November 13, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

First in Peace: How George Washington Set the Course for America

First in Peace: How George Washington Set the Course for America

Language: English

Pages: 184

ISBN: 0306816199

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Just before he died after a long and distinguished international career as a politician, commentator, and author, Conor Cruise O’Brien completed a study of George Washington’s presidency. Cruise O’Brien has been described as “a man who so persistently asks the right questions” (The Economist), and in this, his last book, he explores the question of how early America’s future was determined.

First in Peace considers the dissension between Washington and Jefferson during the first U.S. presidency, and reveals Washington’s clear-sighted political wisdom while exposing Jefferson’s dangerous ideology. Cruise O’Brien makes the case that Washington, not Jefferson, was the true democrat, and commends his clarity of vision in restoring good relations with Britain, his preference for order and pragmatism, and his aversion to French political extremism.

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principal department of the Government can be the Patron of a Paper, the evident object of which is to decry the Government and its measures? If he disapproves of the Government itself and thinks it deserving of opposition could he reconcile to his own personal dignity and the principles of probity to hold an office under it and employ the means of official influence in that opposition? If he disapproves of the leading measures . . . could he reconcile it with the principles of delicacy and

letter to Madison near the end of April, “I fear that a fair neutrality will prove a disagreeable pill to our friends, tho’ necessary to keep us out of the calamities of a war.” In these rather trying circumstances, Jefferson, like the pragmatist he usually showed himself to be, when difficult political decisions had to be made, fought a skillful rearguard action. Finding he could not avert a proclamation of neutrality in substance, he managed to keep the word neutrality omitted from the

of state when delicate policy positions had to be taken. But Genêt could never understand American politics. To that devout French revolutionary, the very existence of forms of American politics affected by domestic issues was a betrayal of the Cause of Liberty, synonymous with the French Revolution. THE SHEER BRIO OF Genêt’s dealings with the British had at first some charms for Jefferson, as we have seen. But by late June, with Genêt still busy arming privateers in American waters, recruiting

negative method of coping with abusive letters) had upbraided the president for not having intervened officially to get Paine out of a French revolutionary prison. According to Paine’s letter, Washington’s failure to claim Paine as an American citizen was a deliberate act of treachery. Paine asserted that Washington had conspired with Robespierre to have Paine guillotined for fear that Paine would otherwise expose his own monstrous behavior. In his many pages aimed at demonstrating that “almost

Treaty national pact with United States relations with United States (see also Hamilton, Alexander: and relations with France) as under siege See also French Revolution Franklin, Benjamin French Revolution and American economy and American people and American Revolution and death of Benjamin Franklin and internationalism and legitimate authority(see also Legitimacy issues) terminology of Terror in Thermidorians and Whiskey Rebellion See also France; Girondins; Jacobins; under

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