George Washington was the first president of the United States. He was president from 1789 to 1797. Before he became president, George Washington was the general of the American army. George Washington decided to stop being president after two 4-year terms. Today, we follow his example. The Twenty-second Amendment, added to the Constitution in 1951, limits presidents to two 4-year terms. No one can be president for more than two 4-year terms.