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Washington: A Life
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PRESIDENTIAL SERIES > WEEK NINE - SPOTLIGHT - Presidential Series - WASHINGTON, A LIFE - November 21st - November 27th - Chapters FORTY-SEVEN through Chapters FIFTY-THREE - 574 - 655 - No Spoilers, Please

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message 1: by Teri (new) - added it

Teri (teriboop) Hello Everyone,

For the week of November 21st - November 27th, we are reading the Chapters Forty-Seven through Fifty-Three of Washington, A Life by Ron Chernow.

The ninth week's reading assignment is:

Week Nine - November 21st - November 27th
Chapter Forty-Seven - Fifty-Three - (pages 574 - 655)

We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other spotlighted books.

This book is being kicked off on September 26th.

We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, local bookstore or on your Kindle. This weekly thread will be opened up November 21th.

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.

Bentley will be moderating this discussion and Assisting Moderators Teri, Jill, and Samanta will be backups.

Welcome,

~Bentley

TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL

Washington A Life by Ron Chernow by Ron Chernow Ron Chernow

REMEMBER NO SPOILERS ON THE WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREADS - ON EACH WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREAD - WE ONLY DISCUSS THE PAGES ASSIGNED OR THE PAGES WHICH WERE COVERED IN PREVIOUS WEEKS. IF YOU GO AHEAD OR WANT TO ENGAGE IN MORE EXPANSIVE DISCUSSION - POST THOSE COMMENTS IN ONE OF THE SPOILER THREADS. THESE CHAPTERS HAVE A LOT OF INFORMATION SO WHEN IN DOUBT CHECK WITH THE CHAPTER OVERVIEW AND SUMMARY TO RECALL WHETHER YOUR COMMENTS ARE ASSIGNMENT SPECIFIC. EXAMPLES OF SPOILER THREADS ARE THE GLOSSARY, THE BIBLIOGRAPHY, THE INTRODUCTION AND THE BOOK AS A WHOLE THREADS.

Notes:

It is always a tremendous help when you quote specifically from the book itself and reference the chapter and page numbers when responding. The text itself helps folks know what you are referencing and makes things clear.

Citations:

If an author or book is mentioned other than the book and author being discussed, citations must be included according to our guidelines. Also, when citing other sources, please provide credit where credit is due and/or the link. There is no need to re-cite the author and the book we are discussing however.

If you need help - here is a thread called the Mechanics of the Board which will show you how:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Also the citation thread:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Introduction Thread:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Table of Contents and Syllabus

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Glossary

Remember there is a glossary thread where ancillary information is placed by the moderator. This is also a thread where additional information can be placed by the group members regarding the subject matter being discussed.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Bibliography

There is a Bibliography where books cited in the text are posted with proper citations and reviews. We also post the books that the author used in his research or in his notes. Please also feel free to add to the Bibliography thread any related books, etc with proper citations. No self promotion, please. We will be adding to this thread as we read along.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Book as a Whole and Final Thoughts - SPOILER THREAD

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Washington A Life by Ron Chernow by Ron Chernow Ron Chernow


message 2: by Teri (new) - added it

Teri (teriboop) Everyone, for the week of November 21st - November 27th, we are reading the Chapter(s) 47 - 53 of Washington: A Life

The Ninth week's reading assignment is:

Week Nine - November 21st - November 27th
Chapter(s) Forty-Seven - Fifty-Three - pages 574 - 655

Chapter Overview and Summary:

Chapter 47: Acting the Presidency
Part of being president was the need to socialize with the people. To deal with his discomfort with strangers, Washington confined these meetings to a weekly levee he would hold in his home each Tuesday. On Fridays, Mrs. Washington would hold a similar reception for the ladies that Washington would attend as well.

Chapter 48: The Cares of Office
Within a few months of taking the oath of office, Washington became ill with a tumor on his leg that had to be excised by a local surgeon. As Washington lay ill, his mother died.

Chapter 49: Rays of Genius
Washington spent a great deal of 1779 making appointments. For his cabinet, Washington appointed Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Knox as Secretary of War, and Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State. Washington also appointed judges to the Supreme Court, with John Jay as the chief justice. Also early in his presidency, Washington assisted James Madison in getting passed by Congress the Bill of Rights.

Chapter 50: The Traveling Presidency
After his illness, Washington decided to tour the northern states in order to gauge for himself public opinion as well as to help aid in restoring his good health.

Chapter 51: The State of the President
In January of 1790, Washington gave his first state of the union address. A short time later, Hamilton would deliver the Report on Public Credit, a plan that included Hamilton's assertion that the federal government should take on the state debt incurred by the war. In a surprising turn of events, James Madison stood in opposition to the plan. The plan also caused an uproar in states that had already paid off most of their debt, including Virginia. That same spring, Washington became gravely ill and nearly died.

Chapter 52: Capital Matters
When the Residence Act was passed in 1790 making Philadelphia the temporary capital and selecting the Potomac River area as the permanent capital, Washington was given the right to select a specific location along the Potomac River as the permanent capital. Washington chose a location close to Mount Vernon, causing many to criticize his motives. As the capital was moving to Philadelphia, Hamilton announced his idea for an excise tax on whiskey to strengthen public credit.

Chapter 53: Southern Exposure
In December of 1790, Hamilton presented a bill for a central bank whose charter he based on the Bank of England. The bank bill passed surprisingly easily and Washington was urged to veto it. Shortly after signing the bill, Washington went on a tour of the south to gauge public opinion in regards to the whiskey tax.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments since there seem not to be a big flow of posts I will go sort of chapter to chapter

Chap 47 - pg 579 in treating that Abigail Adams seemed to be a supporter of Martha in her "first lady" activities while their husbands did not get on so well.
the livery for slaves being carefully attended to was also interesting - was it a sense of decorum for GW or vanity?
also pg 585 para 2 interesting that GW had as Sunday fair the need to corospond on Mt. Vernon down to the breeding of mules.

------------------------
Chapt 48 has GW facing surgery for a possible life threatening tumor or growth of some sort coupled with the death of his mother - must have been "mortality"- days in his mind but he just carried on.

interesting pg 590 the Constitutional vagueness of the office of the presidency ........... would it have been such if there was not the thought that GW might/would take the post - or if it was not a country of recently proven patriots
( I audited a course at Columbia recently on the Clean Water Act and it was noted that the Senators - it was taught by two ex Senatorial aides - both having had successful careers in the intervening years including at least one term in Congress for one of them) that we had mostly, if not exclusively WWII veterans in the Senate - I guess they were Americans and then whatever party..)
Also the defining of the relationship between GW and John Adams was good.


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Clean Water Act - all of us want clean water or we should.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments and we should for EVERYONE - yup - very interesting course


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
I bet it was


Harmke As a European I learned that some American traditions started during the first presidency of Washington: Thanksgiving evolved in a national holiday with a more political meaning and the tradition of the 'State of the Union' was invented by Washington.

I also learned that the schism between North and South was always there in American history. Schoolbooks taught me otherwise (it was all on slavery), but life was so different in the northern and southern states it seems to me that the civil war was kind of inevitable.


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Actually I think it could have been avoided because the South depended upon the North to manufacture the cotton and make it into thread etc. And the North depended upon the South for its raw product. Things just deteriorated and the incident at Fort Sumter caused things to erupt


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments I sort of prefer to agree with Bentley that there could have been a slow but non-war resolution - not fully peaceful but without such a war.

So not sure your country - Holland? - but there seem to be more schisms here than in western Europe - not a single culture and more different cultures arriving over the centuries and these people/cultures being able to find "empty" land and build separate sub- cultures.

I am really always seeing different facets of America and I traveled - mostly in the States - for work for 50 years.

My wife is a German national - here in the states for about 28 years - and is still learning and just really beginning to comprehend the Civil War as we travel to sites in our retirement.


Harmke Vincent wrote: "I sort of prefer to agree with Bentley that there could have been a slow but non-war resolution - not fully peaceful but without such a war.

So not sure your country - Holland? - but there seem t..."


I live in the Netherlands.
I just did not know that the differences were so many and already there in those early days of your country. Nice to learn about that, thanks for the comments on my post.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments interesting
pg 599 Jefferson sees flaw of no term limits - not tested beyond the GW example until FDR
Pg 601 - supreme court judges used to ride circuit
pg 609/610 GW see industrial beginnings in North and greater equality (beyond slavery) than VA
pg 610 - GW is the man who "unites all hearts"
pg 618 GW begins addressing the congress
pg 621/622 Hamilton promotes fiscal responsibility & GW eventually supports (TJ who objected was never so good at fiscal responsibility personally)
pg 622/623 - quaker talk against slavery brought first talk of civil war
GW became ill and suffered several times in these few chapters
chap 52 - 1790 - Hamilton got the war debt nationalized and TJ got the Potomac as the site for the Capital (did not make GW unhappy to have it close to Mt. Vernon) (GW won on both sides of the agreement)
GW plots to keep his slaves by skirting around the PA slavery liberty law - GW's two worlds - what is working for him and what his conscience says. (conscience is losing)
Chap 53
GW and his teeth - (cherish our 20th/21st century dentistry)
Hamilton gets his Bank of the US
GW does a southern tour and notices always it seems the ladies (no footnotes for source but he is counting them) - tour over home
GW down again with the tumor in this thigh recurring


message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Interesting - however, I guess the founding fathers thought that the people or the founding fathers at that time would know when to get rid of one president and vote for the next one.

It probably did not seem like a problem for them at that time because they wanted Washington to serve even longer.


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