Who Was John Hanson in American History?

John Hanson is a name that is often overlooked in American history, but his contributions to the country cannot be ignored. Born on April 3, 1715, in Charles County, Maryland, John Hanson was an influential figure in the early days of America. He served as the first president of the United States under the Articles of Confederation from 1781 to 1782.

The Early Life of John Hanson

John Hanson was born into a wealthy and influential family in Maryland. His father was a planter and a member of the Maryland House of Delegates.

John received his early education at home and later attended a private school in Annapolis. He went on to become a successful businessman and a prominent politician.

The Political Career of John Hanson

John Hanson began his political career as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates in 1757. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1779 to 1781, during which time he was elected as the president of Congress.

As president of Congress, John Hanson played an important role in securing foreign aid for the American Revolution. He negotiated with European powers such as France and Spain to secure loans and military supplies for American forces.

The Presidency of John Hanson

John Hanson’s presidency was not like that of modern-day presidents. The Articles of Confederation did not create an executive branch like we have today but instead had a president who presided over Congress.

During his presidency, John Hanson faced many challenges including financial difficulties and political divisions among states. He worked tirelessly to address these issues by encouraging trade between states and negotiating peace treaties with Native American tribes.

The Legacy of John Hanson

Despite his significant contributions to America’s early years, John Hanson’s legacy has been overshadowed by other Founding Fathers such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. However, his contributions to America’s independence and early government structure cannot be ignored.

John Hanson’s presidency marked a critical moment in American history, as it was the first time a president of the United States presided over Congress under the Articles of Confederation. His efforts to secure foreign aid and peace treaties were crucial to the success of the American Revolution.


In conclusion, John Hanson’s contribution to American history is often overlooked but cannot be ignored. He played a pivotal role in America’s early years as a nation and his presidency marked a crucial moment in American history.

By using his position as president of Congress, John Hanson secured foreign aid for the Revolutionary War effort and worked tirelessly to address political divisions among states. His legacy is one that deserves recognition and appreciation from all Americans.