The Virginia Plutarch - Vol. 2

The Virginia Plutarch - Vol. 2

The Virginia Plutarch - Vol. 2

The Virginia Plutarch - Vol. 2

Excerpt

WASHINGTON WAS acknowledged by all his countrymen to be first in war. We have already related the history of his career as a soldier and described the patience, fortitude, and foresight which he exhibited under circumstances of extraordinary perplexity and difficulty. He was now to be the first as a political leader and as such to contend with and overcome obstacles apparently as insurmountable as those which confronted him in his military campaigns.

It was an achievement of overshadowing importance to win the independence of the United States on the battlefield. Hardly less mighty in its significance was his success in checking the disruptive tendencies abroad among the American people by laying a rock foundation for the new federal government and starting it on the first stage of its progress, in a spirit that looked to the welfare, not of one division of the country, but of all divisions. There were no precedents for its guidance at the beginning. The policies that were adopted were simply those which were suggested by the sagacity and patriotism of Washington and his immediate advisers. His practical and farsighted intelligence, assisted and confirmed in its conclusions by the advice of a great cabinet, blazed the path of national administration so wisely that its subsequent course has been largely a consistent extension of the original course which he laid down.

Everything was in a condition of doubt at first. An influential section of the people feared that in such a concentration of power in the hands of the executive, legislative . . .

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