Who Was the First President in World History?

Have you ever wondered who was the first president in world history? The concept of a president or a leader has been around for centuries, but who was the first person to hold the title of “president”? Let’s delve into history and find out.

Earliest Forms of Governance

Before we dive into the concept of presidents, let’s take a look at the earliest forms of governance. In ancient times, monarchies were prevalent where a king or queen ruled over their subjects. However, as societies grew more complex, other forms of governance emerged such as aristocracies and democracies.

The Origins of “President”

The word “president” comes from the Latin word “praesidere” which means “to preside”. In ancient Rome, a praesidere was someone who acted as a guardian or protector. In medieval Europe, presidents were appointed to preside over meetings and councils.

The First Presidents

The first recorded instance of a president with executive powers was during the Dutch Republic in the 16th century. The Dutch Republic had a president named William the Silent who held executive powers over the government and military.

In America, George Washington is often considered to be the first president as he was elected as the first President of the United States in 1789 after leading his country to independence from Great Britain. However, there were other presidents before him such as Peyton Randolph who served as President of Congress under the Articles of Confederation in 1774.

Around The World

Outside Europe and America, other countries had their own versions of presidents or leaders with similar roles. For example, in China, there were emperors who held absolute power over their subjects. In India, there were kings who held both executive and religious power.

The Evolution Of The Presidency

Over time, the role of the president has evolved and changed. In some countries, such as the United States, presidents have become more powerful and influential figures who are responsible for governing their country. In other countries, such as Germany and Italy, presidents hold a more ceremonial role with limited powers.


In conclusion, the concept of a president has been around for centuries with its origins dating back to ancient Rome. The first person to hold executive powers as a president was William the Silent in the Dutch Republic.

However, George Washington is often considered to be the first president in modern times due to his role as the first President of the United States. Regardless of who holds the title of “first president”, it’s clear that this position has played a crucial role in shaping world history.