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Lesson Purpose

This lesson was created to be used with Mount Vernon's Be Washington interactive experience. Students will analyze advice given to General George Washington during the Newburgh Conspiracy crisis in 1783 through the use of primary and secondary sources. 


The Be Washington interactive experience can be played online at

Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will step into the role of George Washington to make a decision on a historical event using primary and secondary sources
  • Students will decide on a solution and reflect on their choice utilizing source material
  • Students will compare 18th-century decisions and perspectives with 19th, 20th, and 21st-century decisions and perspectives.

Related Standards:

  • American Revolution
  • American Revolution and the Founding of a New Nation
  • Colonial America
  • Integrate evidence from multiple relevant historical sources into a reasoned argument about the past
  • Primary source analysis
  • Develop claims and counterclaims while pointing out strengths and limitations of both
  • Application of knowledge through higher-order thinking skills