryland, as an indentured servant around 1661.[8] In 1876, a writer named George Hanson placed John Hanson in his family tree of Swedish-Americans descended from four Swedish brothers who emigrated to New Sweden in 1642.[8][9] This story was often repeated over the next century, but scholarly research in the late 20th century showed that John Hanson was of English heritage and not related to those Swedish-American Hansons.[8][10]


Little is known about Hanson's early life; he was presumably privately tutored as was customary among the gentry of his time and place.[11] He followed his father's path as a planter, slave owner, and public official. He was often referred to as John Hanson, Jr., to distinguish him from an older man of the same name. About 1744 he married Jane Contee (1728–1812), with whom he would have eight children.[1][3] Their son Peter Contee Hanson (1758–1776)[3] died in the battle of Fort Washington during the American Revolutionary War. Their oldest son Alexander Contee Hanson, Sr. (1749–1806) was a notable essayist.[12] Alexander Hanson is sometimes confused with his son, Alexander Contee Hanson, Jr. (1786–1819), who became a newspaper editor and US Senator.


Political career[edit]

Hanson's career in public service began in 1750, when he was appointed sheriff of Charles County.[1] In 1757 he was elected to represent Charles County in the lower house of the Maryland General Assembly, where he served over the next twelve years, sitting on many important committees.[1] Maryland was a proprietary colony, and Hanson aligned himself with the "popular" or "country" party, which opposed any expansion of the power of the proprietary governors at the expense of the popularly elected lower house. He was a leading opponent of the 1765 Stamp Act, chairing the committee that drafted the instructions for Maryland's delegates to the Stamp Act Congress. In protest of the Townshend Acts, in 1769 Hanson was one of the signers of a nonimportation resolution that boycotted British imports until the acts were repealed.[1]



Etching of Hanson based on a portrait by Charles Willson Peale that was painted from life in 1781–1782[13]

Hanson changed course in 1769, apparently to better pursue his business interests. He resigned from the General Assembly, sold his land in Charles County, and moved to Frederick County in western Maryland. There he held a variety of offices, including deputy surveyor, sheriff, and county treasurer.[1][3]


When relations between Great Britain and the colonies became a crisis in 1774, Hanson became one of Frederick County's leading Patriots. He chaired a town meeting that passed a resolution opposing the Boston Port Act.[1] In 1775, he was a delegate to the Maryland Convention, an extralegal body convened after the colonial assembly had been prorogued. With the other delegates, he signed the Association of Freemen on July 26, 1775, which expressed hope for reconciliation with Great Britain, but also called for military resistance to enforcement of the Coercive Acts.[5]


With hostilities underway, Hanson chaired the Frederick County committee of observation, part of the Patriot organization that assumed control of local governance. Responsible for recruiting and arming soldiers, Hanson proved to be an excellent organizer, and Frederick County sent the first southern troops to join George Washington's army.[1][14] Because funds were scarce, Hanson frequently paid soldiers and others with his own money.[15] In June 1776, Hanson chaired the Frederick County meeting that urged provincial leaders in Annapolis to instruct Maryland's delegates in the Continental Congress to declare independence from Great Britain.[16] While Congress worked on the Declaration of Independence, Hanson was in Frederick County "making gunlocks, storing powder, guarding prisoners, raising money and troops, dealing with Tories, and doing the myriad other tasks which went with being chairman of the committee of observation".[16]


Hanson was elected to the newly reformed Maryland House of Delegates in 1777, the first of five annual terms.[1] In December 1779, the House of Delegates named Hanson as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress; he began serving in Congress in Philadelphia in June 1780.[17][3] "Hanson came to Philadelphia with the reputation of having been the leading financier of the revolution in western Maryland, and soon he was a member of several committees dealing with finance."[17]


When Hanson was elected to Congress, Maryland was holding up the ratification of the Articles of Confederation. The state, which did not have any claims on western land, refused to ratify the Articles until the other states had ceded their western land claims.[18] When the other states finally did so, the Maryland legislature decided in January 1781 to ratify the Articles.[17] When Congress received notice of this, Hanson joined Daniel Carroll in signing the Articles of Confederation on behalf of Maryland on March 1, 1781. With Maryland's endorsement, the Articles officially went into effect.[17] Many years later, some Hanson biographers claimed that Hanson had been instrumental in arranging the compromise and thus securing ratification of the Articles, but, according to historian Ralph Levering, there is no documentary evidence of Hanson's opinions or actions in resolving the controversy.[17]


President of Congress[edit]

On November 5, 1781, Congress elected Hanson as president of the Continental Congress [3] (or "president of the Congress of the Confederacy"[5] or "president of Congress"[3]). Under the Articles of Confederation, the United States had no executive branch; the president of Congress was a mostly ceremonial position, but the office did require Hanson to handle a good deal of correspondence and sign official documents.[19] Hanson found the work tedious and considered resigning after just one week, citing his poor health and family responsibilities.[3] Colleagues urged him to remain because Congress at the moment lacked a quorum to choose a successor.[3] Out of a sense of duty, Hanson remained in office, [1][20] although his term as a delegate to Congress was nearly expired. The Maryland Assembly reelected him as a delegate on November 28, 1781, and so Hanson continued to serve as president until November 4, 1782.[3]


The Articles of Confederation stipulated that presidents of Congress serve one-year terms, and Hanson became the first president to do so.[1][21] [22] Contrary to the claims of some of his later advocates, however, he was not the first president to serve under the Articles, nor the first to be elected under the Articles.[23] When the Articles went into effect in March 1781, Congress did not bother to elect a new president; instead, Samuel Huntington continued serving a term that had already exceeded a year.[24] On July 9, 1781, Samuel Johnston became the first man to be elected as president of Congress after the ratification of the Articles.[25] He declined the office, however, perhaps to make himself available for North Carolina's gubernatorial election.[26] After Johnston turned down the office, Thomas McKean was elected.[27][24] McKean served just a few months, resigning in October 1781 after hearing news of the British surrender at Yorktown. Congress asked him to remain in office until November, when a new session of Congress was scheduled to begin.[21] It was in that session that Hanson began to serve his one-year term. A highlight of Hanson's term was when George Washington presented Cornwallis's sword to Congress.[28]


In 1781, during Hanson's presidency, Ned Barnes, one of Hanson's slaves, ran away. Hanson published an advertisement in the Maryland Gazette, offering a $30 reward for Barnes' recapture. Barnes was recaptured, but he stole a horse and ran off again to be with his wife, who lived on a plantation in Charles County, Maryland.[29] Hanson gave up on getting Barnes back and instead sold him to the plantation to which he had escaped.[30]


Death and legacy[edit]

Hanson retired from public office after his one-year term as president of Congress. In poor health, he died on November 15, 1783,[1] while visiting Oxon Hill Manor in Prince George's County, Maryland, the plantation of his nephew Thomas Hawkins Hanson. He was buried there.[3] Hanson owned at least 223 acres of land and 11 slaves at the time of his death.[3]



The bronze statue of Hanson in the National Statuary Hall Collection


In 1898, Douglas H. Thomas, a descendant of Hanson, wrote a biography promoting Hanson as the first true President of the United States. Thomas became the "driving force"[31] behind the selection of Hanson as one of the two people who would represent Maryland in the National Statuary Hall Collection in Washington, D.C.[31][1] Hanson was not initially on the shortlist for consideration, but he was chosen after lobbying by the Maryland Historical Society.[32] In 1903, bronze statues of Hanson and Charles Carroll by sculptor Richard E. Brooks were added to Statuary Hall; Hanson's is currently located on the 2nd floor of the Senate connecting corridor.[33] Small versions of these two statues (maquettes) sit on the president's desk in the Senate Chamber of the Maryland State House.[34]


Some historians have questioned the appropriateness of Hanson's selection for the honor of representing Maryland in Statuary Hall. According to historian Gregory Stiverson, Hanson was not one of Maryland's foremost leaders of the Revolutionary era.[1] In 1975, historian Ralph Levering said that "Hanson shouldn't have been one of the two Marylanders" chosen,[31] but he wrote that Hanson "probably contributed as much as any other Marylander to the success of the American Revolution".[35] In the 21st century, Maryland lawmakers have considered replacing Hanson's statue in Statuary Hall with one of Harriet Tubman.[32][36]


The idea that Hanson was the forgotten first President of the United States was further promoted in a 1932 biography of Hanson by journalist Seymour Wemyss Smith.[37] Smith's book asserted that the American Revolution had two primary leaders: George Washington on the battlefield, and John Hanson in politics.[38] Smith's book, like Douglas H. Thomas's 1898 book, was one of a number of biographies written seeking to promote Hanson as the "first President of the United States".[2] Regarding the opinion, historian Ralph Levering stated "They're not biographies by professional historians; they aren't based on research into primary sources".[31] According to historian Richard B. Morris, if a president of Congress were to be called the first President of the United States, "a stronger case could be made for Peyton Randolph of Virginia, the first President of the first and second Continental Congresses, or for John Hancock, the President of Congress when that body declared its independence."[23] The claim that Hanson was a forgotten President of the United States was revived on the Internet, sometimes with a new assertion that he was actually a black man; an anachronistic photograph of Senator John Hanson of Liberia has been used to support this claim.[39]




John Hanson memorial statue at Frederick, Maryland courthouse


In 1972, Hanson was depicted on a 6-cent US postal card, which featured his name and portrait next to the word "Patriot".[40] Historian Irving Brant criticized the selection of Hanson for the card, arguing that it was a result of the "old hoax" promoting Hanson as the first president of the United States.[41] In 1981, Hanson was featured on a 20-cent US postage stamp.[42] U.S. Route 50 between Washington D.C. and Annapolis is named the John Hanson Highway in his honor. There are also middle schools located in Oxon Hill, Maryland, and Waldorf, Maryland, named after him. A former savings bank named for him was merged in the 1990s with Industrial Bank of Washington, D.C.


In the 1970s, a descendant of Hanson, John Hanson Briscoe, served as Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, which passed "a measure establishing April 14 as John Hanson Day".[36] In 2009 the John Hanson Memorial Association was incorporated in Frederick, Maryland to create the John Hanson National Memorial and to both educate Americans about Hanson as well as counter the many myths written about him. The Memorial includes a statue of President John Hanson and an interpretive setting in Frederick, Maryland, where Hanson lived between 1769 and his death in 1783. The Memorial is in the Frederick County Courthouse's courtyard at the corner of Court and West Patrick Streets. Leaders of the Memorial include President Peter Hanson Michael, Vice President Robert Hanson and Directors John Hanson Briscoe and John C. Hanson.



^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Stiverson 2000.

^ Jump up to: a b Levering 1976, p. 127n53. "[A]ll biographies of Hanson have been written a) by writers who were not professional historians, and b) to describe the life and times of the 'first President of the United States.'"

^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m Papenfuse 1979.

Jump up ^ Newman 1970.

^ Jump up to: a b c d Mereness 1932.

Jump up ^ Hanson 1876, p. 125.

Jump up ^ Levering 1976, p. 113.

^ Jump up to: a b c Winquist & Rousselow-Winquist 2006, pp. 24–25.

Jump up ^ Hanson 1876, p. 127.

Jump up ^ Russel 1988.

Jump up ^ Levering 1976, p. 114.

Jump up ^ Chaney 2000.

Jump up ^ Fanelli & Diethorn 2001, p. 158.

Jump up ^ Levering 1976, p. 121.

Jump up ^ Levering 1976, p. 122.

^ Jump up to: a b Levering 1976, p. 124.

^ Jump up to: a b c d e Levering 1976, p. 127.

Jump up ^ Levering 1976, p. 126–27.

Jump up ^ Wilson 1994, pp. 76–80.

Jump up ^ Levering 1976, p. 130.

^ Jump up to: a b Burnett 1941, p. 524.

Jump up ^ Sanders 1930, p. 24.

^ Jump up to: a b Morris 1987, p. 677.

^ Jump up to: a b Burnett 1941, p. 503.

Jump up ^ Sanders 1930, p. 21n73.

Jump up ^ Sanders 1930, p. 21.

Jump up ^ Sanders 1930, p. 20.

Jump up ^ Levering 1976, pp. 128–29.

Jump up ^ Levering 1976, p. 131.

Jump up ^ Lee 1994, p. 217.

^ Jump up to: a b c d Emory 1975.

^ Jump up to: a b Du Lac 2011.

Jump up ^ Statuary Hall 2013.

Jump up ^ State House 2007.

Jump up ^ Levering 1976, p. 117.

^ Jump up to: a b Bykowicz 2011.

Jump up ^ "Obituary for Seymour Wemyss Smith". Time. January 18, 1932.

Jump up ^ Smith, John Hanson, Our First President, 57.

Jump up ^ Peterson 2009.

Jump up ^ Lidman 1972.

Jump up ^ Brant 1972.

Jump up ^ Arago 2013.


Books, journals, and encyclopedias

Burnett, Edward Cody (1941). The Continental Congress. New York: Norton.

Chaney, Kevin R. (2000). "Hanson, Alexander Contee". American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press.(subscription required)

Fanelli, Doris Devine; Diethorn, Karie (2001). History of the Portrait Collection, Independence National Historical Park. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society.

Hanson, George A. (1876). Old Kent: The Eastern Shore of Maryland. Baltimore: Forges.

Lee, Jean B. (1994). The Price of Nationhood: The American Revolution in Charles County. New York: W. W. Norton.

Levering, Ralph B. (1976). "John Hanson, Public Servant". Maryland Historical Magazine 71 (Summer): 113–33.

Mereness, Newton D. (1932). "Hanson, John". Dictionary of American Biography VIII. New York: Scribner. pp. 231–32.

Morris, Richard B. (1987). "The Origins of the Presidency". Presidential Studies Quarterly 17 (4 [Fall]): 673–87.

Newman, Harry Wright (1970) [First published 1940]. Charles County Gentry: A Genealogical History of Six Emigrants... Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing.

Papenfuse, Edward C.; Day, Alan F.; Jordan, David W.; Stiverson, Gregory A. (1979). "Hanson, John, Jr.". A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635–1789 1. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 405–406. ISBN 0-8018-1995-4. Retrieved January 14, 2013.

Russel, George Ely (October 1988). "John Hanson of Maryland: A Swedish Heritage Disproved". The American Genealogist 63 (4), cited in Elisabeth Thorsell (December 30, 2002). "Was the First President of the United States a Swede?". The Federation of Swedish Genealogical Societies. Retrieved October 10, 2007.

Sanders, Jennings B. (1930). The Presidency of the Continental Congress, 1774–89. Chicago.

Stiverson, Gregory A. (2000). "Hanson, John, Jr.". American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press.(subscription required)

Wilson, Rick K. (1994). Congressional Dynamics: Structure, Coordination, and Choice in the First American Congress, 1774–1789. Stanford University Press.

Winquist, Alan H.; Rousselow-Winquist, Jessica (2006). Touring Swedish America. Minnesota Historical Society.

Newspapers and online sources

Brant, Irving (December 9, 1972). "President Whatsizname". The New York Times. Retrieved January 14, 2013.(subscription required)

Bykowicz, Julie (February 22, 2011). "A historical battle over Maryland statues". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved January 15, 2013.

Du Lac, J. Freedom (March 16, 2011). "Harriet Tubman vs. John Hanson: Statuary Hall smackdown". Washington Post. Retrieved January 15, 2013.

Emory, Thomas J., Jr. (December 31, 1975). "Hanson Claim Disputed; He Is Given War Credit". The Evening Sun (Baltimore). p. B1; interview with Professor Ralph Levering

Lidman, David (July 30, 1972). "John Hanson, Patriot and President". The New York Times. Retrieved January 14, 2013.(subscription required)

Peterson, Audrey (March 6, 2009). "Black History Urban Legends". American Legacy. Archived from the original on March 31, 2009.

"Arago: John Hanson Issue". National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved January 16, 2013.

"John Hanson". The National Statuary Hall Collection. Architect of the Capitol. Retrieved January 15, 2013.

"The New Senate Chamber". The Maryland State House. Maryland State Archives. 2007. Retrieved January 17, 2013.

Further reading

Kremer, J. Bruce. John Hanson of Mulberry Grove. New York: A. & C. Boni, 1938.

Nelson, Jacob A. John Hanson and the inseparable union: an authentic biography of a revolutionary leader, patriot and statesman. Boston: Meador Publishing Company, 1939.

Smith, Seymour Wemyss. John Hanson, our first president. New York: Brewer, Warren & Putnam, 1932.

Thomas, Douglas H. John Hanson, President of the United States in Congress Assembled, 1781–1782. 1898. According to the American National Biography, the biographies of Hanson are not "adequate", though this is one, written by Hanson's grandson, is "perhaps the most satisfactory" of the lot.

External links[edit]

Portal icon           Biography portal

Portal icon           Government of the United States portal

Portal icon           Maryland portal

Portal icon           Politics portal

John Hanson at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

John Hanson at the Maryland State Archives

John Hanson at

Political offices

Preceded by

Thomas McKean              President of the Continental Congress

November 5, 1781 – November 3, 1782 Succeeded by

Elias Boudinot

[show] v t e

Signers of the Articles of Confederation

[show] v t e

Presidents of the Continental Congress

Categories: 1721 births1783 deathsAmerican people of English descentColonial politicians from MarylandContinental Congressmen from MarylandMembers of the Maryland House of DelegatesPeople from Charles County, MarylandPeople of Maryland in the American RevolutionSigners of the Articles of Confederation


Trong lịch sử lập quốc Hoa kỳ, có một số mốc thời gian cần phải để ư. Hoa kỳ tuyên bố độc lập từ năm 4 tháng 7 năm 1776, nhưng măi đến ngày 30 tháng 4 năm 1789, George Wasington mới nhậm chức Tổng thống Hoa kỳ. Như vậy trong 13 năm dài rằng rặc này (1776-1789) nước Mỹ phải có nhiều người làm Tổng thống rồi chứ; và ai là Tổng thống đầu tiên của Hoa Kỳ? Câu trả lời là ông John Hanson. Ngay tức th́, tôi nghe thấy thắc mắc là: “Ông Hanson nào vậy ḱa?”

Vâng. Ông John Hanson mới chính là Tổng thống đầu tiên của Hoa kỳ. Nếy không tin th́ xin mời quư vị cứ thử “Googling” hay tra lại “Tự điển bách khoa” cái chủ để “John Hanson” để kiểm chứng lại lời nói của tôi xem sao! Thực ra quư vị sẽ thấy rất ít tài liệu nói về Tổng thống John Hanson. Lịch sử lập quốc Hoa kỳ dường như đă vô t́nh quên mất tên tuổi của ông John Hanson, vị Tổng thống đầu tiên của Hoa kỳ.

Quốc gia Hoa kỳ bắt đầu thành h́nh từ ngày 1 tháng 3 năm 1781 khi “Article of Confederation” (Người viết v́ không quen với các danh từ chuyên môn về luật pháp nên chỉ tạm dịch là “Hiến Chương Liên Minh?” – Liên Minh của 13 Tiểu bang đầu tiên Hoa kỳ) được ban hành. “Hiến chương” này được thảo và đệ tŕnh để phê chuẩn từ ngày 11 tháng 6 năm 1776, nhưng măi đến ngày 2 tháng 2 năm 1781 mới được tất cả 13 Tiểu bang (đầu tiên của Hoa kỳ) kư đồng thuận và được Quốc hội Hoa kỳ phê chuẩn.


Danh sách 13 Tiểu bang chấp thuận kư “Hiến Chương Liên Minh” là:

1 Virginia, kư thuận vào ngày December 16, 1777

2 South Carolina, February 5, 1778

3 New York, February 6, 1778

4 Rhode Island, February 9, 1778

5 Connecticut, February 12, 1778

6 Georgia, February 26, 1778

7 New Hampshire, March 4, 1778

8 Pennsylvania, March 5, 1778

9 Massachusetts, March 10, 1778

10 North Carolina, April 5, 1778

11 New Jersey, November 19, 1778

12 Delaware, February 1, 1779

13 Maryland, February 2, 1781


Theo Hiến chương này, các quyền sau đây sẽ dành một chính quyền trung ương (liên minh?):

- Tuyên bố chiến tranh.

- Thi hành các thủ tục ngoại giao với các quốc gia ở Âu châu.

- Điều đ́nh các vấn đề tranh chấp lănh thổ, ranh giới với các giống dân bản địa thuộc vùng bắc và Nam Mỹ.


Sở dĩ có sự tŕ trệ trong việc kư thuận của các Tiều bang (nhất là Tiểu bang Maryland - kư sau cùng) v́ các Tiểu bang sợ bị mất hết các quyền tự trị…

Sau khi “Hiến Chương Liên Minh” được phê chuẩn, quốc hội vào lúc đó thấy cần có một vai tṛ mới là “Tổng thống” để lănh đạo chính phủ liên minh. Ông John Hanson được quốc hội lập hiến bổ nhiệm làm Tổng thống đầu tiên của Hoa kỳ. Nên biết thêm, Trong chính cái quốc hội bổ nhiệm ông John Hanson làm Tổng thống này có cả George Washington là thành viên (Congressman) và lúc đó không có ai đứng ra tranh chức Tổng thống với ông John Hanson. Chính George Washington đă gởi thư chúc mừng John Hanson như sau:

“Tôi xin chúc mừng Tổng thống đă được bổ nhiệm để nắm một chức vụ quan trọng nhất của quốc gia Hoa kỳ.”


Khi làm Tổng thống đầu tiên của Hoa kỳ, John Hanson rất lúng túng v́ vai tṛ của Tổng thống chưa hề được “Hiến chương” định nghĩa cho rơ ràng. Những ǵ ông John Hanson làm trong vai tṛ Tổng thống đầu tiên này đă trở thành những tiền lệ cần thiết cho các vị Tổng thống kế vị sau này.

Ông John Hanson nắm chức vụ ngay sau khi cuộc chiến tranh dành độc lập từ Anh quốc vừa chấm dứt. Ngay lúc đó, quân đội “cách mạng” đ̣i phải được trả lương… Vừa mới dành độc lập xong th́ chính phủ đào đâu ra tiền để trả lương cho quân đội? Các thành viên của quốc hội sợ hăi quá trốn mất biệt hết; để cho Tổng thống John Hanson đứng đơn phương độc mă giải quyết vấn đề lương bổng này. TT John Hanson khéo léo khuyên quân đội hăy kiên nhẫn và sáng suốt v́ t́nh h́nh quốc gia chưa ổn định hoàn toàn; và chính TT John Hanson đă dũng cảm đoàn kết được quốc gia Hoa kỳ trong những ngày đầu tiên rất lủng củng hỗn độn sau khi dành được độc lập.


TT John Hanson đă làm được một số việc then chốt như sau:

- Ra lệnh cho tất cả các lực lượng quân sự ngoại quốc c̣n đóng trên đất Mỹ phải lập tức rút ra khỏi đất Mỹ; và cấm treo tất cả các cờ ngoại quốc trên đất Mỹ. Hai vấn đề này rất sôi nổi và căng thẳng, v́ ngay sau khi Kha Luân Bố (Columbus) t́m ra đất Mỹ th́ các quốc qia Âu châu, ít hay nhiều, đều muốn làm chủ một phần lănh thổ phong phú ở Bắc Mỹ… không dễ ǵ mà họ từ bỏ ngay các tham vọng đất đai.

- Thiết lập ra con dấu Tổng thống Hoa kỳ (Great Seal of United States) đóng trên các văn kiện ban hành của Tổng thống Mỹ.

- Lần đầu tiên lập ra Bộ Ngân quỹ Quốc gia (Treasury Department), Bộ Ngoại Giao (Foreign Affairs Department); Bổ nhiệm Bộ trưởng Bộ Chiến tranh (Secretary of War) đầu tiên.

- Chỉ định ngày thứ 28 của tháng 11 là ngày long trọng “Cám Ơn Thượng Đế - Thankgivings of God” của quốc gia Hoa kỳ. Sau này, chỉ c̣n gọi ngắn là ngày “Tạ Ơn – Thankgivings Day.”


Nên biết thêm, cái gọi là “Hiến chương Liên Minh” (Articles of Confederation) chỉ cho phép Tổng thống có nhiệm kỳ duy nhất 1 năm. Kể ra trong ṿng 1 năm, John Hanson đă làm khá nhiều chuyện ngoạn mục!

Sau TT John Hanson, theo “Hiến chương Liên Minh” (Articles of Confederation), có thêm tổng cộng bảy (07) Tổng thống nữa được Quốc hội tuyển chọn trước khi George Washington được chọn là Tổng thống Hoa kỳ, Bảy Tổng thống này lần lượt là:


Elias Boudinot (1782-83)

Thomas Mifflin (1783-84)

Richard Henry Lee (1784-85)

John Hancock (1785-86)

Nathan Gorman (1786-87)

Arthur St. Clair (1787-88)

Cyrus Griffin (1788-89)


Tại sao trong chúng ta, chẳng có ai nghe nói đến “Tám vị Tổng thống đầu tiên” của Hoa kỳ mà chỉ nghe nói đến “George Washington là Tổng thống đầu tiên của Hoa Kỳ.” Có chuyện ǵ xảy ra vậy hà?

Chẳng qua là, “Hiến Chương Liên Minh” không có hiệu quả! Các Tiểu bang vẫn c̣n nắm giữ quá nhiều quyền; và hầu như các Tiểu bang rất ít khi hoàn toàn đồng tâm thỏa thuận về một vấn đề ǵ! Kết quả chính quyền liên bang rất yếu không thi hành được việc ǵ ra hồn. Quan tâm này làm cho Quốc hội liên bang thấy rằng “Văn bản pháp lư căn bản” cần phải được viết / soạn lại: Đó là sự ra đời của “Hiến Pháp Hoa Kỳ” (The U.S. Constitution).

Ngày 4 tháng 3 năm 1789, “Hiến Pháp mới của Hoa kỳ,” thay thế chính quyền trung ương trước đây đă ấn định bởi “Hiến Chương Liên Minh” bằng một Chính phủ Liên bang mạnh mẽ hơn có một Tổng thống mạnh / nhiều quyền hạn (Chief Executive / President) và có lập thêm ngành Tư pháp (The Courts); và quan trọng nhất là quyền đánh thuế (taxing powers) của chính phủ Liên Bang…

George Washington được bổ nhiệm ngày 30 tháng 4 năm 1789 là vị Tổng Thống đầu tiên theo “Hiến Pháp Hoa kỳ,” vị Tổng thống có nhiều quyền hạn y như chúng ta thấy quyền hạn của 44 vị Tổng thống Hoa kỳ nối tiếp cho đến ngày hôm nay… (trích TVG)






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NT Kiên, Kim Âu, Ross Perot Cố Vấn An Ninh Đặc Biệt của TT Reagan, NT Sám