Politics

Robert Dinwiddie

Robert Dinwiddie

Robert Dinwiddie poured his ambitions into becoming a successful merchant, as well as a colonial administrator and politician for more than 30 years, including six and a half years as Governor of the Royal…

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Alexander Dallas

Alexander Dallas was a Pennsylvania lawyer, financier, and politician who served as President James Madison’s secretary of the treasury. While serving in this capacity, Dallas helped to lead a movement within the Democratic-Republican Party against traditional Jeffersonian economic beliefs by championing the establishment of the Second National Bank of the United States.

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Annapolis Convention

Held September 11-14, 1786, the Annapolis Convention was a meeting incipiently aimed at constructing uniform parameters to regulate trade between states during a time of political turbulence and economic strain.1 While chartered as a purely commercial convening, and attended by only a handful of delegates from five states, the Annapolis Convention served as a decisive stepping-stone to the Constitutional Convention, effectively laying the catalytic groundwork for our nation’s constitutional formation.2 The Convention’s attendees, “dictated by an anxiety for the welfare of the United States,”3 came to the collective realization that trade was altogether unseverable from the widespread “embarrassments” characterizing the then-present state of affairs,4 and that to discuss commerce without first addressing the inadequacies of America’s broader political framework was thoroughly unavoidable. Articulating these sentiments in a report issued to all states and Congress, the Annapolis delegates recommended a convention be held in Philadelphia the following year; the Constitutional Convention was subsequently held from May to September, 1787. Although George Washington did not attend the Annapolis Convention himself, he set a critical precedent for its convening in the form of the Mount Vernon Convention of 1785 and later, upon Annapolis delegate James Madison’s urging, served as head of the Virginia commission to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, of which he was ultimately named president.5 It could then be said that, while not physically present at the Annapolis Convention, Washington played a pivotal role in its original conception as well as the realization of its most insightful, formative recommendations.  

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Aurora General Advertiser

Founded by Benjamin Franklin Bache, the Aurora General Advertiser was published in Philadelphia between 1794 and 1824. Bache, the grandson of Benjamin Franklin, established the Aurora as a Republican newspaper that could counter the many Federalist newspapers in circulation at the end of the eighteenth century. It quickly became the leading Republican paper in the United States. Bache ran the Aurora six days a week from a two-story print shop located a few blocks away from Independence Hall using presses and printing fonts that he had inherited from his grandfather. Despite having a large readership, the Aurora was never a particularly lucrative business for Bache or its subsequent editors.

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Circular Letter to the States

Having received news of the signing of a preliminary peace treaty on April 11, 1783 Congress proclaimed?

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Classicism

Thirteen centuries after the Roman Empire fell in 476 A.D., the compendium of Roman classics served as an ideological guidebook for the American founders. Classical Roman concepts and figures exerted a formative influence on the founders’ governmental theories and principles of virtue.

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Constitutional Convention

Washington had to be convinced even to attend the Convention.

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Darby Vassall New

When General George Washington approached his revolutionary headquarters at the John Vassall estate in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the first time in July 1775, he encountered a young African American boy swinging on the front gate. That boy, six-year-old Darby Vassall, had just returned to his original home after his second master had died at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

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Democratic-Republican Societies

President George Washington faced a number of difficult challenges during his two terms in office. Washington despised partisanship and voiced his concerns regarding political disunity throughout his presidency. One important example of Washington’s distaste for partisanship was his public denunciation of popular political societies. The founding of a network of over forty Democratic-Republican Societies throughout the young nation between 1793 and 1796 triggered fears of disorder amongst Federalist elites. These political associations were known by various names but most often included "republican" or "democratic" in their titles. Members of these societies expressed strong support for the French Revolution and fellowship with democratic radicals throughout the Atlantic world. Most members were from the laboring classes and included many who were traditionally denied a political voice. Accusations that political clubs in western Pennsylvania contributed to the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794, coupled with Washington's vocal criticisms, contributed to the rapid decline of the groups by the end of the decade. Nevertheless, the societies informed the party system that would emerge in the nineteenth century.

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Federalist Papers

Known before the twentieth century simply as The Federalist, The Federalist Papers were a series of eighty-five?

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First Continental Congress New

The First Continental Congress convened in Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, between September 5 and October 26, 1774. Delegates from twelve of Britain’s thirteen American colonies met to discuss America’s future under growing British aggression.

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First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen

"First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." These famous words about George Washington come from a eulogy written by Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee. Lee was a major general in the Continental Army, member of the Continental Congress, governor of Virginia, father of the famous Civil War general Robert E. Lee, and close friend of George Washington. 

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House of Burgesses

George Washington served in the Virginia House of Burgesses for fifteen years before the American Revolution?

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Mount Vernon Conference

In December of 1783, General George Washington resigned his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental?

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Native American Policy

Near the beginning of his first term as President, George Washington declared that a just Indian policy was one of his highest priorities, explaining that "The Government of the United States are determined that their Administration of Indian Affairs shall be directed entirely by the great principles of Justice and humanity."1 The Washington administration's initial policy toward Native Americans was enunciated in June of 1789. Secretary of War Henry Knox explained that the Continental Congress had needlessly provoked Native Americans following the Revolution by insisting on American possession of all territory east of the Mississippi River. Congress had previously argued that by supporting the British during the war Native Americans had forfeited any claim to territory on the western frontier of American settlement. However, this perspective ignored the fact that only a portion of tribes had actually supported the British.

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Pacificus/Helvidius Letters

The Pacificus/Helvidius Letters were a series of newspaper articles published in the Gazette of the United States in response to President George Washington’s “Neutrality Proclamation.” The letters reflected opposite positions on the role of the executive and legislature in American foreign policy. Writing under the pseudonym Pacificus, Alexander Hamilton penned seven letters defending the Proclamation that were published between June 29 and July 27, 1793. At Thomas Jefferson’s urging, James Madison replied under the pseudonym Helvidius in a series of five letters published between August 24, 1793 and September 18, 1793.[1]

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Press Attacks

IntroductionAt the time of his inauguration, George Washington was described in almost universally glorified?

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Quasi War

The Quasi-War, which at the time was also known as The Undeclared War with France, the Pirate Wars, and?

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Ratification of the Constitution

As the president of the Constitutional Convention, George Washington rarely participated in the debates?

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Robert Dinwiddie

Robert Dinwiddie poured his ambitions into becoming a successful merchant, as well as a colonial administrator and politician for more than 30 years, including six and a half years as Governor of the Royal Colony of Virginia (1751-1758)

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Robert Morris

Robert Morris was a financier of the American Revolution, delegate to the Second Continental Congress, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and senator from Pennsylvania. Given Morris’s personal wealth and financial acumen, Congress appointed him superintendent of finance in 1781, which gave him sole authority over financing and supporting the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

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Samuel Powel

Samuel Powel was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1738. The son of a prominent Welsh family, Powel is best known for his two terms as Mayor of Philadelphia, from 1775-17761 and from 1789-1790. The office of mayor lay vacant between his two terms; thus, Powel was the last colonial era mayor of Philadelphia, and the first mayor of the city after independence was secured. The second of three children, Powel graduated from the City College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania) in 1759.2 After spending several years in England, where he spent time with figures including Voltaire, the Pope, and the Duke of York, Powel abandoned his Quaker upbringings, converted to the Church of England, and returned to claim his inheritance in 1767.3

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The Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation were the first national frame of government for the United States.

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Timothy Pickering

A Federalist politician, Timothy Pickering was appointed to several federal positions by President George Washington, most notably Postmaster General, Secretary of War, and Secretary of State. He later served in the Senate and in the House of Representatives.

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William Grayson

The life of William Grayson, an honored statesman, lawyer, and soldier, is tied closely to both the birth of the United States and the ascension of George Washington to the nation?s highest office.

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Winchester, Virginia

For a decade, from 1748 until 1758, George Washington spent more nights in Winchester than any other place.

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XYZ Affair

Between the onset of the French Revolution in 1789 and the final defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo?

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