The Return of George Washington: Uniting the States, 1783-1789

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9780062248688: The Return of George Washington: Uniting the States, 1783-1789

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"An elegantly written account of leadership at the most pivotal moment in American history" (Philadelphia Inquirer): Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward J. Larson reveals how George Washington saved the United States by coming out of retirement to lead the Constitutional Convention and serve as our first president.

After leading the Continental Army to victory in the Revolutionary War, George Washington shocked the world: he retired. In December 1783, General Washington, the most powerful man in the country, stepped down as Commander in Chief and returned to private life at Mount Vernon. Yet as Washington contentedly grew his estate, the fledgling American experiment floundered. Under the Articles of Confederation, the weak central government was unable to raise revenue to pay its debts or reach a consensus on national policy. The states bickered and grew apart. When a Constitutional Convention was established to address these problems, its chances of success were slim. Jefferson, Madison, and the other Founding Fathers realized that only one man could unite the fractious states: George Washington. Reluctant, but duty-bound, Washington rode to Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 to preside over the Convention.

Although Washington is often overlooked in most accounts of the period, this masterful new history from Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward J. Larson brilliantly uncovers Washington’s vital role in shaping the Convention—and shows how it was only with Washington’s support and his willingness to serve as President that the states were brought together and ratified the Constitution, thereby saving the country.

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From the Back Cover:

By the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, a brilliant and essential reconsideration of George Washington's "lost years" between the Revolution and presidency that will forever change our understanding of the Founding Era

In this groundbreaking new look at our foremost Founding Father, Edward J. Larson masterfully chronicles how George Washington saved the United States by coming out of retirement to lead the Constitutional Convention and serve as our first president.

In December 1783, Washington, the most powerful and popular man in America, stunned the world by stepping down as commander in chief and returning to private life as a farmer and landowner. Yet as Washington found happiness in successfully growing his Virginia estate, the fledgling American experiment foundered under the Articles of Confederation. When a Constitutional Convention was called to forge a new government, its chances of success were slim. Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and other leaders realized only one American—the retired hero George Washington—could unite the fractious states. After months of anguish, Washington answered the call and left his beloved Mount Vernon in the spring of 1787 to preside over the convention in Philadelphia. Although Washington is overlooked in most accounts, Larson uncovers Washington's vital role in shaping the Constitution—and shows, as never before, how it was only with Washington's spirited behind-the-scenes influence that the delegates passed, and the states later ratified, the founding document that has guided our government to this day.

About the Author:

Edward J. Larson is University Professor of history and holds the Hugh & Hazel Darling Chair in Law at Pepperdine University. He received the Pulitzer Prize in History for Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate over Science and Religion. His other books include A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign. From 2013 to 2014, Larson was an inaugural Library Fellow at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington located on the grounds of Mount Vernon. He lives in Georgia and California.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER An elegantly written account of leadership at the most pivotal moment in American history (Philadelphia Inquirer): Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward J. Larson reveals how George Washington saved the United States by coming out of retirement to lead the Constitutional Convention and serve as our first president. After leading the Continental Army to victory in the Revolutionary War, George Washington shocked the world: he retired. In December 1783, General Washington, the most powerful man in the country, stepped down as Commander in Chief and returned to private life at Mount Vernon. Yet as Washington contentedly grew his estate, the fledgling American experiment floundered. Under the Articles of Confederation, the weak central government was unable to raise revenue to pay its debts or reach a consensus on national policy. The states bickered and grew apart. When a Constitutional Convention was established to address these problems, its chances of success were slim. Jefferson, Madison, and the other Founding Fathers realized that only one man could unite the fractious states: George Washington. Reluctant, but duty-bound, Washington rode to Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 to preside over the Convention. Although Washington is often overlooked in most accounts of the period, this masterful new history from Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward J. Larson brilliantly uncovers Washington s vital role in shaping the Convention--and shows how it was only with Washington s support and his willingness to serve as President that the states were brought together and ratified the Constitution, thereby saving the country. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780062248688

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER An elegantly written account of leadership at the most pivotal moment in American history (Philadelphia Inquirer): Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward J. Larson reveals how George Washington saved the United States by coming out of retirement to lead the Constitutional Convention and serve as our first president. After leading the Continental Army to victory in the Revolutionary War, George Washington shocked the world: he retired. In December 1783, General Washington, the most powerful man in the country, stepped down as Commander in Chief and returned to private life at Mount Vernon. Yet as Washington contentedly grew his estate, the fledgling American experiment floundered. Under the Articles of Confederation, the weak central government was unable to raise revenue to pay its debts or reach a consensus on national policy. The states bickered and grew apart. When a Constitutional Convention was established to address these problems, its chances of success were slim. Jefferson, Madison, and the other Founding Fathers realized that only one man could unite the fractious states: George Washington. Reluctant, but duty-bound, Washington rode to Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 to preside over the Convention. Although Washington is often overlooked in most accounts of the period, this masterful new history from Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward J. Larson brilliantly uncovers Washington s vital role in shaping the Convention--and shows how it was only with Washington s support and his willingness to serve as President that the states were brought together and ratified the Constitution, thereby saving the country. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780062248688

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