General George Washington. Life of the Commander in Chief Research Paper
Background information of Commander George Washington
The life of George Washington before assuming presidency started like every other American’s at that age and era. Born to a planter family in Virginia in 1732, he possessed total manners, knowledge and morals necessary to become a gentleman in his community just like thousands of other young men in Virginia.
His life took a unique direction when he pursued western expansion studies and military arts during his education. His career in the Military started taking shape in 1754, when he was appointed a lieutenant colonel. He participated in the French and Indian wars where he was General Edward Braddock’s aide.
Historical sources from the government indicate that Washington was in the line of fire twice during the war. His closest escape was when a series of four bullets tore through his military jacket. In another encounter, (nps 4) indicates that two horses were shot from under him. Despite the close encounters, George Washington clearly gained valuable skills in the war that would help him later during America’s fight for independence.
In addition to the French-Indian war George Washington also participated in the revolution movement between 1774 and 1775. Before the onset of the revolution, (nps 5) notes that Washington had served as a Virginia Burgess for 16 years. As a burgess, Washington was part of a team that oversaw the governance of colonies in Virginia.
In 1774 however, Washington was among other burgesses who opposed excessive taxes imposed on residents by the British colonialists. According to the (nps 5), George Washington had settled back to an ordinary lifestyle as a planter, but was incensed by the exploitation that Americans suffered under the British merchants. He also loathed the restrictive British regulations and become a firm voice of resistance to the restrictions (The White House 42).
The onset of the revolutionary wars saw Washington take the battle front line once again. (The White House 42) notes that Washington was voted the Commander-in-Chief of America’s Continental Army during the second continental congress held in Philadelphia.
Barely two months into his election on July 1775, had Washington led his poorly trained troops to the battle fields. Noting the weakness of his troop, Washington’s strategy was to use brains to strategize rather than brawn, since the British army was stronger (Lengel 13). According to (nps 56), Washington also used the “element of surprise” to his advantage.
A point in case was the 1776 attack of the Hessian Troops. This attack occurred in Trenton, New Jersey and succeeded pushing the British troops out of New Jersey into New York. Although this was a brief success, (The White House 42) is of the opinion that Washington’s skills and boldness managed to move the American troops across the icy Delaware River and into the subsequent actions that helped them recapture New Jersey.
Their success made the Americans more confident about their abilities to win the Independence war against the Britons. Ever strategic, Washington was quick to support fellow commanders of the American troops as seen in some of his letters to Major General Greene and other (Sparks 16)
George Washington’s leadership skills came to the fore once again in 1977 when he re-organized the military departments in the troop that he lead for purposes of improving services provided to the soldiers. It was apparent to Washington that the already weary troops needed rejuvenation from whatever quotas. Earlier, the troops had lived in a log-hut city, where they had taken expert training for purposes of improving their skills in the battle fields.
In June 1778, Washington led the Continental Army to a successful battle against the Britons in New Jersey (nps 2). This however was not the end of the way. Washington led the American troops for another five years, until they finally defeated the better-equipped and larger British troops led by General Cornwallis. This happened in October 1781 at Yorktown, where the major, but last revolutionary war battle occurred.
Commander of Forces
After the revolutionary war in 1783 to 1879, Washington went back to Mount Vernon and concentrated on restoring the farm which has considerably deteriorated in his absence. The American historical revolution war files notes that he traveled near the Ohio River to inspect his land.
Having become a popular figure in the national circles, it is noted that Washington recorded an increased number of visitors to Mount Vernon in his diary. During the constitutional Convention held in May 1787, Washington was unanimously elected to the presiding officer post. Although he did not make significant direct contributions to the convention, his mere presence is said to have given the proceeding some prestige (Lengel 36). Notably, Washington had become a respected war hero in America by then.
During the convention, Washington supported the idea of having a powerful central government. This time in Washington’s life has been subject to much discussion. While some political analysts see Washington as a War hero who was “simply brought into the constitution convention to act and speak in his honorary capacity”, some see him as a pro-active leader who took the lead in reforming the union (Ray 2007).
Although one can only deduct Washington’s role in reforming the confederation from his actions, earlier in 1780 he has expressed his fears that the states in the confederation would at some point separate into 13 individual entities. He also feared that congress powers would decline thus loosing the respect of a grand American representative body (Ray 207). The constitution was later submitted to individual states for ratification, after which Washington was unanimously elected the United States president in 1789 (Lengel 45)
George Washington took office of the presidency in April 1789. During his term, he laid the foundations of the presidency in America by ensuring that the executive structure that thrived during his presidency would accommodate other presidents in the future (The White House 46). He did this by establishing the judicial and executive branches of the government.
Having fought in the American Revolution War and knowing the pains of working under colonial masters, Washington was quick to guarantee the survival of the US as an independent nation and sovereign power free from any outside influence. As suggested in the thesis of this research paper, Washington drew quite some lessons from his experiences in the battle fields during his two terms in the presidency.
When he first established the functioning of the federal government, Washington surrounded himself with consultants and supported who he vetted for knowledge and skill. Much like a commander and his lieutenants, Washington delegated most of the responsibilities of running the government to these people. After all, he trusted them to do a good job, and they did. He valued people’s opinion, but the decisions would be solely made by him. This was the case with his cabinet, where he would hold cabinet meetings to discuss issues.
Based on opinions raised in such meetings, Washington would then make the final decisions. Just in military camps, solarnavigator.net defines Washington as a systematic, energetic and orderly president. He is further defines as decisive, an enthusiast of consistency and intent on achieving the general goals.
Having learnt the powers of togetherness and consolidating people during his days in the military, he toured the southern states in and New England states in an attempt to reconcile these two geographical regions.
Unfortunately, Washington did not succeed in mending the widening rivalry between leaders Thomas Jefferson from New England states and Alexander Hamilton from the Southern state. His support of fiscal policies proposed by Hamilton, who was also the secretary of Treasury, earned him attacks from Jefferson’s camp (The White House 42).
The rivalry between Hamilton and Jefferson followed Washington into his second term. Having been re-elected president in 1792, the war between France and England become a real test for Washington. France was an official ally to the United States, while Britain was the leading trading partner with the country.
Since he did not want to support either party, Washington maintained that America would remain neutral about the war. The Jefferson camp, was however pro-French, while the Hamilton camp supported Britain’s cause. Just to reinforce his country’s position, Washington issued a public statement on April 1793 declaring America’s impartiality in the war. He further discouraged American citizens against sending any war materials or aid to the warring parties.
According to (nps 56), the president strongly believed that the right foreign policy was vital for the young nation that America was at the time. (nps 12) further suggests that George Washington reasons for pleading America’s neutrality during the British-French war, was out of concern that taking sides in the war would shatter America’s new government right in the middle with some people supporting Jefferson while others supported Hamilton.
It’s noteworthy that during his presidency, Washington would spend huge amounts of effort trying to reconcile the two factions. An observer can conclusively state that Washington was of the belief that people serving in the same government could not afford to be divided because governance would suffer. The differences between Jefferson and Hamilton led to the birth of political parties in America.
Although reluctant at first to side with either Hamilton or Jefferson, Washington at some point had to throw caution to the wind and support Hamilton’s fiscal policies, which promised to free America from a looming economic crises and a large external debt incurred during the war (Lengel 47).
By following Hamilton’s proposal, Washington’s government established a central bank for purposes of funding the national debt and put in place a strong, but effective tax system. The tax system assured the government of continuous revenue, which would be pumped back to the society through services.
Even in presidency, Washington’s days in the war field still had a grip on him. When Pennsylvania rebels defied federal power on taxes, Washington took his position at the head of the Military and managed to effectively use his presidential authority to quell the Whiskey rebellion (Archiving early America 42)
His restrain for war was evident when he started peace negotiations with Britain in order to avoid a recurrence of war between the two. The culmination of the exercise was the Jay Treaty that was signed in 1975. Although the Jefferson faction was opposed to the treaties ratification, Washington was able to use the immense prestige he had in Congress to have the treaty ratified.
At a time when the house requested that Washington releases all pertinent correspondence and documents for consideration before they could approve the funds necessary to enforce the treaty, Washington was resolute about the powers of the executive and their separation from the House of Representatives.
Being part of the Constitution convention that came up with the American constitution, Washington retaliated the mandate of the house of representatives and stated categorically that agreeing to their request for the documents and correspondence on the treaty would be tantamount to allowing the house overstep its mandate (nps 12). In his message to the House of Representatives, George Washington made it clear to representatives there in that their approval or lack of it would have no lasting consequence on the Jay treaty.
Washington further stated that the treaty had been submitted to Senate for advice and consideration, and therefore the request by the house was be of no immediate or necessary consequence. In his conclusion, Washington called for the need for every government sector to stick to the boundaries as set forth in the constitution (nps 13).
In his non-compliance statement, it is evident that George Washington had a clear understanding of the constitution and its mandate to different arms of the government. Having been a delegate in the constitutional conventional before going to the American revolutionary war, it is logical why he had such a grip on the constitution.
Washington left the presidency in March 1797, and although there were calls by his supporters to run for a third term, he honorably retired into his Vernon estate. By the time of his retirement, it is noteworthy that America’s financial system was well on a success course.
More to this, the Indian threat that had existed to the east of Mississippi was almost resolved and the controversial Jay treaty with the 1795 Pinckney’s treat with Spain had succeeded in enlarging America’s territory, while resolving diplomatic difficulties that had existed between America and the respective countries.
This was not only an advice to uphold political integrity, but a stern warning to Americans to keep off foreign interference. A nationalist to the core, Washington would accept the post of Army commander a year after his retirement albeit reluctantly. During this time, the war with France looked imminent. He however did not take an active role in his post.
The life experiences of General George Washington in the Military forces had no doubt laid a firm foundation for him and fellow Americans. His days started as an inexperienced young American, who regardless of the power and stature of the opposing troops, mobilized his troops to soldier on. This gave him invaluable leadership skills, which he would later use in his days as president.
He also learnt negotiations skills as commander in the military. Even when his troops did not impress congress with their performance in the war, Washington had to plead his case for the troops to get more training, supplies and government support (Sparks 3). Over the years, his negotiation skills improved tremendously and he would convince congress that giving up or substituting him was no option. Such skills later helped him in his days as president.
Crossing the icy waters of the Delaware River to ambush the British troops and force them to retreat into New York was among the strategic highlights of George Washington in the Military. Although this success would closely followed by a failed attempt to capture New York, George Washington’s acts have been revered as not only courageous, but giving hope to already despairing troops.
As one person eulogized him, George Washington lived the war, lived the peace and ensured that America’s politics was set on the right foundation. His discipline and dedication to his country, the right institutions, separation of powers, sovereignty and political responsibility was no doubt a result of his life experiences, most of which were gained from his days in the Military.
Archiving Early America. “George Washington’s Proclamation Calling out Millitia to Occupy the Western Countries of Pennsylvania.” 2002. Web.
Lengel, Edward. General George Washington; a Military Life. New York: Random House, 2005. Print.
Nps,Web “George Washington; Commander-in-Chief.” 2005. Web.
Ray, John. “George Washington’s Pre-presidential Statesmanship, 1783-1789” Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 27. No 2, (1997): 207-220. Print.
Sparks, Bowen. The Writings of George Washington Being His Correspondence Addresses Messages and Other Papers. New York: BiblioBazaar LLC, 2009. Print.
The White House. “George Washington, A U.S. President.” 1998. Web.
George Washington: Biography and Achievements Essay
American history saw a lot of truly inspirational people who not only influenced the lives of American citizens but also changed the way we think about fundamental political values. George Washington is the perfect example of the person whose contribution to the history of America is hard to overestimate, as scholars note that “Washington was critical for “making” America” (Fagal 552). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the life of George Washington, his political views, and the way his work affected society.
George Washington was born to father, Augustine Washington and his second wife, Mary Washington, and was one of seven children from his father’s two marriages. When George was 11 years old, his father died, and he was brought up in Virginia by Lawrence Washington, his half-brother. As researchers note, unlike his elder brothers, George Washington did not receive any formal education (Little 9). However, he was a well-rounded person, being able to write by early adulthood while also studying mathematics, surveying, and map-making. Lawrence Washington encouraged George to join the British navy, but George’s mother did not allow him to do so. Instead, George Washington became a land surveyor, which was considered a respectable profession at that time.
Washington’s surveying career provided him with a useful experience as he developed wilderness survival skills, learned self-dependence, studied the frontier region, as well as he established a good reputation. Besides, he received considerable fees for surveying, which allowed him to buy land in the Shenandoah Valley. Moreover, his job as a survey man helped George in his pursuit of success in his military career, teaching him some vital skills a soldier needs on the battlefield. His role in the French and Indian War was significant, as he was a commander of the Virginia Regiment, raised to oppose the French in the Ohio Valley. Furthermore, Washington served to British General Edward Braddock, who led an expedition to dislodge the French from Fort Duquesne. Washington learned much from Braddock while also earning a military reputation for courage and efficient administrating.
On January 6, 1759, Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis, and the marriage made him one of the wealthiest men of Virginia, which significantly increased his social status (Little 45). Considering that he was also a prominent military hero, Washington had enough achievements to be elected to the Virginia provincial legislature. Washington soon was considered as a member of the political elite in Virginia, which allowed him to become one of the central figures of the American Revolution. He was one of the delegates of the Continental Congress, during which the delegates discussed the ways to respond to the British government’s enforcement power. Soon, Washington acknowledged that attempts to overcome controversies are pointless and offered the services of a military commander.
In 1775, George Washington was selected to be the first commander in chief of the Continental Army. From 1775 to 1778, Washington was in the middle of the action. He successfully directed his army during the Siege of Boston, but he failed his next battle as he lost the city of New York. However, he managed to take his revenge as he won decisive victories at Trenton and Princeton at the end of 1776. From 1778 to 1780, Washington was focused on more diplomatic activities. Washington somehow was able to complete the enormous task as the army had constant problems with training and supply. He increased the combat capability and the level of discipline among soldiers, which helped significantly in winning battles. The army was dismissed after peace in 1783, and Washington resigned as commander-in-chief.
The next chapter of Washington’s life began when he became the first President of the United States under the new federal Constitution (Weems 7). There was no doubt that George Washington would win that election as he gained substantial support after being a successful commander-in-chief during the American Revolutionary War. His election was unanimous after all 69 electors voted for Washington, and he was inaugurated in New York City in April 1789.
One of the main goals of Washington’s political course was to continue democratic changes in the country and foster respect for the Constitution among people. He visioned the country as a democratic one; therefore, he made political changes that are consistent with democratic values. Washington improved the functioning of the three branches of government, which are the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. He also addressed the issue of amending the Constitution, supporting the ratification of the United States Bill of Rights. As for the international policy, George Washington wanted it “to be shaped by interest-driven, flexible neutrality—an approach not to be motivated by love or hatred for any other nation” (Estes 750). Such an attitude towards other nations further consolidates the fact that Washington was the man of true democratic values.
George Washington did everything he could to develop the civil consciousness of American people, as well as a sense of unity. By expressing respect for the Constitution, he promoted the development of democratic ideas among Americans. Another thing worth mentioning is that it was Washington who made November 26 to be the day of Thanksgiving, encouraging national unity. Washington’s vision was summarized in his final presidential letter, The Farewell Address. Washington emphasized that national identity was fundamental for safeguarding freedom and prosperity. He also motivated American people for the future progress of the country by stating that all his achievements during his presidency were due to Americans’ efforts to help the country develop.
George Washington made many contributions to American society. Among the most important ones, he provided firm leadership by his committed work at a crucial period of American history. He became the first President of the United States and also set a precedent, according to which there should be a maximum of two terms for one person. In this regard, Weems states, “Washington would never seek power as an end in itself, nor would he abuse power delegated to him” (10). Besides, George Washington was one of the authors of the Constitution of the United States, fostering respect to it after becoming a President. Another contribution that one should keep in mind is that he was the one to lead the American nation to the independency, while also cultivating democratic values.
All things considered, George Washington played a key role in the history of American society. During his life, he showed his devotion to the development of the country, and his work influenced American society in many different ways. Regarding this, he guided the country to independence, and afterward, as the first President, he was leading it during the hard times of instability, providing a solid base for future development. The most important thing to mention is that, with his democratic vision, Washington cultivated the right values among American people.
Estes, Todd. “Addressing America: George Washington’s Farewell and the Making of National Culture, Politics, and Diplomacy, 1796–1852.” Journal of American History, vol. 103, no. 3, 2016, pp. 750–751.
Fagal, Andrew JB. “George Washington and the Making of America.” Reviews in American History, vol. 44, no. 4, 2016, pp. 551-560.
Little, Shelby. George Washington. Pickle Partners Publishing, 2018.
Weems, Mason L. The Life of Washington. Routledge, 2015.
George Washington Carver, His Life and Research Research Paper
The personality of the brilliant African American chemist and botanist George Washington Carver seems to be reduced nowadays to “the man who worked with peanuts”. This remarkable person has made a revolution in farming, enlightened the Tuskegee Institute, and has reached the fame that was hard to achieve being an African American in the 19-20th century US. For historians and human right activists he has served as a living rebuttal of ethnocentric and racist theories. For farmers, he was the savior of Southern agriculture. For religious people, he was an epitome of faith and humility. What is left of this person is “the Peanut Man” image and a monument in Diamond, Missouri, where George Washington Carter was born. Mistakenly believed to have invented peanut butter – which he has not – George Washington Carver is a complex and ambiguous personality, which seems to be somewhat mistreated by history and public recognition.
George Washington Carver comes from Diamond Grove, Missouri. The exact date of his birth is unknown, but it is estimated to be in the mid-1860s. Carver had never excelled in health, which is why, coming from a slave family, he has never been sent to work in the fields. Instead, the boy did gardening. He also developed a passion for watching Nature in its ways and was very talented with plants (Kremer 3-4). At the age of 12, George Washington Carver stepped out on the platform in Iowa on his geas to get educated. The Simpson College has shown the young man the beauty of art, in which he also proved to be gifted. Nevertheless, having set and reset his priorities, Carter chose the path of agriculture and went to the Iowa State University in the beginning of 1890s. He turned out to be the first African American youth to ever make an attempt to enter the Iowa State. Also, he was the first ever African American to work at an educational institution. He was invited to teach at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, in 1886. Working as a professor, George Washington Carver got the chance to begin his research (Hersey 14-16).
Having arrived at Tuskegee, however, George Washington Carver had to face the shortage of funds, which forced him to personally construct the laboratory and equipment he needed. With the help of his students, Carver did it literally out of trash: they made things out of garbage they encountered. We are fully aware of the concept of recycling, but at the end of the 19th century, these trash raids were ahead of the time. Nevertheless, the lab was built – and the results of the research have brought George Washington Carver fame and recognition, at least back then. He has conducted a phenomenal research featuring sweet potatoes, which could be used for producing wood fillers, sweets, flours, and more (Hersey 135-137). In 1916, his well-known research bulletin “How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it For Human Consumption” was brought out (Hersey 258). The bulletin proved very helpful for farmers who had to face the mass destructions of cotton caused by the swarms of boll weevil in Alabama. Peanuts were cheap and multifunctional and have quickly become popular. There was the peanut oil and peanut plants for cattle, and multiple ways of cooking with peanuts. Apart from food, George Washington Carver discovered 300 ways of using peanuts in various products for everyday use, e.g., dyes, plastic, gasoline, shaving cream, hand lotion, etc. (Hersey 259-230). The actual peanut butter was never on the list; the product has been developer long before Carver.
George Washington Carver has never regarded his research as purely scientific. What he wanted was to help people; this stance and his Christianity made him a figure of respect. Another factor of Carver’s popularity was that he did not only talk about helping each other but actually did it. He was very well aware that his research might help people of color dwelling in the South and being choked by poverty. What was still more drastic, the South was rapidly running out of resources. Carver’s main contribution was with regard to low price of peanuts and sweet potatoes, and he devoted his entire life to saving other people’s lives – although he never acknowledged that being a person devoid of vanity. George Washington Carter has experienced much difficulty in his way due to ethnocentric and racist inclinations of the society he lived in. However, he made frequent travels during which he taught agriculture to anyone who would listen. On his travels, he had to use the “colored” train carriages and hotels – but he never stopped (Kremer 47-50).
After his death in 1943, George Washington Carver’s fortune, in which he had shown very little personal interest, was donated to Tuskegee Research Institute. Perseverance and faithfulness, as well as his utmost devotion to research for the sake of common good characterizes Carver much better than the common image of “the Peanut Man” that we are so used to, today.
Hersey, Mark D. My Work Is That of Conservation: An Environmental Biography of George Washington Carver. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2011. Print.
Kremer, Gary R. George Washington Carver: In His Own Words. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2013. Print.
George Washington Truett Biographical Sketch Term Paper
Baptist church is one of the most prominent Christian denominations. It has a long history, which goes as far back as the 17th century, in the United States. The church has had many preachers who have made significant contributions to the church’s history. One of the most influential pastors in Baptist history is George Washington Truett. This illustrious individual was able to leave a lasting legacy through his work in the church for over four decades. This paper will provide a biographical sketch of his life, highlighting the most noteworthy contribution that Truett made to Baptist history.
George W. Truett was born to a rural farming family on May 6, 1867. His parents, Charles and Mary Truett, built a home for their family in Hayesville, North Carolina. While Charles and Mary had only attained minimal formal education for themselves, they wanted their children to have a good education in order to increase their chances of succeeding in life. They therefore sent their son to Hayesville Academy where Truett proved to be an exceptional student. He graduated in 1885 and was given the responsibility of becoming the superintendent and teacher at the Crooked Creek School.
Truett had been raised in a devoutly Christian home and he was introduced to the bible at an early age. However, he was not converted until 1886. In this monumental year in his life, he attended a Methodist revival in Hayesville. Following a preaching by J.D. Pulliam, Truett surrendered his life to Christ and therefore became a Christian (Durso 19). However, Truett did not begin his ministry immediately after his conversion. Instead, he came up with an idea for a private school.
He managed to gather enough resources to implement this idea in 1887 where he established the Hiawassee Academy. Within a short time, Truett was forced to leave his newly founded school since his parents decided to move the family to a bigger farm in Texas. The family settled in Whitewright, Texas and became a part of the local community. While in Texas, Truett had the ambition to become a lawyer and to this end he attended Grayson College. Truett was initially opposed to becoming a preacher. He therefore objected to initial attempts by the Church in Whitewright to ordain him. However, the members of the Whitewright Baptist Church were convinced that Truett was meant to be a pastor. Due to the strong conviction of the church leadership and its congregation, he was persuaded to become a minister in 1890.
This marked the beginning of Truett’s long and illustrious ministry in the Baptist Church. Following his ordaining, Truett started preaching in Sherman but he also got a job at the Baylor University as a financial agent. He joined the University as a student in 1893 and he graduated in June 1897 (Caner and Mehmet 64).
After graduation, Truett decided not to pursue a professional life using his degree and instead turned to preaching. In the East Baptist Church where Truatt served, he established himself as a great preacher who was able to deliver powerful sermons to his congregation. Truatts Stint at the Waco based church was brief as he was soon asked to transfer to Dallas. He took up the position of pastor in the First Baptist Church and he continued to hold this position until 1944. Under his stewardship, the church experienced immediate growth and this expansion continued until his death.
Truett engaged in numerous church related activities in the early 20th century. He travelled to West Texas to preach to cowboys who were on cattle drives and also preached to soldiers during the First World War. He made his famous “Baptists and Religious Liberty” address in 1920 at the request of the Baptist leader J.B. Gambrell. Smith documents that Truett ministered not only in the US, but also in the world centers in London, Stockholm, Paris, and Berlin (60). Over the course of his 47 year old ministry, George W. Truett managed to give numerous sermons that have been compiled into ten books.
George W. Truett is credited with making a number of notable contributions to Baptist history. The most significant contribution is that he championed for religious liberty in the US. Through his Religious Liberty address, made on May 16, 1920, Truett presented the most compelling argument for religious liberty in America (Durso 268). This speech was made at a time when the government was working towards infringing the religious liberties of the Church. Truett declared that the government should respect the constitutionally guaranteed right of the church to enjoy freedom without government interference. His advocacy contributed to the increased protection of the church from attempts by the government to infringe on its freedom. Due to his contribution in this area, the religious liberties enjoyed by American Christians today are regarded as a Baptist innovation.
Many statements were made about George Truett both during his lifetime and after his death. Speaking of Truett’s ability to deliver sermons in a forceful and compelling manner, Dr. J.B. Hawthorne acknowledged that “I have heard many of the world’s famous speakers, but never in all my life has my soul been more deeply stirred by any speaker than it was the day at Marietta by the boy out of the mountains” (Caner and Mehmet 61).
Truett was able to attract the attraction of clergymen outside of his denomination. Following his death, the Temple Emanu-El Rabbi David Lefkowitz stated “He was a great churchman, and above all, a great man. He, above all others, purified the soul of Dallas and lifted it to the heights” (Durso 262). There is common agreement that Truett left a lasting legacy on the Christian Church landscape in the US. The historian Douglas Southall Freeman declared that “It would be difficult to exaggerate the influence of Dr. Truett’s positive preaching on American ministers in a critical age” (Larsen 740). For all his greatness as a speaker, Truett was criticized for his lack of ability in expository preaching and coming up with original interpretations of the bible. The historian Powhattan James noted that Truett would not be credited for “profundity of thought, or brilliance of rhetoric, or originality of exegesis, nor cleverness of homiletics” (Larsen 741).
The United States has numerous famous preachers in its history. This paper set out to provide a biographical sketch of the life of George Truett, who is one of the greatest preachers the country has ever had. To this end, it has discussed his life, conversion, and ministry. The paper has singled out his advocacy for religious liberty in the US as Truett’s most noteworthy contribution. It has then reviewed some of the things that were said about Truett by his contemporaries and historians. From this paper, it is evident that Truett was a great man and a spectacular preacher of the Gospel.
Caner, Emir, and Ergun Mehmet. The Sacred Trust: Sketches of the Southern Baptist Convention Presidents. Tennessee : B& H Publishing Group, 2003. Print.
Durso, Keith. Thy Will be Done: A Biography of George W. Truett. Georgia: Mercer University Press, 2009. Print.
Larsen, David. The Company of the Preachers. Michigan: Kregel Publications, 2001. Print.
Smith, Shelton. Great Preaching on Revival. Tennessee: Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1997. Print.
George Washington: Servant Leadership and Communication Coursework
The socio-economic and political success of the United States is directly attributed to effective leadership that has been experienced in the country since independence in 1776. The forefathers of this country had a great vision for this country, and they did everything within their powers to ensure that it was realized. They were never concerned with self-gains, and neither were they after fame. They served Americans diligently, always trying to unite the country for a common course.
They ignored their personal needs in order to realize the societal success. They embraced servant leadership as a way of delivering the best service to the people of this nation. George Washington was one such servant leader who was committed to free Americans from colonial rule, and to unite all Americans in order to achieve a common course. In this research, the focus will be to analyze the servant leadership strategies that were employed by George Washington as one of the greatest American heroes of a lifetime.
George Washington was the first president of an independent United States of America. Born in April, 1789, Washington joined the military at a tender age to help liberate the United States from the British rule. His military skills and leadership qualities saw him rise to become the Continental Army’s commander-in-chief in 1775. This meant that he had to lead the American Revolution that was gaining momentum against the oppressive rule from the colonial masters. This was one of the most dangerous tasks because the colonial army was ruthless and well equipped. However, Washington was willing to face death for the sake of his country.
He led the Continental Army against the British in Boston, and successfully liberated it from the British government. In New York, he was almost killed when his camp was attacked by the British forces as they were advancing to liberate it. This did not deter him from advancing to other states. He captured New Jersey, the fact that earned him massive admiration among the Americans. He went ahead to help in liberating many other states from the colonial rule. This saw him become the first president of the independent United States elected unanimously in 1789. He served the country diligently before retiring in 1797.
Servant Leadership of George Washington
George Washington has been referred as a hero and servant leader who served Americans without any self-interest clouding his thoughts. He was the general who liberated Americans from the chains of the colonial rule till it gained its freedom. However, Miller (2012) says that after liberating the United States, Washington resigned as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in order to promote democracy within the country.
This was a noble act because he denounced the power he had as the army general to capture power after driving the colonial forces away. However, he preferred to let Americans decide who they wanted as their leader. This is a clear indication that Washington saw himself as a servant. To him, the Americans were the master in this new country, and they had the power of choosing the person they wanted to serve them as their president.
According to Matha and Boehm (2008), George Washington is responsible for the current tradition where American presidents only serve for two terms. Even after being unanimously elected as the United States’ president, Washington felt that power should not be a preserve for a select few. After serving two terms, he never sought to extend his leadership in this country.
He handed over power to the second president of this nation who was elected in a free and fair election. This was strange because in this period, many countries in the world were ruled by dictators. Some of the democratic leaders would cling to power using all means, but Washington felt that the United States needed to embrace constitutionalism and democracy in the country.
According to Miller (2012), Communication is one of the most important characteristics in servant leadership. A leader should be able to communicate freely with the followers in a clear manner in order to influence others to act in a given manner. Flint (2012) says that George Washington was able to win many battles against the British forces because of his ability to communicate properly with his generals. He was always open to discussions, considering the views of everyone important in the fight for liberation of the country.
This motivated his troops who felt that their leader was interested in protecting their interest at all cost. When he became the president, George Washington remained accessible to many, always preferring to communicate directly other than using intermediaries. It is important for a leader to eliminate bureaucracies in communication in order to eliminate distortion of the message (Ferch & Spears, 2011). When systems are created that subject pieces of messages into various systems, the message always get diluted, and by the time it reaches the targeted audience, it may not have the intended information.
This is what Washington was keen to avoid. He would always pass his message directly to the intended audience whenever this was necessary. He also maintained a cordial relationship with other senior government officials and liberators of this country, including those who opposed his leadership. He always maintained that the opposition had a role to play in the country, and that it was necessary for them to be listened to as the alternative government in the country.
Theory X and Theory Y
McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y have become very popular theories when analyzing servant leadership in the society. According to McGregor’s Theory X, people are always lazy and tend to dodge their tasks whenever they have an opportunity. For this reason, a leader must ensure that he or she maintains a close check on such lazy leaders to ensure that they undertake their duties. Most leaders always embrace this principle when leading people, always preferring a hands-on leadership style.
On the other hand, Theory Y holds that with the right motivation, people can always achieve a lot with minimal or no supervision at all in their various workplaces. This is a principle that Washington held so dearly. As an army general, he always insisted on self-motivation among the military officers. He was always in the battle front, the fact that challenged his officers to act positively in their various tasks.
He believed in delegating duties as a way of creating a sense of responsibility among his officers. As the president of the country, he always trusted his staff and the entire cabinet to do what is right without having to be subjected to any strict supervision. It is important to note that this does not mean that he never followed up to ensure that the officers were doing what was expected of them. He was very keen to ensure that they acted as it was expected.
Added value of a servant leader
According to Schuttler and Burdick (2010), a servant leader is a person who is willing to sacrifice the personal benefits for the sake of his or her people. It is a leader who is always willing to do everything in order to create peace and make his or people lead a better life. George Washington was such a leader. He led a successful fight against the colonial rulers and was finally elected to become the first president of the United States. When he became the president, he forgave the colonial masters and considered forming an economic alliance with them for the sake of improving the economy of the United States.
He did not hold grudge against the people who were interested in taking away his life because he knew that such acts would only bring down the economy of this country. This was a unique value that helped him serve Americans as a servant leader. Washington was also a champion of people’s rights. During his lifetime, slavery in the United States was still in existence. Born in a rich family, he too had his own slaves who served in various capacities. However, deep in his heart he believed that slavery was not good. He believed that every American should enjoy the freedom that the country had gained.
He believed that Blacks and Whites, Hispanics and any other Americans of different demographic groups deserved to lead a life free from slavery. That is why in his last will, he freed all the slaves who had been serving his family. This was a gesture to all Americans that slavery was not a good practice in a country that had just been liberated from the colonial rulers. As a servant leader, he gave an example by releasing his slaves. He acted upon the issue, and left the Americans to make their own independent decisions about slavery.
Servant leadership in the current society
As a servant leader, George Washington was able to transform the United States from a middle economy country to one of the fastest growing economies in the world. He saw himself as a servant to his people and was always keen to act in the best interest of the entire country. This is lacking in the current leadership where people are interested in self-gains.
Servant leadership is needed in the current society in order to steer the country towards the path of success as the forefathers did. An organization full of servant leaders would be very successful in the current society (Sipe & Frick, 2009). The employees would remain motivated when they see their leaders taking responsibilities as a way of showing them how to undertake some duties. The servant leaders will always be willing to be at the service of the junior employees and this would improve service delivery.
Servant leadership is very important in the current society. President George Washington was able to achieve a lot as a servant leader. It is true that significant contingencies like rebellion may lean against servant leadership. However, it is important to remember that unity and success is always easily achievable through servant leadership.
Ferch, S. R., & Spears, L. C. (2011). The spirit of servant-leadership. New York: Paulist Press.
Flint, B. B. (2012). The journey to competitive advantage through servant leadership: Building the company every person dreams of working for and every president has a vision of leading. Bloomington, Ind: West Bow Press.
Matha, B., & Boehm, M. (2008). Beyond the babble: Leadership communication that drives results. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Miller, K. (2012). Organizational communication: Approaches and processes. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Schuttler, R., & Burdick, J. (2010). Laws of communication: The intersection where leadership meets employee performance. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Sipe, J. W., & Frick, D. M. (2009). Seven pillars of servant leadership: Practicing the wisdom of leading by serving. New York: Paulist Press.
Alexander Hamilton vs Thomas Jefferson
Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson had very different political views, which is why our first president, George Washington, had them both in his cabinet. Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury, while Jefferson was the first Secretary of State.
These differences begin with who they thought should govern and what type of government was the best. Hamilton thought we should have a strong central government in the interests of commerce and industry, while having the national government in charge. However, Jefferson felt that the people should rule with a decentralized, agrian government in the terms of freedom and the people should rule themselves.
They also had conflicting ideas for what economy suited us best, Hamilton believing it to be industrial and Jefferson believing the best was agricultural.
Along with those conflicts, they didn’t agree with how the constitution was to be interpreted. Hamilton was a loose constructionist, wanting to stick closer to the thought of the central government ruling.
Jefferson was a strict constructionist, believing that the constitution was to be followed closely.
Lastly, their difference in ideas helped formed political factions. They became two sides, the Federalists and the Antifederalists – or Republicans. Alexander Hamilton’s side was the Federalists, they stood for the urban mercantile interests of the seaports. Thomas Jefferson’s was the Republicans who represented the southern and rural interests. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson had very different political views, which is why our first president, George Washington, had them both in his cabinet. Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury, while Jefferson was the first Secretary of State.
These differences begin with who they thought should govern and what type of government was the best. Hamilton thought we should have a strong central government in the interests of commerce and industry, while having the national government in charge. However, Jefferson felt that the people should rule with a decentralized, agrian government in the terms of freedom and the people should rule themselves. They also had conflicting ideas for what economy suited us best, Hamilton believing it to be industrial and Jefferson believing the best was agricultural.
Along with those conflicts, they didn’t agree with how the constitution was to be interpreted. Hamilton was a loose constructionist, wanting to stick closer to the thought of the central government ruling. Jefferson was a strict constructionist, believing that the constitution was to be followed closely.
Lastly, their difference in ideas helped formed political factions. They became two sides, the Federalists and the Antifederalists – or Republicans. Alexander Hamilton’s side was the Federalists, they stood for the urban mercantile interests of the seaports. Thomas Jefferson’s was the Republicans who represented the southern and rural interests.
Thomas Jefferson vs. Alexander Hamilton
Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were two very influential people with very different ideals. With land inherited from his father, Jefferson set himself up as a Virginia tobacco farmer. Once established as a planter, Jefferson entered Virginia politics. As a politician, he did not have the ability to make rousing speeches. Instead, Jefferson spoke eloquently through his writing. His words in the Declaration of Independence and other writings are still admired today. Since Hamilton had no money or family connections to help him rise in the world, he made his way on ability, ambition, and charm.
George Washington noticed Hamilton’s talents in the early stages of the Revolutionary War. Washington made Hamilton his “aide-de-camp”, also known as a personal assistant. Near the end of the Revolution, Hamilton helped his cause by marrying Elizabeth Schuyler. She was born into one of New York’s most powerful families. With her family’s political background, after the war was over, Hamilton was elected to represent New York in Congress .
Later, he served as a delegate from New York to the Constitutional Convention . Although they had different upbringings, the two had huge influences on the upbringing of the United States.
Jefferson and Hamilton had two very different views on politics. Many clear thinking Americans could tell you at least some facts about Thomas Jefferson. Far fewer would likely have an idea of who Alexander Hamilton was and what he provided as a Founding Father. Yet his idea of an American government was just as important as that of Jefferson. Both Jefferson and Hamilton foresaw the new nation as a future power, and both had very different ways to get it there. Jefferson believed the nation’s strengths lay in its agricultural roots.
He favored an agrarian nation with most powers reserved for the states. He was very opposed to a sturdy central authority and believed that the citizens were the final authorities in government. Jefferson also encouraged support for the French Revolution. Hamilton favored a strong central authority. He believed a strong government was important to provide order so that business and industry could develop. He envisioned America becoming an industrial power. Until his death, he sought to establish a national bank and fund the national debt in order to establish a solid base for national credit . Hamilton believed that the government should be controlled by those who were educated and wealthy rather than by “the mob,” otherwise known as the lower class. He opposed involvement in the French Revolution and worried Jeffersonians by appearing, and maybe even being, too self-serving with Britain .
The two men also had a different view of the ideal economy. Like most Americans in the 1790s, Jefferson was a man of the country. He believed that the nation’s future didn’t lay with Federalist bankers and merchants, but with plain, Democratic-Republican farmers. “Those who labor in the earth,” he wrote, “are the chosen people of God, if ever He had a chosen people.” Democratic-Republicans favored an economy based on agriculture.
They contested any measures designed to positively influence the growth of business and manufacturing . Hamilton’s dream of national greatness was dependent upon the United States growing and maintaining a strong economy. In 1790, the nation’s economy was still based primarily on agriculture. Hamilton sought to expand the economy and increase the nation’s wealth by using the power of the federal government to encourage business, manufacturing, and trade. In 1790, Hamilton presented Congress with a plan to pay off all war debts as soon as possible. Hamilton claimed that if the debts were not promptly paid the government would lose respect both at home and abroad. Hamilton’s plan for repaying the debts was combatted by many Americans, especially in the South. Most southern states had already paid their war debts. They saw little or no reason to help states in the North pay off what they still owed .
Jefferson and Hamilton had varying views on foreign policy. During Jefferson’s time in office, France declared war on all of Europe while Britain declared war on France. With all of this war, the amount of trade was lowered. This caused oppression in the United States. Napoleon formed a blockade of Great Britain, and then Great Britain initiated a blockade of all of Europe. These blockades were not sufficient, but during the process 1500 American ships were abducted and all of the sailors were forced into the British navy. From this happening, Jefferson ordered the Embargo Act, which terminated the trading with foreign countries from U.S. merchants.
This act was passed in order to hold the U.S. out of war by concealing American ships away from the blockades. This act was not obeyed completely because many Americans would smuggle goods to different ports. From 1804-1809, the Embargo and Non-Intercourse Acts were passed. These acts were passed to avoid America from entering the war with France and the British. The Embargo Act didn’t allow any trade between America and any foreign countries in order to prevent American ships from being abducted in the blockades being formed. Many people disobeyed this act, so Jefferson chose to pass the Non-Intercourse Act in 1809. This act permitted American merchants to trade with ports other than British. In 1809, the act was discarded, but was later replaced by the Non-Intercourse Act, which stated that Americans could trade with foreign nations other than the European nations.
This act also failed to keep American ships out of the European ports . In the first decade of the republic, Hamilton played a decisive role in shaping domestic and foreign policy. In 1790, as Secretary of the Treasury under George Washington, he presented a far-reaching financial program to the first Congress. He proposed that the debt accumulated by the Continental Congress be paid in full, that the federal government assume all state debts, and that a Bank of the United States be commissioned. For revenue, Hamilton advocated a tariff on imported goods and a series of excise taxes. He hoped by these measures to bolster the national government at the expense of the states and to tie government to men of wealth and prosperity .
Both of these men played major roles in the formation of political parties. During the formative years of our nation’s history, the attentions of north and south, rich and poor, and industry and agriculture were tossed into the same pressure cooker of dissent until two extremely different visions for the country were brought forth. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton believed that our new country’s federal government should be more centralized. Hamilton particularly advocated the creation of a national bank that would establish financial policy, institute credit, and homogenize a nationwide currency. Opponents dreaded that a stronger federal government would function more like a monarchy and wipe out the new idea of democracy.
However, Hamilton created the Federalist Party. Such opponents, such as Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and House Representative James Madison, believed it was more important to provide more power to seperate states. Jefferson also believed the creation of a national bank was not allowed by the Constitution. Finding the distance separating their visualizations only growing, Hamilton created the Federalist Party and Jefferson developed the Republican Party, it was later called the Democratic-Republican Party. Both parties emerged during Washington’s second term, and Washington was not happy. Washington believed that such parties would only rupture our nation and “render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection.” Washington wrote these words in his farewell address, asking Americans to set aside their differences and remain unified .
The political parties that Jefferson and Hamilton developed are not quite the same as they once were. The first two political parties to emerge during Washington’s term of office were the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists . The major problem in the beginning was the ratification of the Constitution, with the Federalists standing by it and the Anti-Federalist wanting guarantees of individual freedoms and rights that were not included in the original document. The issue was sorted out with the addition of the Bill of Rights, but the parties did not depart with the issue. The Federalists were guided by Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury, and represented urban, business-oriented men who preferred elitism and a strong central government. The Federalists supported Hamilton’s formation of the Bank of the United States because they saw it as advancing their interests and beliefs. The Anti-Federalists came to be acknowledged as the Democratic-Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson.
They favored stronger state governments, rural interests, and a weaker central government. They contested the bank as a foe of state control. With Hamilton’s death and John Adams’ disapproval as president, Jefferson emerged as the most admired leader at the turn of the nineteenth century. As president he progressively became more accepting of a strong central government, and the two parties’ points of view appeared to merge notably in the “Era of Good Feeling” presided over by James Monroe, one of Jefferson’s prodigies. The Democratic-Republicans arose as the only party, and their dominance continued until the mid-1800’s, though under a new name, the Democrats. The two-party system reemerged with the appearance of Andrew Jackson, who appealed to the expanding country, in which newer states found much in common with the rural, southern states but little with the developed northeast.
A new party later emerged, the Whigs. They represented many of the interests of the old Federalist Party. Jackson’s election in 1828 was achieved with a coalition between South and West, creating the new Democratic Party. Jackson’s Democrats were a simpler sort than Jefferson’s, who were mainly gentlemen farmers from the South and Middle Atlantic states. With the Jacksonian era’s worldwide manhood suffrage, practically all men could vote. This meant that rural, anti-bank, small farmers from the South and West molded the backbone of the Democratic Party. During this era the Democrats started the tradition of holding a national convention to elect a presidential candidate. Delegates elected from state and local parties could vote for the candidate, rather than the chosen party leaders who met in secret.
The Whigs were left with not only the old Federalist interests, but other groups, much like wealthy rural Southerners, who had absolutely nothing in common with other Whigs. The party was not ideologically coherent, but found success by nominating war heroes, such as William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor. As the Whigs were falling apart, a new Republican Party emerged from the issue of expansion of slavery into other territories. In 1860, the first Republican, Abraham Lincoln was sworn into office setting off the secession of southern states, and with them, many advocates of the Democratic Party. The Civil War ended the era of dominance of the Democrats, and marshaled in a new Republican era. Voters realigned according to regional differences and conflicting points of view regarding the expansion of slavery and state rights.
During the Reagan presidency, Democrats began to adopt some of the Republican strategies and principles, including computerized mailing lists, opinion polls, and paid consultants. The party managed to lead their candidate, Bill Clinton, to presidency in 1993, a position he held for eight years, two terms. However, government continued to be divided because the Republicans won both houses of Congress in 1994 and held them up until 2001, when the Senate resumed a Democratic majority.
By this time, George W. Bush, a Republican, had been elected President, so the tradition of a separated government, developed in 1969, continued. However, Republicans regained hold on the Senate in the 2002 elections; they swept the presidency and both houses of Congress in the elections of 2004. These recent events have led some observers to reason that a new Republican era is beginning, and that divided government as a recurring phenomenon may be coming to an end .
- Ando. N.p.. Web. 29 Sep 2013. Coleman, Aaron N. “‘A Second Bounaparty?’: A Reexamination of Alexander Hamilton during the Franco–American Crisis, 1796–1801,” Journal of the Early Republic, Volume 28, Number 2, Summer 2008, pp. 183-185 Eddins, G. Z.. N.p.. Web. 29 Sep 2013. .
- Mason, Alpheus Thomas. “The Federalist–A Split Personality,” American Historical Review 57 (1952): 625-643 . N.p.. Web. 29 Sep 2013. .
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George Washington’s Influence
George Washington was the First President of the Unitd States (1789-1797)and commander in chief of the Continental army (1775-1783) at a most critical period in American history. He was one of the most influlential revolutionary leaders of his time and earned the title “Father of His Country.” While commander in chief of the Continental army, he won many important battles that helped the Americans defeat the British, then the most powerful nation in the world. Washington made the American Revolution successful not only by his personal military triumphs but also by his skill in directing other operations.
With boh military background nad training, Washington had learned how to challenge me to give their best. He created the Continental Army out of what was little more than an armed mob, which fought and won the American Revolution. With victiory won, Washington was the most highly looked upon man in the United States.
Many people wanted Washington to use this power to establish a military dictatorship or to become king.
Washington did not pursue this idea bcause he realized dictatorship would be the downfall of the future independent nation. He was the leading influence of the union of the states under a strong central government and later the Constitution of the United States. After a new government was organized, Washington was unanimously chosen the first President and took office in 1783. Washington’s role as president was important in winning the support for the new government’s domestic and foreign policies. He is responsible for building much of the country’s political nad econmic structure. Washington fully understood the significance of his presidency. Probably no other man could have succeded in turning the states into a loasting union.
Around 1792, Washington was thinkin about retirement. Bothe Hamilton and Jefferson advised him that if he were to retire the North and South might divide. efferson said to him, “NOrth and South will hang together if they have you to hang on.” Once again, Washington was unanimously reelected in 1793. During his eight years in office, he laid down the guidelines for future presidents and set many precedents for the future presidency. He declined to serve a third term and retired in 1797 after delivering his “Farewell Address” Washington lived only two years after turning over the presidency to his successor, John Adams. Known as “Father of His Country”, Washington is universally regarded as one of the greatest figures in U.S.
British oppression: the cause of the American Revolution?
The American Revolution was costly and bloody war that granted the Americans the independence for which they fought. This 8-year-long revolutionary war from 1775 to 1783 is considered one of the greatest revolutions of all time in that the Americans had defeated the most powerful nation in the world at the time, Great Britain. The American Revolution is a critical event in the history of the United States and has been explored and evaluated by numerous historians of the 20th century. Whether or not the revolution is justifiable by the American colonists is a long, debatable subject.
Some historians assume that the American Revolution is a result of colonial selfishness and ideology whereas some argue that “only oppression … can justify war” (McLaughlin C. Andrew). All in all, it can be conclusively demonstrated that British oppression towards the colonists is largely responsible for the American Revolution. In fact, particularly after the French and Indian war, England was beginning to rule tyrannically and severely oppress the colonists especially in the economic field.
Before interpreting how Britain oppressed the colonists after the Seven Year’s War, it is important to know that even before this war Britain was already showing oppression under the practice of mercantilism. Hacker comments that “beginning in 1660 England gave new strength and direction to its empire. It began exerting stronger controls over the economic activities of the colonies” (DiBacco et al. 59) These stern policies were known as the Navigation Acts. The first Navigation Act of 1660 ordered that all colonial trade had to be in British ships or colonial ships with British captains. This act also ordered that goods such as indigo, sugar, and tobacco were to be sold only to England or another colony. Furthermore, “The law was directed against the Dutch maritime trade, which was very great at that time” (Elson Henry).
The second Navigation Act of 1663 assured that all European imports to the colonies were required to pass through Britain first. There, government collected both import and export duties on the same goods. Because this law hurt the colonies, it was later ignored. However, as Elson states: “had this law been strictly enforced, the effect on the colonies that produced the “enumerated” goods would have been disastrous.” (Elson Henry) The last Navigation Act that was ordinanced in 1673 sent British tax officials who collected duties on colonial goods destined to England. From these Navigation Acts by Britain it becomes evident that England started oppressing the colonists even before the French and Indian war. I was suggested by Elson that the Navigation Acts were “unfortunate for British interests; it served to alienate the colonists, little by little, and prepared them for the final break with the mother land.(Elson Henry).
By 1760, England began tightening the screws on the colonies especially after the French and Indian War. Economic and political crisis started to be seen. Additionally, Britain was in debt and did not want to risk another war. Therefore, to keep piece with the Indians Britain issued the Proclamation if 1763 which declared that all land west of the Appalachians was to the Indians and off-limits to the American colonists. This proclamation infuriated the colonists who wanted to seek westward, and provoked resentment which would later lead to the American Revolution (DiBacco et al. 73). This protest to the Proclamation could be considered legitimate because as Hacker states:
Stringency and bankruptcy everywhere confronted the merchants and big farmers; seamen and laborers were thrown out of work, small tradesmen were compelled to close their shops and small farmers were faced by ruin because of their expanded acreage, a diminished market and heavy fixed charges made particularly onerous as a result of currency contraction. Into the bargain, escape into the frontier zones–always the last refuge of the dispossessed–was shut off as a result of the Proclamation of 1763. (Hacker 93)
In addition to the Proclamation of 1763 England also challenged the colonists with the use of writs of assistance. Britain thought that the colonists should return to their proper role of enriching the mother country and abiding by its rules (DiBacco et al. 81). The writs of assistance were blank search warrants that allowed tax officials to seize smuggled goods at any time and place when found. James Otis who represented the colonist merchants stated that “this writ is against the fundamental principles of English law…”(DiBacco et al. 82) Otis also claimed that the writs of assistance were unconstitutional.
The Seven Year’s War caused more problems to the British which had to be solved . After the war 10,000 English soldiers remained to protect the frontier. Because the Parliament needed to raise funds for such expenses, the Stamp Act of 1765 was issued. It required that every sheet of legal document had to have a stamp on it showing that tax had been paid. Every copy of a liquor license, a land deed, a will, a newspaper, even playing cards were taxed. Moreover, those caught disobeying the law were to be tried in courts where there was no trial by jury. This act by the British was an attempt to cripple the colonists with taxes. The Stamp Act:
Meant that they had to go to a special stamp tax office to purchase the stamped paper. Not only that, the tax was to be paid in silver coin–a scarce commodity in the colonies. (DiBacco et al. 83)
Although this act was repealed in 1766, another oppressing act was passed, the Declaratory Act. The latter asserts Britain the right to rule and tax colonies. Following the Declaratory act came the Townshend Acts of 1767, where the King and Parliament expected more revenues from the colonies. The Townshend Acts placed high duties which were to be paid in gold or silver on lead, paper, glass, paint and tea. (Dibacco et al. 83). Such oppressive acts by the British Parliament meant to restrict colonial economy. In History of the United States, Salma Hale mentions that “…these restrictions, while they increased her revenues and wealth, greatly diminished the profits of the trade of the colonies, and sensibly impeded their internal prosperity.”
There were several tyrannical events and acts that took place in Boston. The city was a sight of coercion and ruthless conflict between the British and the colonists. For example, on March 5th, 1770 tensions erupted when British soldiers fired at an angry street mob killing 5 people. This incident became known as the Boston Massacre. Only a month after this incident British Parliament repealed the Townshend duties but left the Tea Act of 1775 to symbolize Britain’s control and power over the colonists. The Tea Act gave the East India Company a monopoly on trade. Moreover, the tea arrived in the company’s own ships and be sold by its own agents (DiBacco et al. 85).Colonial merchants and shippers dismayed and thought that if Parliament could establish a monopoly on tea, then they could establish monopolies on other goods. According to Louis Hacker, the East India company:
Was given permission to ship in its own vessels and dispose of, through its own merchandising agencies, a surplus stock of 17 million pounds of tea in American: and, in this way, drive out of business those Americans who carried, imported and sold in retail channels British tea. (Hacker 89)
Consequently, the Tea Act lead to the Boston Tea Party which would inflame the British parliament even more. In the Boston Tea party, a gang of radical colonists, disguised as Indians systematically dumped into the Boston harbor 342 chests of tea in response to the Tea Act.
Lastly, one of the most and domineering and oppressive acts that Britain had issued on the colonists were the Coercive Acts, or the Intolerable Acts as the colonists referred to it. After what had happened at the Boston Tea Party, Britain was enraged. Not only did England close the Boston Port until all tea wasted at the Boston Tea Party was paid back but even representative government was severely restricted in Massachusetts. The governor had the power to appoint the council, all judges and all sheriffs. Also, committees of correspondence were forbidden, and only. Under the governor’s permission were town meetings allowed to be held. Yet another act declared that soldiers were to be quartered in abandoned buildings or taverns in colonies whenever it was necessary. It was an oppressive act because it interfered with the colonists’ lives: food, clothing, and shelter had to be provided for the British Army. This act is commonly known as the Quartering Act.
To enforce these laws, Massachusetts became under military rule. Spontaneously, another act which offended the colonists known as the Quebec Act was issued in 1774. It not only guaranteed “French Canadians the right to practice Roman Catholicism” but it also “gave Quebec control over much of what is now Quebec, Ontario, and the Midwestern United States.” (The Quebec Act). The colonists were not willing to tolerate Catholicism and felt offended. The American land-hungry settlers became enraged after Quebec acquire Indian Territory which they believed to be theirs by right. Such oppressive acts by the British may have contributed to the outbreak of the American Revolution. In one historian’s interpretation of the cause of the American Revolution it was suggested that:
The direct taxing of domestic goods and services under the Stamp Act, and taxing of imports under the Townshend Acts, the tax on the tea, the Coercive Acts which followed resistance to British authority by the people of Boston, and the exclusion of colonial representatives from the Parliament that enacted such measures–these were without doubt grievances which stirred the American generation of the 1770s. (McClellan 113)
In summary, the American revolution which was a gruesome and costly war to both Britain and the Americans, it had nevertheless granted the independence the Americans battled for. Due to the fact that the American Revolution is an excessively complex topic, there are various interpretations on whether it could be justified. Undoubtedly , it becomes clear that only British oppression on the colonists could be the cause of the revolutionary war. Not only were the British oppressing the colonists before the Seven Year’s War with acts such as the Navigation Acts, but by 1760 England was starting to rule ruthlessly and oppress the colonies especially in the economic aspect. Lecky, one of the ablest historians mentions in “History of England that: “The deliberate selfishness of the English commercial legislation was digging a chasm between the mother country and the colonists.”
Americans win the War of Independence
Before the first shots were fired in the American War of Independence, very few people gave the Americans (also known as the ‘colonists’ or ‘patriots’) a chance. Britain had a population of 11 million compared to the patriots 2.5 million of whom 20% were slaves. Furthermore Britain had the most powerful navy in the world, an experienced and well-armed standing army of 48,000 men and the support of tens of thousands of loyalists and Indian tribes. Britain also held the economic advantage as they could rely on the profits from the South Atlantic system and the industrial revolution.
So at the beginning of the war, an American victory seemed distinctly unlikely for American forces weak and British military and naval power enormous by comparison.[i]
Foreign aid obtained by the colonists was extremely important in their victory. In 1776 France extended a secret loan to the colonies and supplied them with gunpowder. These loans of gunpowder were extremely important in enabling the patriots to defeat Britain in the Battle of Saratoga.
In February 1778 France and America signed The Treaty of Alliance that stated once France entered the war against Britain, there would be no more treaties before the colonists gained liberty, sovereignty and independence.[ii] The treaty also opened both nations ports to the others commerce and guaranteed French possessions in the New World. Therefore this alliance was very important as it brought optimism and boosted the morale of the patriots. As one soldier from Pennsylvania said, “There has been a great change in this state since the news from France”.
France gave money, supplies and in the last phase of the war, military force. France supplied most of the muskets, bayonets and canons used by the colonists and without French aid it is debatable if they could have won the war. For example at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, 20 French war ships prevented Cornwallis’ escape and led to the surrender of the British force and the end of the war.
Furthermore France’s participation in the war and Vergennes’ (French foreign minister) influence was a big factor in persuading other countries to join the American war effort. In 1779 and 1780, both Spain and Holland respectively entered against Great Britain and soon after Catherine of Russia organised the League of Armed Neutrality which when threatened by Britain in the early 1780’s, responded by deterring British trade.
So foreign aid was a very important factor in America’s victory as it is probable that they did not have the power to defeat the British on their own.
The logistics of the war was a second major reason for the American’s victory. Britain encountered many logistical problems in the war which all contributed in some way to its defeat. Howe thought that driving the American army from the battlefield in any area would return that area to loyalty to the crown or at least neutrality. However this was not the case. Britain was only able to control areas that the military occupied so therefore when the army moved it had to abandon the area it previously occupied. As a result when a British force was defeated its only hope was to retreat to a fortified port and so if the navy was not there with its usual overwhelming power, the army would be in serious trouble, as exemplified with the Battle of Yorktown.
Another logistical problem was that the British army could not expect supplies from any area it did not occupy and also the areas Britain did occupy were too small to provision the British army.[iii] Therefore they had to be dependent on supplies from Britain but even this was often a major problem as the obtaining of these supplies was held up administratively. The British Treasury and Admiralty did not co-operate with each other to make provisioning efficient or effective. For example in 1776 Admiralty agents insisted that army suppliers be licensed and applications accompanied by exact cargo manifests. Therefore, as ships were loaded at Cork and applications made in London, voyages could be delayed for weeks and sometimes months and as a result hampered the British war effort.
Britain also suffered a number of transport problems that further complicated proceedings. In October and November 1775, 36 supply ships loaded with hundreds of tons of food and supplies left Britain to make sure the 11,000 soldiers, sailors and marines in Boston would have a comfortable winter. However the ships witnessed some of the worst storms of the century and many sunk, were captured or fled towards the West Indies. In the end only 13 supply ships reached Boston by which time most of the food had gone bad.[iv] So therefore transport problems are another logistical problem that contributed to Britain’s defeat.
Food that did reach America created another problem for the British, as there were no good means to store or distribute the food. Therefore the food often sat on the ships holding them up when they could have been used for battle or getting more supplies.
Logistical problems also hit the British army directly as they could only operate freely as long as the supplies they could carry lasted. Therefore they had to move as soon as they ran out of supplies, even if it was not militarily expedient. So as the army was always moving it could not force an American army to battle, which created a big advantage for the colonists as they could decide when to fight.[v]
So overall Britain had to deal with many distribution and communication problems and despite having more supplies than the enemy, because of the above problems this proved to be no advantage.
A third major reason for the patriot’s victory revolved around the military strategy of both sides. On three notable occasions Britain made terrible mistakes in battle that contributed massively to their overall defeat. At the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, Britain went against all accepted military practice by attacking American forces on Breeds Hill, having to go up a steep and grassy hill in the open carrying sixty pound packs whilst the colonists were under cover. Of three British attacks, the colonists won two and Britain suffered a 50% loss of soldiers and didn’t make another offensive for fourteen months. On top of this, the battle seriously strengthened American morale and gave Washington over a year to build an army and prepare for the next battle. [vi]
At the Battle of Long Island in 1776 Britain made a massive strategic error of not exploiting their success. The British army had marched unexpected straight into the rear of the colonists and quickly forced a retreat. Britain had thousands of fresh troops available and had the momentum but allowed the colonists to escape from Brooklyn to Manhattan by boat. Therefore Britain lost their best chance of destroying the Continental army, capturing Washington and winning the war.[vii]
The final major military mistake by Britain was in 1777 when General Howe’s plan to attack Philadelphia instead of going to Albany to help Burgoyne backfired when the Continental Congress fled Philadelphia. Therefore Burgoyne had to send further supplies and troops to support Howe instead of using them on his way to Albany. Howe underestimated the colonist’s ability to evade the British and made a massive mistake because Burgoyne needed those troops, supplies and Howe’s help at the Battle of Saratoga.
In complete contrast, the colonists displayed some excellent tactics and strategies at vital times that proved extremely important in their victory in the war. During the collective battles known as the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, at Fort Stanwix Britain were at first in control. However the patriots sent Hon Yost Schuyler to the fort and he promoted a superstition that caused the Indians to desert the fort and as a result caused the British to retreat to Oswego and abandon their siege. Therefore the great tactics at Fort Stanwix proved vital as the British were previously in a great position in the battle.
At Bennington, the patriots played another great trick sending men disguised as loyalists to mingle with British troops. They went to the rear of the British army and when the patriots attacked they turned against the British. So again the great tactics shown by the Americans provided a massive victory and the British suffered huge casualties and loss of supplies that proved significant in the war.
A final example of the great tactics used by the patriots was at Freemans Farm, when American riflemen forced a retreat in the first British assault after shooting from the tops of trees and then in the second assault caused huge losses to Burgoynes army after being situated on a low hill.[viii] This battle carried extra significance as the victory brought an American alliance with France, which as explained before was crucial in the outcome of the war.
However, whilst discussing military strategy it is also important to acknowledge the role played by the terrain as a factor for America’s victory. Britain found it difficult to cope with the many rivers and poor roads that they encountered and there were no large open fields where the cavalry could manoeuvre. It was rare to see Britain using whole regiments and disciplined fire across open ground. The territory thus prevented Britain from moving rapidly to surround rebels and from making the most of their superior discipline in formal lines of battle. So therefore Americans benefited from their own familiar terrain. As they did not have the fire discipline or military expertise and skills to fight formal battles, it was suited to their guerrilla warfare type battle techniques.
Washington was also crucial to the shape and outcome of the war. By 1777 Washington had fought Howe five times and lost every one, however Washington never lost his army.[ix] He was a big stabilising force and from his militia experience, was excellent at managing an army and keeping it together. As a Southerner, Washington was also vital in bringing southern support into a war that originally was being fought mainly by New Englanders.
However most importantly Washington’s tactics on two notable occasions were massive factors in the outcome of the war. First in 1776 at the Battle of Long Island, whilst in serious trouble, Washington enabled an escape for the colonists from Brooklyn to Manhattan by boat. In doing this, Washington prevented Britain’s best chance of winning the war.
Secondly in Virginia in October 1781, Washington was influential in leading five thousand French and two thousand American troops across Pennsylvania into Virginia. Washington moved them so fast that Britain didn’t even know of the Yorktown attack until it was too late. This piece of military mastermind by Washington soon led to a British surrender and subsequently signalled the end of the war.
The fourth and possibly final major reason for the American’s victory revolved around the contrasting motivation and passion of the two sides. The patriots were always willing to continue fighting because they had a strong desire to win their independence and loved their homeland. On the other hand British soldiers were not fighting for a cause that directly affected them as they were in a country almost three thousand miles from home. Therefore as the war continued patriot fervour increased whereas British morale went down.
In the colonies, the desire to fight the British was never in question. Before the outbreak of war Thomas Paine’s pamphlet ‘Common Sense’ was able to sway public sentiment in favour of complete independence and against King George’s tyranny. During the revolution Paine continued to stir up enthusiasm and patriotism in America with ‘The Crisis’ with comments such as, “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph”.[x]
Therefore ‘The Crisis’ affected soldiers and civilians in all levels of society, increasing morale, confidence and belief. Paine marched with troops, understood them and kept them fighting under horrible circumstances. Thus, Paine played an important role in the patriot’s victory.
Propaganda also played a big role in influencing public opinion. Anti-British cartoons were popular throughout the colonies and influenced the public. The inhumane treatment of American prisoners was a main topic of propaganda and there were many newspapers detailing atrocities by the British; for example, the fact that more prisoners of war died than were killed in action. Therefore the use of propaganda was very influential and turned many loyalists against the British.
So overall in conclusion, I have identified four major reasons why the Americans won the War of Independence. Foreign aid from France was vital through their money, supplies and military force. France also helped bring Spain and Holland into the war and without them the colonists would have found it difficult to win. Secondly, Britain suffered many logistical problems including the obtaining and distributing of supplies and also communication problems. With regards to military strategy, Britain made a number of strategic errors and struggled to come to terms with the difficult terrain, whereas the colonists under the influential command of Washington made some excellent tactical decisions in battle. Finally the Americans displayed great motivation and passion to secure victory and independence and never lost their desire to fight. In contrast British soldiers were not directly affected whatever the result of war and this proved crucial.
[i] Bonwick, Colin. The American Revolution (Macmillan, 1991) 86
[ii] Henretta, James. America: A Concise History (St. Martin’s, 1999) 147
[iii] Bowler, Arthur. Logistics and the Failure of the British Army in America: 1775-1783 (Princeton, 1975) 239
[iv] Perret, Geoffrey. A Country Made by War (Vintage Books, 1990) 20
[v] Heller, Charles. America’s First Battles: 1776-1965 (Lawrence, 1986) 24
[vi] Perret, 15
[vii] Heller, 31
[viii] Perret, 42
[ix] Leckie, Robert. The Wars of America (Harper & Row, 1981) 179
[x] Perret, 34
Bailyn, Bernard. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Harvard College, 1967
Bonwick, Colin. The American Revolution. Macmillan, 1991
Bowler, Arthur. Logistics and the Failure of the British Army in America: 1775-1783. Princeton, 1975
Conway, Stephen. The War of American Independence 1775-1783. Arnold, 1995
Heller, Charles. America’s First Battles 1776-1965. Lawrence, 1986
Henretta, James. America: A Concise History. St. Martin’s, 1999
Leckie, Robert. The Wars of America. Harper & Row, 1981
Perret, Geoffrey. A Country Made by War. Vintage Books, 1990