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.
First Question/ 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.—————————————-Second Question/
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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