Event — Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington

2016 Gay Hart Gaines Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of American History

Where: Smith Auditorium, George Washington’s Mount Vernon

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon, VA, 22121

When: Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 7:00 pm

Details: The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association is proud to present this educational series delivered by the Gay Hart Gaines Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in American History, a position established to honor the Association’s 18th Regent through the generosity of Lewis E. Lehrman, co-founder of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. This series is designed to provide a deeper understanding of, and expertise in, a particular subject related to George Washington.

Washington and Politics: In His Life, and After – Richard Brookhiser

Tuesday October 4: The New Political World

Washington lived to see the emergence of the first American two-party system: Federalist vs. Republicans (ancestor of today’s Democrats, not the GOP). The theorist of permanent political parties was Washington’s former protege, James Madison, the founder, along with Thomas Jefferson, of the Republicans. Washington himself became, in his retirement, a partisan Federalist, urging another protege, John Marshall, to run for Congress. After Washington died, Marshall became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Jefferson, Madison, and Republicanism triumphed at the polls – leaving Marshall to wage a long rear-guard battle to defend the Constitution as he and the Federalists had understood it. Marshall served until 1835, and set many legal precedents. But the political wheel never turned back; Washington survived as a symbol revered by all Americans and all parties.

Click here for more information.