The Electoral College elected Washington unanimously in 1789, and again in the 1792 election;
he remains the only president to receive 100% of the electoral votes.
John Adams was elected
Washington took the oath of office
as the first President under the Constitution for
the United States of America
on April 30, 1789 at Federal Hall in New York City
at first, he had not wanted the position.
The 1st United States Congress voted to pay Washington a salary of $25,000 a year—
a large sum in 1789.
Washington, already wealthy, declined the salary,
since he valued his image
as a selfless public servant.
At the urging of Congress, however, he ultimately accepted the
to avoid setting a precedent whereby the presidency would be perceived as limited only
to independently wealthy individuals who could serve without any salary.
carefully to the pomp and ceremony of office,
making sure that the titles and trappings were
and never emulated European royal courts.
To that end, he preferred the title"Mr. President" to the more majestic names suggested.
Washington proved an able administrator. An excellent delegator and judge of talent and character,
he held regular cabinet meetings to debate issues before making a final decision.
he was "systematic, orderly, energetic, solicitous of the opinion of others but
decisive, intent upon general goals and the consistency of particular actions with them."
Washington reluctantly served a second term as president.
He refused to run for a third,
establishing the customary policy of a maximum of two terms for a president
which later became
law by the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution.