1st United States Congress

Congress Hall in Philadelphia, meeting place of this Congress's third session.
Statue of George Washington in front of Federal Hall, where he was first inaugurated as president.
Senate President John Adams
Senate President pro tempore John Langdon
Speaker of the House Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania
Beginning of the Congress
End of the Congress
Beginning of the Congress
End of the Congress

The 1st United States Congress, comprising the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, met from March 4, 1789, to March 4, 1791, during the first two years of George Washington's presidency, first at Federal Hall in New York City and later at Congress Hall in Philadelphia.

- 1st United States Congress

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Federal Hall

Historic building at 26 Wall Street in the Financial District of Manhattan in New York City.

View of Federal Hall in 2019
Federal Hall, Seat of Congress, 1790 hand-colored engraving by Amos Doolittle, depicting Washington's April 30, 1789, inauguration
Archibald Robertson's View up Wall Street with City Hall (Federal Hall) and Trinity Church, New York City, from around 1798
In the Wall Street bombing of 1920, the Subtreasury received no damage.
Congress convenes for a special session at Federal Hall National Memorial on September 6, 2002
George Washington, 1882, by John Quincy Adams Ward, in front of Federal Hall National Memorial
Main hall of the memorial
Issue of 1957
View from north
The George Washington Inaugural Bible, on which Washington took his inaugural oath in 1789
Brass relief of Washington kneeling in prayer
Plaque commemorating the Northwest Ordinance and the establishment of the state of Ohio

With the establishment of the United States federal government in 1789, it was renamed Federal Hall, as it hosted the 1st Congress and was the place where George Washington was sworn in as the nation’s first president.

Judiciary Act of 1789

The Judiciary Act of 1789 (ch.

The first page of the Judiciary Act of 1789
John Jay Chief Justice Commissioned: Sept. 26, 1789<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.fjc.gov/history/judges/jay-john|title=History of the Federal Judiciary, Judges, Jay, John|website=fjc.gov}}</ref>
John Rutledge Associate Justice Commissioned: Sept. 26, 1789<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.fjc.gov/history/judges/rutledge-john|title=History of the Federal Judiciary, Judges, Rutledge, John|website=fjc.gov}}</ref>
William Cushing Associate Justice Commissioned: Sept. 27, 1789<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.fjc.gov/history/judges/cushing-william|title=History of the Federal Judiciary, Judges, Cushing, William|website=fjc.gov}}</ref>
James Wilson Associate Justice Commissioned: Sept. 29, 1789<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.fjc.gov/history/judges/wilson-james|title=History of the Federal Judiciary, Judges, Wilson, James|website=fjc.gov}}</ref>
John Blair Associate Justice Commissioned: Sept. 30, 1789<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.fjc.gov/history/judges/blair-john-jr|title=History of the Federal Judiciary, Judges, Blair, John, Jr.|website=fjc.gov}}</ref>
James Iredell Associate Justice Commissioned: Feb. 10, 1790<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.fjc.gov/history/judges/iredell-james|title=History of the Federal Judiciary, Judges, Iredell, James|website=fjc.gov}}</ref>

20, ) was a United States federal statute enacted on September 24, 1789, during the first session of the First United States Congress.

United States Customs Service

Agency of the U.S. federal government that collected import tariffs and performed other selected border security duties.

Flag of the United States Customs Service, now the CBP Ensign.

Responding to the urgent need for revenue following the American Revolutionary War, the First United States Congress passed and President George Washington signed the Tariff Act of July 4, 1789, which authorized the collection of duties on imported goods.

United States Department of State

Executive department of the U.S. federal government responsible for the nation's foreign policy and international relations.

Old State Department building in Washington, D.C., c. 1865
Armed Department of State security agents accompany U.S. Ambassador Deane Hinton in El Salvador in the early 1980s.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks to the media
Organizational chart of the U.S. Department of State
Harry S. Truman Building (formerly Main State Building), headquarters of the U.S. Department of State since May 1947.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the State Department headquarters, February 2021
Mike Pompeo with 2018 summer interns
YSEALI 5th Year Anniversary Logo
Logo of the "Air Wing" of The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)- Office of Aviation, U.S. Department of State
Naval Support Unit Seabees securing a diplomatic compound in Dec. 2010

To that end, on July 21, 1789, the First Congress approved legislation to reestablish the Department of Foreign Affairs under the new government, which President George Washington signed into law on July 27, making the department the first federal agency to be created under the new Constitution.

United States Senate

Upper chamber of the United States Congress, with the House of Representatives being the lower chamber.

Graph showing historical party control of the U.S. Senate, House and Presidency since 1855
Members of the United States Senate for the 117th Congress
A typical Senate desk
The Senate side of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Committee Room 226 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building is used for hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Senate has the power to try impeachments; shown above is Theodore R. Davis's drawing of the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, 1868
U.S. Senate chamber c. 1873: two or three spittoons are visible by desks

This was achieved by dividing the senators of the 1st Congress into thirds (called classes), where the terms of one-third expired after two years, the terms of another third expired after four, and the terms of the last third expired after six years.

First Bank of the United States

National bank, chartered for a term of twenty years, by the United States Congress on February 25, 1791.

John Lewis Krimmel, Winter Scene in Philadelphia (ca.1813)
Measured drawing of the First Bank from the Historic American Buildings Survey.
Bank of the United States check signed by John Jacob Astor in 1792

According to the plan put before the first session of the First Congress in 1790, Hamilton proposed establishing the initial funding for the First Bank of the United States through the sale of $10 million in stock of which the United States government would purchase the first $2 million in shares.

Article Five of the United States Constitution

Article Five of the United States Constitution describes the process for altering the Constitution.

The U.S. constitutional amendment process
Resolution proposing the Nineteenth Amendment
Tennessee certificate of ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. With this ratification, the amendment became valid as a part of the Constitution.

When the 1st Congress considered a series of constitutional amendments, it was suggested that the two houses first adopt a resolution indicating that they deemed amendments necessary.

Classes of United States senators

The 100 seats in the United States Senate are divided into three classes for the purpose of determining which seats will be up for election in any two-year cycle, with only one class being up for election at a time.

Graph showing historical party control of the U.S. Senate, House and Presidency since 1855

The actual division was originally performed by the Senate of the 1st Congress in May 1789 by lot.

United States Bill of Rights

The United States Bill of Rights comprises the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.

On June 5, 1788, Patrick Henry spoke before Virginia's ratification convention in opposition to the Constitution.
George Washington's 1788 letter to the Marquis de Lafayette observed, "the Convention of Massachusetts adopted the Constitution in toto; but recommended a number of specific alterations and quieting explanations." Source: Library of Congress
James Madison, primary author and chief advocate for the Bill of Rights in the First Congress

The 1st United States Congress, which met in New York City's Federal Hall, was a triumph for the Federalists.

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives

Presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives.

Frederick Muhlenberg (1789–1791, 1793–1795), was the first speaker.
Henry Clay (1811–1814, 1815–1820, 1823–1825) used his influence as speaker to ensure the passage of measures he favored
Joseph Gurney Cannon (1903–1911) was one of the most powerful speakers.
Sam Rayburn (1940–1947; 1949–1953; and 1955–1961) was the longest serving speaker
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (right) with Vice President Dick Cheney behind President George W. Bush at the 2007 State of the Union Address making history as the first woman to sit behind the podium at such an address. President Bush acknowledged this by beginning his speech with the words, "Tonight, I have a high privilege and distinct honor of my own — as the first president to begin the State of the Union message with these words: Madam Speaker".
Paul Ryan taking the oath of office upon becoming speaker on October 29, 2015
James Polk is the only speaker to also serve as president of the United States.
The speaker's office in the US Capitol, during the term of Dennis Hastert (1999–2007)

The first speaker of the House, Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania, was elected to office on April 1, 1789, the day the House organized itself at the start of the 1st Congress.