Event — George Washington’s Mount Vernon

2016 Gay Hart Gaines Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of American History

Where: George Washington’s Mount Vernon

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

When: September 7, 7:00 p.m.
October 4, 7:00 p.m.
November 2, 7:00 p.m.

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

In 2016 the United States will hold its 58th presidential election. The framers of the Constitution designed the office of the president with George Washington in mind. He won the first two presidential elections without opposition and saw the birth of the first two-party system. After his death he served as a symbol for the nation and an example for the men who aspired to fill his shoes. What did Washington think of the American political process? What did his peers and successors think of him? In this turbulent and precedent-shattering political season, what can we learn from his actions and insights and from the careers of those who knew him, admired him, and fought among themselves to define his legacy?

Wednesday September 7, 7:00 p.m. – First in Politics

George Washington led the first successful revolution of the modern era. Like many of his successors – Napoleon, Toussaint L’Ouverture – he was a charismatic military man who made political use of both his reputation on the battlefield and his imposing persona during and after the Revolution. But he expected the United States to be a nation of laws with elected lawmakers – so he also mastered the arts of democratic politics, navigating a series of crises, from the struggle to write and ratify a new Constitution to the wars unleashed by the French Revolution. Washington did not expect the new American political world to contain political parties, however, and he warned against them in his Farewell Address. It was advice his countrymen would not take.

Cost: $150 for members, $175 for general public

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