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Online Exhibit

Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress 1789-1791


Credits and Larger Images


An Online Exhibit by the
First Federal Congress Project

This exhibit provides an overview of the work of and issues faced by this seminal Congress, which was a virtual second sitting of the Federal Convention, fleshing out the governmental structure outlined in the Constitution and addressing the difficult issues left unresolved by the Constitution. Each topic begins with a quote from the Constitution relating to it. The illustrations (letters, newspaper articles, cartoons, portraits, etc.) for the topics provide just a sampling of the wealth of material in the Documentary History of the First Federal Congress, 1789-1791.

It is our hope that the exhibit will prove useful, particularly to students and their teachers. Towards that end, we also have an online teacher's guide for the exhibit.

Background                   Acknowledgements

The exhibit may be viewed in sequence or browsed in any order.  To view the exhibit in sequence, just click the "next" bottom located at the top right corner of the screen.

To browse the exhibit by topic, click on any of the following topics:

The First Federal Congress: Introduction

Members of The First Federal Congress

New York as the Seat of Government

Setting Precedent

An Imperial Presidency?

Creation of the Executive  

Creation of the Judiciary

Amendments to the Constitution

Establishing a Revenue System

The Senate and Foreign Affairs

Expansion of the Empire

Petitioning the Federal Government

Locating the United States Capital

Funding the National Debt

The Compromise of 1790

Table of Contents
Teacher's Guide
Complete List of Sources

Index of Subject Names

Search the Exhibit

First Federal Congress Project
The George Washington University
Washington, DC 20052
Phone: 202-676-6777

Comments or questions should be sent to: bickford@gwu.edu
Last update: April 2013





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