The Presidential Election of 1789 was the first election in the history of the United States. It was conducted under the new Constitution that had been ratified 5 years after the end of the American Revolutionary War.
This election replaced the Articles of Confederation, and it was important that the future President be able to navigate through tension and be well-respected.
Presidential Election of 1789: Platforms
There were no platforms or parties like we think of today. Since this was the first election for the new country, there were two sides to the issue: the Federalists and Anti-Federalists.
The 1788 election was based on reputation and not political beliefs, and the election process was still in its infant stages.
Some states had virtually no factional competition, especially in the south, as states like Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina had little political organization.
These states would, at times, go years without hosting elections unless an election was deemed necessary by the state's legislative body.
Presidential Election of 1789: Results
George Washington won unanimously, which was expected. Voter turnout was believed to be around 1.8%, which is the lowest in American History. This was due to so many restrictions being placed on who could vote.
At the time, African Americans, Women, and many others were not allowed to vote. Those that could have to navigate through an unsophisticated election process.
All states did not participate in the Presidential Election of 1789. North Carolina and Rhode Island had not ratified the Constitution and were not part of the country.
New York dealt with internal disputes over the electorates and did not participate in the first election.