• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

A manual offering information on the most important laws and treaties approved by Congress in more than 200 years since the first session in 1789. Each Congress is covered in a separate chapter introduced by a historical essay setting the actions of the legislators in the context of their times.

First Congress: March 4, 1789, to March 3, 1791
First Congress: March 4, 1789, to March 3, 1791
  • First session—March 4, 1789, to September 29, 1789
  • Second session—January 4, 1790, to August 12, 1790
  • Third session—December 6, 1790, to March 3, 1791
  • (First administration of George Washington, 1789–1793)
Historical Background

The Articles of Confederation, drawn up in reaction to the monarchical rule of Great Britain over its American colonies, protected the individual states by eschewing a central government and executive power. In turn, the U.S. Constitution sought to correct the weak institutional structure established by the Articles. It attempted to create a president strong enough to stand up to an aggressive legislature but not so commanding as to become a despot.

The Constitution is a work in progress, with corrections and additions ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles