I want to answer two questions in two separate essays of 4 pages each. The answer from this book:
(Book): Ron Chernow, Washington: A Life, Penguin Press, 2010, ISBN: 9780143119968 paperback
Look at these chapters: chapters 1-5, 7, 11, 12, 15, 20-23,25,26, pp. 340-346, pp. 363-366, chapter 31, chapters 44-47, and chapter 49.
If you could not find the book free online, I can send it to you as a PDF.
Chernow’s book provides a distasteful glimpse into the backstabbing and subterfuge that George Washington faced as General of the army. Amazingly, some of the individuals closest to Washington, such as Joseph Reed, were, in Chernow’s view, guilty of treachery and deception. Others had little ground for questioning Washington’s leadership other than to advance their own overt ambition through rivalry and subterfuge –as in the case of the imperious General, Charles Lee—who reached a fitting demise (p. 267) and brigadier Thomas Conway, whom Washington despised. Even Richard Henry Lee sniped at Washington behind his back. And General Horatio Gates more overtly appeared to hope that Washington would falter so that Gates himself could take command of the Army. Chernow points out that Thomas Mifflin, once an aide to Washington, “harbored a secret animosity toward his patron.” With friends like these, who needs enemies? Perhaps the worst case is Benedict Arnold, a man that Washington thought was beyond reproach, who ended up conspiring with the British to not only take over West Point, but to capture Washington himself.
A man of less fortitude and inner confidence than Washington possessed likely would not have survived the ordeals and challenges that he faced from confidants, subordinates and even members of Congress. It was bad enough that the British did not respect the American Army or its officers, but to face internal criticism, bordering on insubordination, surely created some bitterness in Washington and made the challenges he faced even more monumental as in Lee’s failure to honor Washington’s request for reinforcements in New Jersey. Comment on the trials and tribulations that Washington faced with his rivals.
Drawing on Chernow, the chapter by Forrest McDonald, and class discussion, what were some of Washington’s key innovations and precedents as President of the United States? How and why did Washington emphasize the formal-ceremonial role in office as President, and the importance of decorum in his institution of formal Levees, a formal parade of the nation, the Inauguration Ceremony, the State of the Union address, the submission of the first treaty to the U.S. Senate, the issuance of the Proclamation of Neutrality and the decision to withhold information from Congress concerning the Jay Treaty—a practice that we now call Executive Privilege. To what extent did Washington try to strike a balance between too much amiliarity with the public, and too much aloofness in a Monarchical sense? Drawing briefly on Joseph Ellis’s chapter on Jefferson, which will be placed on Blackboard, how did Jefferson differ from Washington in his approach to the ceremonial aspects of the presidency?
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