“George Washington: the Entrepreneur” is not a moniker that most students associate with our nation’s first President, but it is one of the most illuminating, biographical aspects when looking to understand how Washington saw ideas, hopes, and challenges for the young nation. The American Revolution and the establishment of a new government meant that the economic policies and systems needed to be reinvented or re-invested at all levels.
Engaging debate between Thomas Jefferson & Alexander Hamilton as President and in his own life at Mount Vernon, Washington was constantly looking for opportunities to sustain the new nation through a strong economy. His work and ideas as a plantation farmer, invite exploration of the contrast of enlightenment thinking and the plantation economy during the revolutionary and founding eras, including the unjust enslavement of men, women, and children who labored within this system at Mount Vernon and throughout the Atlantic World.
Through hands-on experiences at recreated 18th-century sites and written primary sources such as account books, farm reports, and maps, participants can envision the changing modes of operation at Mount Vernon as Washington would have; a democracy at work. In studying George Washington's success and failures as a businessman throughout his life, participants will be given the tools to integrate inclusive narratives, historical thinking, and STEAM concepts into the classroom.