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Me and a colleague are arguing about the actual first president. He says the first was actually president of the continental Congress. My view is that after the constitution was ratified is when the first POTUS would be considered official.

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I'm no specialist in pre-constitutional US by any stretch, but if I'm reading the article on the Articles of Confederation correctly (emphasis mine):

On March 4, 1789, the government under the Articles was replaced with the federal government under the Constitution. The new Constitution provided for a much stronger federal government by establishing a chief executive (the President), courts, and taxing powers.

In other words the first POTUS is indeed George Washington.

(The President of the Continental Congress' role would have been closer to that of today's House speaker if I am not mistaking - if even that.)

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  • The Continental Congress was a caretaker organisation, similar to how underage monarchs would have a regent acting on their behalf until they attained majority. – Daniel Jun 27 '18 at 6:49

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