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Poll: George Washington - King?

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Poll: King George the First?

Cruise_2014_max50

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Posted over 1 year ago

 

It's widely known that, after we won the Revolution, Washington was asked to reign the new country as its king. He declined, saying that he did not fight against King George III to become King George I. I want to pose a theory and begin a discussion. Do you think that Washington declined the offer of ruling over the new country as king because he had no natural heirs? He and Martha never had children themselves and her two children from her earlier marriage became his step-children. He also out-lived them. Or, was he that committed to an elected democracy?


 


Thoughts?


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20140808_191221_max50

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This is a very interesting question to think about. I think that Washington was very true to the idea of democracy. It seems kind of silly to fight for 6 years against a monarchy just to establish your own monarchy.


With that being said, I think that had they gone with a monarchy, there is no guarantee that Washington, or future kings, could hold true to the ideas outlined in the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Having a monarchy just gives too much power to one person, and I dont think Washington wanted that. The Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal. Having a monarchy does not coincide with this ideal. Having a three branch government with checks annd balances against each other does suit that ideal. I truly believe Washington rejected the idea of a monarchy because it does not support the equality that he and so many others fought for.


The idea of him not having a natural heir to the throne is something I had never thought about before. We will never know if this had anything to do with his decision to decline a monarchy, but I think it again goes back to giving too much power to one person.


Broncos Nation

Texas02n_max600_max50

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George Washington had no interest in being a politician, king, public figue whatsoever after the end of the Revolutionary War. He wanted to go back to being a farmer, land owner and surveyor. The Continental Congress approached him and begged him to take the position.


"Niether fire nor wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds." Buddha

Cruise_2014_max50

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rypete says ...



George Washington had no interest in being a politician, king, public figue whatsoever after the end of the Revolutionary War. He wanted to go back to being a farmer, land owner and surveyor. The Continental Congress approached him and begged him to take the position.



You're absolutely correct. I was just trying to provoke some thoughts on the idea.


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I  recall this subject from my 6th grade history book.,Having resided in the D.C. area for a few years I have researched this,being an American History buff.Actually some members in the Continental Congress desired a Monarchy form of government,although the majority of the wiser,thank goodness won the day with Democracy.In truth our original government was a federal Republic,thus we pledge our allegiance to the " REBUBLIC"for which it stands In November of 1781.my great-great great great uncle,a Jonathan Hanson ,was the first Presidents under the "Articles of Confederation."He was known as the gentleman farmer from Maryland.Another item of interest to note is that Ben Franklin wanted the Turkey to be our national symbol,rather than the Eagle.

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ssu459 says ...



In November of 1781.my great-great great great uncle,a Jonathan Hanson ,was the first Presidents under the "Articles of Confederation."He was known as the gentleman farmer from Maryland.



That's pretty cool, Dave.


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Nqdz7m_max50

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I beg forgiveness for my lack of historical references.  We had very good American Revolution history a the fine little elementary school I went to back east. They instilled certain precepts at an early age.  I used to like to play on the cannons that 'met the British.' 


These are my questions -


 We know Washington was a fine strategist surrounded by the finest minds linked in the common endeavor.  All eyes were upon us. France in particular was intensely interested in how the revolutionist colonies would resolve into a sovereign nation. Washington was known to be heir-less, yet his coronation was proposed.


We know Washington's monarchy would have been product of a freshly-victorious bloody revolution against a tyrant, not one conferred by Divine Right.


Can we assume that, given the Declaration of Independance, and its argument for just revolution, everyone was mulling over just how would Washington's proposed monarchy work?  And for how long? We can say Washington himself simply didn't see himself as a 'man cut out for kingship', but are we selling Washington's mind and influence short?


Washington's colleagues were firebrands and great intellects.We can't know all the ideas bantered about in the 'back rooms of the Continental Congress' and over brandy after a walk in the garden.


We do know, as did Europe at the time, that our founders had predicated 'just revolution' upon the principles contained in the Declaration of Independance which hold The People as afforded by "their Creator" certain inalienable rights, among them to consent to be led and to abolish any form of government destructive of those Inalienable Rights. Fresh from the revolution, these men were  casting about for a system to prevent tyranny from wreaking more bloodshed and chaos.  Washington was trusted. Time was of the essence. 


Can we say the forgers of our new nation intended the establishment of a new, 'limited monarchy', one subject to the consent and will of The People?  That, at that juncture, the central question became (not just in Washington's mind) - "When is a monarch not a monarch?" 


Can we say, Washington, as the true revolutionary general he was, saw the perilous dichotomy, the certain hazard, and pulled the reins in?  That Washington was far less concerned about his lack of heirs and his personal aims, than what lack of consent to anyone's monarchy by The People might mean to our nation's course?  That, as a military man, Washington found the proposition strategically unsound,  untenable?  That Washington knew no monarchy reigning in perpetuity, through the ages, could perserve the integrity of a state predicated on self-rule?  Not if the burden of revolution were to become an on-going legacy of turmoil and bloodshed? 


Washington certainly understood that battlefield.


Can we say Washington saw this highest form of public trust as strategically too risky? That Washington saw 'Monarchy now, work the terms out later' not only slipshod but morally hypocritical within the Declaration's terms?  Recall Valley Forge.


Lastly, can we entertain that Washington did not make his decision alone? 


In that light, can we see General Washington's refusal of the offer to become king of our fledgling state, to let The People determine the course of our democracy, as the finest example of Statesmanship this nation has seen?

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 Excellent summaiton of very valid points of discussion, MarlyB! All of your points are spot on with, what must have been the thoughts of the day. If I didn't know better, I'd swear you were in on those back room discussions. Are you sure you aren't some kind of history prof?


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Thank you, BigNTS, but I'm no history prof and I KNOW you all are pretty proud of a cannonball or three in New Jersey!


That's just the way they taught the American Revolution in New England and still do.  Our woods were alive with the ghosts of heroes. Not far from the Post Road, we kids pretended to be Yankees dropping out of trees onto Lobsterbacks to cut their throats.  Nathaniel Hale was our hero. We would take turns re-enacting Hale's noble death, "I only regret that I have but one life to live for my country." 


I wanted to be him.


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ssu459 says ...



I  recall this subject from my 6th grade history book.,Having resided in the D.C. area for a few years I have researched this,being an American History buff.Actually some members in the Continental Congress desired a Monarchy form of government,although the majority of the wiser,thank goodness won the day with Democracy.In truth our original government was a federal Republic,thus we pledge our allegiance to the " REBUBLIC"for which it stands In November of 1781.my great-great great great uncle,a Jonathan Hanson ,was the first Presidents under the "Articles of Confederation."He was known as the gentleman farmer from Maryland.Another item of interest to note is that Ben Franklin wanted the Turkey to be our national symbol,rather than the Eagle.



At present the Turkey is more fitting...


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DonnaLynn says ...



ssu459 says ...



I  recall this subject from my 6th grade history book.,Having resided in the D.C. area for a few years I have researched this,being an American History buff.Actually some members in the Continental Congress desired a Monarchy form of government,although the majority of the wiser,thank goodness won the day with Democracy.In truth our original government was a federal Republic,thus we pledge our allegiance to the " REBUBLIC"for which it stands In November of 1781.my great-great great great uncle,a Jonathan Hanson ,was the first Presidents under the "Articles of Confederation."He was known as the gentleman farmer from Maryland.Another item of interest to note is that Ben Franklin wanted the Turkey to be our national symbol,rather than the Eagle.



At present the Turkey is more fitting...