A new episode of the Madison presidency series is now available!
March 5, 2017

1.03 – Year One

1.03 – Year One

Year(s) Discussed: 1789

Washington’s inauguration, while starting up the wheels of the executive branch, leaves many questions to be answered by the first chief executive and the new government. What titles will be used to address the president? How will he make himself available to the public and to the other branches of government? What does seeking “the Advice and Consent of the Senate” really mean anyway? So much of what we take for granted with the presidency nowadays is established in Washington’s first few months on the job, and these precedents that he established in the early part of his administration are the focus of this episode.


  • Bartoloni-Tuazon, Kathleen. For Fear of an Elective King: George Washington and the Presidential Title Controversy of 1789. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press, 2014.
  • Chernow, Ron. Washington: A Life. New York: Penguin Press, 2010.
  • Hall, Kermit L, etc, eds. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.
  • Ketcham, Ralph. James Madison: A Biography. Charlottesville, VA and London: University Press of Virginia, 1994 [1971].
  • McCullough, David. John Adams. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001.
  • McDonald, Forrest. The Presidency of George Washington. Lawrence, KS; Manhattan, KS; and Wichita, KS: The University Press of Kansas, 1974 [1974].
  • McGuiness, Colleen, ed. American Leaders 1789-1994: A Biographical Summary. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1994.
  • Unger, Harlow Giles. “Mr. President”: George Washington and the Making of the Nation’s Highest Office. Boston, MA: Da Capo Press, 2013.
  • Washington, George. “To Richard Conway, 6 March 1789,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified December 28, 2016, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-01-02-0279. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, vol. 1, 24 September 1788 – 31 March 1789, ed. Dorothy Twohig. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1987, pp. 368–369.] Last Accessed: 28 Jan 2017.
  • Washington, George. “Inaugural Address,” April 30, 1789. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=25800. Last Accessed: 25 Jan 2017.
  • Washington, George. “To David Stuart, 26 July 1789.” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified December 28, 2016, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-03-02-0180. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, vol. 3, 15 June 1789–5 September 1789, ed. Dorothy Twohig. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1989, pp. 321–327.] Last Accessed: 28 Jan 2017.
  • Washington, George. “To James Craik, 8 September 1789,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified December 28, 2016, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-04-02-0001. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, vol. 4, 8 September 1789 – 15 January 1790, ed. Dorothy Twohig. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1993, pp. 1–2.] Last Accessed: 28 Jan 2017.
  • Whichard, Willis P. Justice James Iredell. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2000.
  • White, Leonard D. The Federalists: A Study in Administrative History. New York: Macmillan Co, 1948.