At most, Nicola was floating an idea of his own, but one he was utterly incapable of bringing into being, and gently suggesting that Washington might consider the desirability of establishing a new state, headed by a king. It's inaccurate, therefore, to say that Washington turned down a chance to be king.... read more ›
Denver Brunsman, a history professor at George Washington University and scholar of the Revolutionary War and Washington, says that it would be an "exaggeration" to say that Washington was ever seriously offered the title of king.... see more ›
On May 22, 1782, the Newburgh letter was sent to George Washington who was camped at Newburgh, New York; written for the army officers by Colonel Lewis Nicola, it proposed that Washington should become the King of the United States.... see details ›
Washington's voluntary decision to decline a third term was also seen as a safeguard against the type of tyrannical power yielded by the British crown during the Colonial era. Between 1796 and 1940, four two-term Presidents sought a third term to varying degrees.... see details ›
One senator suggested calling Washington "His Exalted Highness." Another scoffed at the suggestion as too aristocratic and insisted that "His Elective Highness" was far more appropriate. With that, the Senate debate fell into disorder. "Most Illustrious and Excellent President," shouted one Senator.... continue reading ›
Who Would Be King of America if George Washington had ... - YouTube... see more ›
- George Washington was born at Pope's Creek in 1732. ...
- George Washington began inheriting enslaved people when he was 11-years-old. ...
- George Washington's first career was as a surveyor. ...
- George Washington contracted smallpox while visiting Barbados. ...
- George Washington led an attack that started a world war.
Becoming king in his 70s could be a difficult job to take on, but could Prince Charles refuse to take the throne? The concise answer to the above question is no. The Line of Succession is determined by Statue Law, and if the Queen steps down or dies, Charles would become king automatically.... see more ›
George III's life and reign were long, 81 years and 59 years respectively, but difficult, marked by a series of military conflicts all over the world and personal mental health crises that left him unable to rule in his later years.... read more ›
Washington warns the people that political factions may seek to obstruct the execution of the laws created by the government or to prevent the branches of government from exercising the powers provided them by the constitution.... view details ›
He has been nicknamed, "The Father of His Country." The Declaration of Independence states that "all men are created equal." In what way did George Washington fail to live up to this idea? He led men into war.... continue reading ›
The title of “president” was chosen because it was uncontroversial. At the time, a few governors carried the title of president. Usually a “president” was the man that chaired a business meeting. For example, at the Constitutional Convention, George Washington's position was “President of the Convention.”... read more ›
“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” “It is better to be alone than in bad company.” “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”... continue reading ›
George Washington is one of the most recognized figures in U.S. history. But familiarity breeds contempt. More often than not, Washington is an old painting on the wall - solemn, impersonal and distant - or the subject of childhood stories and nursery rhymes. We all know that he chopped down a cherry tree and had wooden teeth.
Through force of character and great leadership, Washington. transformed an underfunded militia into a capable force that,. although never able to take the British army head-on, outwitted and. defeated the mightiest military power in the world.. The vast powers of the presidency, as one Convention delegate. wrote, would not have been made as great "had not many of the. members cast their eyes towards General Washington as president;. and shaped their ideas of the powers to be given to a president by. their opinions of his virtue.". Twice during the Revolution, in 1776 and again in. 1777 when Congress was forced to abandon Philadelphia in the face. of advancing British troops, Gen. Washington was granted virtually. unlimited powers to maintain the war effort and preserve civil. society, powers not unlike those assumed in an earlier era by Roman. dictators.. After the war, there were calls for Washington to claim formal. political power.. More subtle and problematic was a move by a group of officers in. 1783 to use the military, with or without Washington's. participation, to threaten the Continental Congress in order to. ensure their payment of the army.. But Washington would have none of it.. This is why. Washington and Washington alone - not Jefferson, not Madison, not. Hamilton - is the father of this country.. Contrary to popular opinion,. though, no act of Congress or order by any president has changed. Washington's Birthday to "Presidents Day.". If Americans wish to honor George Washington, they should recall. his deeds, recollect his advice, and once again call the holiday. celebrating him what it is, in fact: Washington's Birthday.
Many Americans believe that at the end of the Revolutionary War, while headquartered in Newburgh, George Washington received an offer to become king of the
If this happened, Nicola feared that the country might be thrown “into a new scene of blood & confusion.” More generally, Nicola saw these national ills as stemming from the weakness of republics.. Nicola believed that Great Britain’s constitutional monarchy was the best form of government, and with a few adjustments to their system, “the constitution would approach much nearer to that degree of perfection.” The war, Nicola added, had shown everyone “the weakness of republicks [sic]” and the necessity of a strong leader.. Although Washington wanted to see justice done to the army, he told Nicola that “if you have any regard for your Country, concern for your self or posterity — or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your Mind, & never communicate, as from yourself, or any one else, a sentiment of the like nature.” As a safety precaution, Washington’s aides de camp certified that the copy of the letter Washington kept for his records was an exact copy of what he had sent to Nicola.. Nicola wrote Washington once more on May 28th, again saying that their misunderstanding stemmed from Nicola’s “inability to express my sentiments with sufficient perspecuity.” Nicola said that he only sought to avoid future unrest in the army.. He also defended his proposal for a monarchy, saying that the states had gone too far in choosing a form of government entirely the opposite of Britain, and that a better idea was to copy to British system “purged of its defects.” Washington never replied to any of Nicola’s letters.
It seemed as if everyone rejoiced at the election of our first chief executive except the man himself
The day after Congress counted the electoral votes, declaring Washington the first president, it dispatched Charles Thomson, the secretary of Congress, to bear the official announcement to Mount Vernon.. Because the vote counting had been long delayed, Washington, 57, felt the crush of upcoming public business and decided to set out promptly for New York on April 16, accompanied in his elegant carriage by Thomson and aide David Humphreys.. His diary entry conveys a sense of foreboding: “About ten o’clock, I bade adieu to Mount Vernon, to private life, and to domestic felicity and, with a mind oppressed with more anxious and painful sensations than I have words to express, set out for New York...with the best dispositions to render service to my country in obedience to its call, but with less hope of answering its expectations.” Waving goodbye was Martha Washington, who wouldn’t join him until mid-May.. Not only did he help draft the inaugural address, he also wrote the official response by Congress and then Washington’s response to Congress, completing the circle.. After alighting from his carriage, Washington strode through a double line of soldiers to the building and mounted to the Senate chamber, where members of Congress awaited him expectantly.. As he reported to his government, never had a “sovereign reigned more completely in the hearts of his subjects than did Washington in those of his fellow citizens...he has the soul, look and figure of a hero united in him.” One young woman in the crowd echoed this when she remarked, “I never saw a human being that looked so great and noble as he does.” Only Congressman Fisher Ames of Massachusetts noted that “time has made havoc” upon Washington’s face, which already looked haggard and careworn.. Livingston had to lift his voice and inform the crowd, “It is done.” He then intoned: “Long live George Washington, president of the United States.” The spectators responded with huzzahs and chants of “God bless our Washington!. In the first line of his inaugural address, Washington expressed anxiety about his fitness for the presidency, saying that “no event could have filled me with greater anxieties” than the news brought to him by Charles Thomson.. “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States.” Perhaps referring obliquely to the fact that he suddenly seemed older, he called Mount Vernon “a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary, as well as more dear to me, by the addition of habit to inclination and of frequent interruptions in my health to the gradual waste committed on it by time.” In the earlier inaugural address drafted with David Humphreys, Washington had included a disclaimer about his health, telling how he had “prematurely grown old in the service of my country.”. When it came to the presidency, George Washington harbored both desire and doubt.. Washington would write that he left Mount Vernon for the capital in New York City "with a mind oppressed with more anxious and painful sensations than I have words to express.". Washington's friend James Madison helped him compose a briefer speech that was short on policy recommendations but long on themes, setting a pattern for future inaugurations.
Why America’s Founders Tried to Recruit a Foreign Prince to Be Their King—And How That Moment Holds a Warning for Today ›
Even the Founders themselves were susceptible to the siren song of the strong man
Authoritarianism is on the rise throughout the world, from Russia to Turkey to Hungary.. And yet Americans often assume that they are thoroughly protected by our remarkable system of checks and balances, put in place by the Founding Fathers.. But we must do more than rely on faith in the genius of the Revolutionary generation: we should heed their advice to be ever vigilant at defending our republic against any populism and reaction that could erode our liberties.. Or so, at least, is the lesson of the little-known story of their offer to a European prince to become the monarch of the United States.. The years immediately following the victory over the British at Yorktown bordered on anarchy, in the words of General George Washington.. And the most familiar form of a strong executive was a monarch.. And so it was that in 1786, the President of the Continental Congress, Nathaniel Gorham — a son of Massachusetts, the hotbed of anti-royalism — wrote on behalf of the government to Prince Henry, younger brother of the Prussian king, Frederick the Great.. The Americans had a positive view of Prussia in general and Henry in particular because of Friedrich von Steuben, a volunteer who fought at Valley Forge and a veteran of the prince’s own wars.. It was likely von Steuben who recommended the young Hohenzollern royal to Alexander Hamilton.. The result was the U.S. Constitution.. America owes more than we like to admit to the fact that George Washington was our first president.. When Washington had retired to his farm at the end of the war, George III remarked it made him “the greatest man in the world.” We cannot hope to always be governed by his like.. “Remember, democracy never lasts long,” Adams wrote .. There are early but troubling signs that we might face a crisis.. “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom,” wrote Thomas Paine, “must undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” If even Hamilton, Adams and Gorham were tempted at a challenging moment to turn to a strong hand, we had best take no chances when defending the Constitution they bequeathed us.
George Washington’s life may have been spared at the Battle of Brandywine by a British marksman who placed honor before glory.
He shouted to the American officer, who was riding a bay horse.. A day later, after he had been seriously wounded himself, Ferguson learned that the American officer he let ride off was most likely General George Washington.. As Draper would write, “No man, perhaps, of his rank and years, ever attained more military distinction in his day than Patrick Ferguson.” Many months after Brandywine, when the Revolutionary War turned south, it also turned to partisan combat, especially in the thinly settled country back of the Atlantic coast.. A surgeon who had attended wounded American officers told Ferguson that General Washington had been out just before the battle with light troops, escorted only by a French officer in hussar dress, and wearing exactly the uniform Ferguson had seen across his rifle sights.. Cornwallis captured the village of Charlotte, N.C., in late September 1780, and waited there for Ferguson to rejoin him.. As they spread around Ferguson’s position, Virginia’s Colonel William Campbell told them not to wait for orders to attack: “Let each man be his own officer.. As his Tories rushed and then fell back, well-aimed rifle fire picked them off.. It took more than six weeks for news of Ferguson’s defeat at Kings Mountain to reach George Washington at his headquarters in New Jersey.