Answer just two QS each it has to be 4 pages.Also, I have attached five questions on George Washington that are taken primarily from Chernow’s book, though the fourth question is drawn partly from Forrest McDonald’s chapter that I sent as an attachment. For the first paper assignment, which will be due three weeks from our next meeting, I will ask you to address two of the five questions below in essays of 3-4 pages each. I may require question Number 4 as one of the two questions, but we can discuss this next Wednesday.
By next Wednesday, I will try to detail some of the chapters and pages that are responsive to each of the questions. For now though, I’d like to simply use them as study-guide questions to focus your attention on some of the key topics addressed by Chernow.
Ron Chernow, Washington: A Life, 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.
Phillip Henderson, “Duty, Honor, Country: Parallels in the Leadership of George Washington and Dwight David Eisenhower,” in Fishman, Pederson, and Rozell, editors, George Washington: Foundation of Presidential Leadership and Character. Class Handout.
STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS FOR CHERNOW’S BOOK ON WASHINGTON
1.If the battles of New York and Brandywine were the low point in Washington’s generalship,(akin to his pre-war experience at Fort Necessity), the victories in Trenton (the Delaware Crossing), and Monmouth Courthouse (where victory, or at least a tie, was salvaged from the jaws of defeat when General Lee chose to retreat) were of substantial importance in lifting the morale of the army and establishing Washington’s leadership. And Valley Forge, which is really the story of survival under brutal conditions, forged a bond among the band of brothers and an allegiance to Washington that never subsided among the men. Comment on the setbacks at NY, Ft. Washington and Brandywine as well as the victories at Trenton and Monmouth and the survival at Valley Forge. What impact did these events have on Washington and on perceptions (good and bad) of his leadership? What impact did they have on the American army, and the revolutionary cause?
2.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.
3.On the brighter side of the ledger, Washington clearly had scores of supporters who believed strongly in his leadership and sensed his greatness long before his fame became universal. Among the earlier influences that were important to Washington were his half-brother Lawrence and his neighbor, Col. Fairfax. During the war many others stood proudly by Washington’s side –among them Nathanael Greene, Captain Alexander Hamilton, and of course, Washington’s great good friend, the Marquis de Lafayette. And politically, supporters like John Adams, despite private doubts, stood by Washington while many in Congress moved to dismiss him as General of the Army. Discuss these men and their support of Washington even during his darkest hours as General. In what ways did Washington have a special relationship with each of these men?
4.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 familiarity 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?
5. In constitutional, political, and policy terms, how did the debates over the creation of the National Bank, the Proclamation of Neutrality, the Citizen Genet mission, and the Jay Treaty crystallize the differences between the Federalist Party of Washington and Hamilton and the Republican party of Jefferson and Madison? How did Washington’s Cabinet become a fulcrum for the important early debates over these issues? Be sure to consult Chernow on all of these policies using his index as a guide. For example, the Jay Treaty is discussed in detail on pages 729-733 and pp.740-744. This includes discussion of Washington’s use of executive privilege in the Jay Treaty which is relevant to both questions 1 and 2.