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For Fear of an Elective King
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For Fear of an Elective King: George Washington and the Presidential Title Controversy of 1789

Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon


In the spring of 1789, within weeks of the establishment of the new federal government based on the U.S. Constitution, the Senate and House of Representatives fell into dispute regarding how to address the president. Congress, the press, and individuals debated more than thirty titles, many of which had royal associations and some of which were clearly monarchical. This book is a rich account of the title controversy and its meanings. The short, intense legislative phase and the prolonged, equally intense public phase animated and shaped the new nation's broadening political community. Rather ... More

Keywords: federal government, Constitution, 1789, Senate, House of Representatives, presidency, executive power

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780801452987
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801452987.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon, author
Visiting Scholar, the First Federal Congress Project