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A New Nation
(1776-1830)

The First Attorney General



The First Attorney General
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.64

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    delegate, politician, effective, enforcement, ranked, politics, possibly, jobs, education, political, member, legal, beginning, government, chief, leader
     content words:    US Attorney General, Justice Department, Attorney General, United States, George Washington, Edmund Randolph, Tazewell Hall, Mary College, Revolutionary War, Constitutional Convention


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The First Attorney General
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     The US Attorney General is the head of the Justice Department. He handles legal matters for the US government. Another duty of the Attorney General is to give legal advice to the president and the other cabinet members. The Attorney General is also the chief law enforcement officer in the United States.
 
2     Congress created the job of Attorney General in 1789 when it passed the act that established the president's cabinet. Since each president chooses the members of his cabinet, George Washington chose the first Attorney General. He chose Edmund Randolph for the job. At first, the Attorney General was not ranked as a member of the cabinet, but Washington wanted Randolph at all of his cabinet meetings to give legal advice whenever it was needed. Soon, the Attorney General became an official member of the cabinet.
 
3     Did you ever wonder how someone gets chosen by the president to be a cabinet member? Of all the people in the United States, how does the president choose the few that he needs to make up his cabinet? A look at Edmund Randolph's life can give you some idea of how it might happen.

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