No, Trump in 2019 is not like George Washington in 1794Breaking News
tags: Founding Fathers, George Washington, impeachment, Devin Nunes
In his opening statement at Wednesday’s pivotal impeachment hearing, Rep. Devin Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee’s top Republican, defended the nation’s 45th president by invoking the country’s first president. Here’s what the California congressman said:
"The Democrats fake outrage that President Trump used his own channel to communicate with Ukraine. I remind my friends on the other side of the aisle that our first president, George Washington, directed his own diplomatic channels to secure a treaty with Great Britain. If my Democratic colleagues were around in 1794, they’d probably want to impeach him, too.”
Within minutes, “Nunes” and “George Washington” were trending together on Twitter.
So, what happened in 1794? Did President George Washington use “irregular” or secret back channels to negotiate a treaty with Great Britain? Was it comparable to the Ukraine scandal today?
In 1794, Washington was about halfway through his second term as president. Although the Revolutionary War against the British Empire had ended more than a decade earlier, tensions between the two countries festered, threatening to spill over into another war.
First, the British continued to occupy forts in northwest territories that they had agreed to leave at the end of the Revolutionary War. Plus, the British had placed strict trade rules and high tariffs on American goods, while at the same time flooding the U.S. market with British goods.
Most critically, the British navy was engaging in something called “impressment,” which means they were capturing American ships, stealing the supplies and forcing the sailors to join the British navy. At the time, the British were at war with France, a conflict in which the United States was trying to remain neutral. The British justified their actions by saying the neutral vessels were going to help their enemies.
comments powered by Disqus
- Archivist and bookseller plead guilty to pilfering $8M in rare texts from Carnegie Library
- The chief justice who presided over the first presidential impeachment trial thought it was political spectacle
- Hundreds of Britons Volunteered for a Diary-Keeping Project in 1937. They Left an Invaluable Record of World War II
- Fact check: After Pearl Harbor, Japanese didn't invade US because they feared armed citizens?
- How Political Divides Shape U.S. History Lessons
- AHA Encourages History Departments to Provide Full Library Access to Alumni and to Unaffiliated Historians in their Regions
- Clayborne Carson Interviewed by World Socialist Web Site on 1619 Project
- “A staggering tour de force – but an opportunity missed”: a historian’s review of the film 1917
- NY Journal of Books Reviews Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy
- AHA Enrollment Study Finds History Enrollments Hold Study as Department Efforts Intensify