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The Presidency of George Washington / Edition 1

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Overview

In this volume, Forrest McDonald admits that George Washington was no executive genius, and notes that a number of his advisers and cabinet members were considerably more important in formulating programs and policies than he was. Nevertheless, he maintains that, but for Washington, the office of president might not exist today. McDonald asserts that Washington's reputation as a man of integrity, dignity, candor, and republican virtue was well-deserved, and that he contributed best by serving as a symbol.

The book covers the central concerns of Washington's administration: a complex tangle of war debts; the organization of the Bank of the United States; geographical and social factionalism; the emergence of strong national partisan politics; adjustments in federal-state relations; the effort to remain neutral in the face of European tumult; the opening of the Mississippi River; and the removal of the threat of Indians and British in the Northwest Territory. McDonald also describes the rivalry between Washington's two most important department heads, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.

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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
A brilliant book. . . . It is pleasant to read, arresting, decisive, concise . . . a tour de force.
History: Reviews of New Books
One of the most imaginative and suggestive works on the Washington years. McDonald has demonstrated in this work that presidential history can still be lively and compelling.
Historian
Lucid, pungent, and convincing. Likely to become the standard brief account of Washington's administration.
Presidential Studies Quarterly
To a thrice-told tale, McDonald brings such zest and imaginative reconstruction that the narrative is shot through with new meaning. Nowhere will the student of American political history find a more explicit explanation of the early relations between Congress and the presidential office.
Journal of American History
A deeply provocative and exciting book.
Journal of Southern History
Intelligent, knowledgeable, incisive, lucid . . . and entertaining.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700603596
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 2/28/1974
  • Series: American Presidency Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 7.96 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Editors' Preface

Preface

1. The United States in 1789

2. Establishing a Government

3. The Financial Dilemma

4. Hamiltonianism

5. A Federal System of Politics, 1791-1792

6. Foreign Entanglements: 1793

7. 1794

8. Treaties and Intrigue, 1795-1796

9. The Transfer of Power, and An Epilogue

A Note on the Sources

Historiographical and Bibliographical Note

Index

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