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George Washington led the movement to create a “more perfect Union” through the Continental Congress, the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, and the precedents of the first presidency in the shift from monarchical power to civilian led government. Program participants will explore the challenges and opportunities associated with inventing a self-governing nation, as well as the complexities inherent in the founders’ decision to establish equal, fundamental rights for citizens. Sessions will explore the impact of these actions (and inactions) on the American public including historically marginalized communities in order to bring relevance and connections between the 18th-century and today. 

Through a variety of tours and exhibitions, primary source documents and objects, and various visiting and Estate experts, participants will study the actions Washington took to aid in the creation of a new nation that idealized liberty and self-rule and established fundamental rights cherished by Americans today. 

Past Program Speakers













Lead Scholar - Dr. Scott Casper, President of the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts and author of Sarah Johnson's Mount Vernon: The Forgotten History of an American Shrine, and more!

Dr. Lorri Glover, John Francis Bannon Endowed Chair in the Department of History at Saint Louis University and author of Eliza Lucas Pickney: An Independent Woman in the Age of Revolution, and more! 

David Silverman, Professor of History at The George Washington University and author of Their Land is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and Troubled History of Thanksgiving, and more!

Morgan Smith, Social Science and Global Studies Specialist at Loudoun County Public Schools in Northern Virginia.

Sample Program Schedule

Participant Testimonials

One of the best things about the George Washington Teacher Institute was that our scholar, Scott, was with us all week. His sessions were so well presented but, what was great was that sometimes I thought of a question the following day and he was available to answer for me. I cannot express how important it was to have him present for the week. I feel very comfortable reaching out to him as I continue exploring this subject.

One other difference was having the staff of the Teacher Institute with us every day. Having you all in the back of the room to research questions as they came up was amazing and helped us a lot.