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George Washington, Nationalist

Publisher: University of Virginia Press • Jul 13, 2016 • 152 pages

George Washington was the unanimous choice of his fellow founders for president, and he is remembered to this day as an exceptional leader, but how exactly did this manifest itself during his lifetime? In  George Washington, Nationalist, acclaimed author Edward J. Larson reveals the fascinating backstory of Washington’s leadership in the political, legal, and economic consolidation of the new nation, spotlighting his crucial role in forming a more perfect union.

The years following the American Revolution were a critical period in American history, when the newly independent states teetered toward disunion under the Articles of Confederation. Looking at a selection of Washington’s most pivotal acts―including conferring with like-minded nationalists, establishing navigational rights on the Potomac, and quelling the near uprising of unpaid revolutionary troops against the Confederation Congress―Larson shows Washington’s central role in the drive for reform leading up to the Constitutional Convention. His leadership at that historic convention, followed by his mostly behind-the-scenes efforts in the ratification process and the first federal election, and culminating in his inauguration as president, complete the picture of Washington as the nation’s first citizen. This important and deeply researched book brings Washington’s unique gift for leadership to life for modern readers, offering a timely addition to the growing body of literature on the Constitution, presidential leadership, executive power, and state-federal relations.

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