Lesson Purpose

This lesson was created to be used with Mount Vernon's Be Washington interactive experience. Students will analyze advice given to President George Washington during the Genet Affair crisis in 1794 through the use of primary and secondary sources. 


The Be Washington interactive experience can be played online at play.bewashington.org.

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:

  • Role of government
  • Global connections
  • Foundations of the political system
  • 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

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