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1st United States Congress
→ "2nd
""New York City Hall 1789b.jpg
"Federal Hall, site of the first two sessions of this Congress (1789)
March 4, 1789 – March 4, 1791
"Senate President "John Adams (P)
"Senate Pres. pro tem "John Langdon (P)
"House Speaker "Frederick Muhlenberg (P)
Members 21–26 senators
59–65 representatives
0 non-voting delegates
"Senate Majority Pro-Administration
"House Majority Pro-Administration
"Sessions
1st: March 4, 1789 – September 29, 1789
2nd: January 4, 1790 – August 12, 1790
3rd: December 6, 1790 – March 3, 1791

The First United States Congress, consisting of the "United States Senate and the "United States House of Representatives, met from March 4, 1789, to March 4, 1791, during the first two years of "George Washington's "presidency, first at "Federal Hall in New York City and later at "Congress Hall in "Philadelphia. With the initial meeting of the First Congress, the "United States federal government officially began operations under the new (and current) frame of government established by the 1787 "Constitution. The apportionment of seats in the "House of Representatives was based on the provisions of "Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution. Both chambers had a "Pro-Administration majority. Twelve articles of amendment to the Constitution were passed by this Congress and sent to the states for "ratification; the ten ratified as additions to the Constitution on December 15, 1791, are collectively known as the "Bill of Rights.

Major events[edit]

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"Congress Hall in "Philadelphia, meeting place of this Congress's third session.

Major legislation[edit]

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Statue of "George Washington in front of "Federal Hall, where he was first inaugurated as President.

Session 1[edit]

Held March 4, 1789, through September 29, 1789, at Federal Hall in New York City

Session 2[edit]

Held January 4, 1790, through August 12, 1790, at Federal Hall in New York City

Session 3[edit]

Held December 6, 1790, through March 3, 1791, at Congress Hall in Philadelphia

Constitutional amendments[edit]

States ratifying Constitution[edit]

Territories organized[edit]

Party summary[edit]

There were no political parties in this Congress. Members are informally grouped into factions of similar interest, based on an analysis of their voting record.[2]

Details on changes are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section.

Senate[edit]

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Senate at the end of the Congress

During this congress, two Senate seats were added for North Carolina and Rhode Island when each ratified the Constitution.

Faction
(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
"Anti-
Administration

(A)
"Pro-
Administration

(P)
End of the "previous congress 0 0 0 0
Begin 7 13 20 2
End 8 18 26 0
Final voting share 30.8% 69.2%
Beginning of the "next congress 9 16 25 1

House of Representatives[edit]

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House of Representatives at the end of the Congress
""1stHouse.svg

During this congress, five House seats were added for North Carolina and one House seat was added for Rhode Island when they ratified the Constitution.

Faction
(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
"Anti-
Administration

(A)
"Pro-
Administration

(P)
End of the "previous congress 0 0 0 0
Begin 25 34 59 0
End 28 36 64 1
Final voting share 43.8% 56.3%
Beginning of the "next congress 29 39 68 1

Leadership[edit]

Senate[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

Members[edit]

This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed by class, and Representatives are listed by district.

Skip to House of Representatives, below

Senate[edit]

Senators were elected by the state legislatures every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are "Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election. In this Congress, all Senators were newly elected, and Class 1 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring re-election in 1790; Class 2 meant their term ended with the next Congress, requiring re-election in 1792; and Class 3 meant their term lasted through the next two Congresses, requiring re-election in 1794.

House of Representatives[edit]

The names of members of the House of Representatives are listed by their districts.

Changes in membership[edit]

There were no political parties in this Congress. Members are informally grouped into factions of similar interest, based on an analysis of their voting record.[2]

"New York, "North Carolina, and "Rhode Island, were the last states to ratify the "U.S. Constitution, and because of their late ratification, were unable to send full representation at the beginning of this Congress. Five "Senators and nine "Representatives were subsequently seated from these states during the sessions as noted.

Senate[edit]

There was 1 resignation, 1 death, 1 replacement of a temporary appointee, and 6 new seats. The Anti-Administration Senators picked up a 1-seat net gain and the Pro-Administration Senators picked up 4 seats.

State
(class)
Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation
"New York (3) New seats State legislature failed to choose Senator until after Congress began. "Rufus King (P) July 25, 1789
"New York (1) "Philip John Schuyler (P) July 27, 1789
"North Carolina (3) North Carolina ratified the constitution on November 21, 1789. "Benjamin Hawkins (P) Elected November 27, 1789
"North Carolina (2) "Samuel Johnston (P)
"Virginia
(1)
"William Grayson (A) Died March 12, 1790. "John Walker (P) Appointed March 31, 1790
"Rhode Island (1) New seats Rhode Island ratified the constitution on May 29, 1790. "Theodore Foster (P) Elected June 7, 1790
"Rhode Island (2) "Joseph Stanton, Jr. (A)
"Virginia
(1)
"John Walker (P) "James Monroe was elected to the seat of Senator "William Grayson. "James Monroe (A) Elected November 9, 1790
"New Jersey (2) "William Paterson (P) Resigned November 13, 1790,
having been elected "Governor of New Jersey.
"Philemon Dickinson (P) Elected November 23, 1790

House of Representatives[edit]

There was 2 resignations, 1 death, and 6 new seats. Anti-Administration members picked up 3 seats and Pro-Administration members picked up 2 seats.

District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date successor
seated
"New Hampshire At-Large Benjamin West (P) Declined to serve "Abiel Foster (P) June 23, 1789
"North Carolina 1st New seats North Carolina ratified the constitution on November 21, 1789. "John Baptista Ashe (A) March 24, 1790
"North Carolina 2nd "Hugh Williamson (A) March 19, 1790
"North Carolina 3rd "Timothy Bloodworth (A) April 6, 1790
"North Carolina 4th "John Steele (P) April 19, 1790
"North Carolina 5th "John Sevier (P) June 16, 1790
"Rhode Island At-large New seat Rhode Island ratified the constitution on May 29, 1790. "Benjamin Bourne (P) December 17, 1790
"Virginia 9th "Theodorick Bland (A) Died June 1, 1790. "William B. Giles (A) December 7, 1790
"Massachusetts 5th "George Partridge (P) Resigned August 14, 1790. Remained vacant until "next Congress

Committees[edit]

Lists of committees and their party leaders.

Senate[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

Joint committees[edit]

Employees[edit]

Senate[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Journal of the First Session of the Senate of The United States of America, Begun and Held at the City of New York, March 4, 1789, And In The Thirteenth Year of the Independence of the Said States". Senate Journal. Gales & Seaton. 1820. 
  2. ^ a b Martis, Kenneth C. The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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