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George Washington


  • Vaccine Skeptics Should Heed George Washington’s Example

    by Robert Brent Toplin

    With the American Revolution hanging in the balance, Washington ordered the mass inoculation of the Continental Army against a smallpox pandemic. Would today's vaccine skeptics accuse him of trampling freedom? 



  • We, the Nation, Born Under This Tree

    by Sean Cleary

    A speech of Edward Everett and a painting by N.C. Wyeth create a mythical founding moment of an American nation conceived as a white homeland. 



  • From Washington to Trump: What Is Dereliction of Duty?

    by Lindsay Chervinsky

    Public ideas of the presidential duty to defend the nation against foreign and domestic enemies have evolved over two centuries; if Donald Trump had been president in 1793, his response to a pandemic wouldn't have cost him reelection.   



  • How George Washington Didn’t Lead

    Historians Lindsay Chervinsky, Noemie Emery, David Head and Craig Bruce Smith offer reflections in a virtual forum on the first president's leadership.


  • Advice to POTUS 46 from POTUS 1

    by David O. Stewart

    The author of a recent political biography of George Washington wonders how the first president would guide the most recent one. 



  • ‘George Washington’ Review: Our Founding Politician

    David Stewart's new book on George Washington highlights his political skills and careful work at cultivating allies. Far from being an apolitical leader, Washington was a skilled operator whose greatest achievement was avoiding the stigma of politics. 



  • America’s First Black Regiment Earned Their Freedom by Fighting Against the British

    Philip Morgan says the decision to enlist both free and enslaved Black troops resulted both from Rhode Island's difficulty mustering a sufficient all-white force and George Washington's fear that Lord Dunmore's offer of freedom to enslaved men who joined the British army would undermine the slavery-based economy of Virginia and the southern colonies. 


  • George Washington Resisted the Siren Call of Absolute Power

    by Jan-Benedict Steenkamp

    George Washington is celebrated for his refusal to continue past two terms as President. But his earlier actions in refusing the leadership of a military coup against the Continental Congress in 1783 put the new nation on track to have civilian leadership under law. 



  • President Washington and the Character of the First Supreme Court

    by Lindsay M. Chervinsky

    The first Supreme Court was not the magisterial institution we know today. Both Congress and the executive branch saw its role in political terms, and its composition as subject to change to reflect the shifting needs of the nation. 


  • Yes, Even George Washington Can Be Redeemed

    by Richard Lim

    While we cannot ignore Washingon's participation in slavery, we shouldn’t discount his remarkable transformation into someone who wished for its abolition and took steps personally to make things right, becoming the only major founder to free his slaves.



  • George Washington Would Have So Worn a Mask

    by Maurizio Valsana

    The genre “What would X do?” – where X stands for a noted figure in history, say Jesus or Dolly Parton – is silly. And yet, as a scholar writing a new biography of George Washington, I can’t help making a bold declaration: The Father of His Country would wear his mask in public.