First in Politics
Wednesday September 7, 7:00 p.m.
George Washington led the first successful revolution of the modern era. Like many of his successors - Napoleon, Toussaint L'Ouverture - he was a charismatic military man who made political use of both his reputation on the battlefield and his imposing persona during and after the Revolution. But he expected the United States to be a nation of laws with elected lawmakers - so he also mastered the arts of democratic politics, navigating a series of crises, from the struggle to write and ratify a new Constitution to the wars unleashed by the French Revolution. Washington did not expect the new American political world to contain political parties, however, and he warned against them in his Farewell Address. It was advice his countrymen would not take.