[LMB] OT: President Hancock (was spammer alert, was do we like the same books)

Harimad harimad2001 at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 30 03:59:50 BST 2007

> Paula wrote:
> John Hancock (who actually rather than Washington was the
> first President of the United States of America, but under
> the Articles of  Confederation

That's an imaginative interpretation but I can't say that I agree for
two reasons.

One: The Articles of Confederation established a _confederation_
characterized, legally, by very weak central government.  The
Constitution established a _federal republic_ with a moderately
strong central government.  I disagree that these two legal entities
are the same nation, despite having the same name.

Two: I can't figure out how you get Hancock as first, even if one
accepts your argument that the nation established under the Articles
of Confederation is the same as that established under the

2A: Hancock was the third president of the Second Continental
Congress, and during his time in office the Declaration of
Independence was signed.  But the Declaration did not legally
establish a nation*, so Hancock could not have been President of the
(a?) US as a result of the DoI being passed during his tenure.

2B: Hancock was seventh presiding officer of the assembly established
by the Articles of Confederation.  The title for this position was
"President of the United States in Congress Assembled."  Even had he
been the first, his election as "President" made him presiding
officer of a legislature, not chief executive of a nation.

Bonus question: Why did those particular colonies decide to rebel and
not any of the rest?  There's nothing magical about those particular
colonies (although questions are subtly discouraged by most history
books by addressing colonial history only of the ones that did rebel,
and by how the books' maps have those colonies in detail and the
other sister colonies in faded colors if at all) and it wasn't
obvious at the time that, say, the anglophone parts of Quebec (which
at the time included chunks of what is now Ontario) wouldn't join, or
the New Brunswick.

- Harimad

* The Declaration of Independence is 13 colonies telling their mother
government why they decided to rebel.  It says nothing about how the
13 would arrange themselves if/when they succeeded.

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