An Irregular Reconsideration of George Washington and the American Military Tradition

Lecture Description

This 45-minute lecture surveys recent works on early American warfare and biographies of George Washington (along with his own writings) to reconcile divergent interpretations of Washington as a paragon of frontier martial virtue, a pedant for European orthodoxy, a genius, and a stumblebum. The officer who emerges is a martial cosmopolitan; the forces he constructed and the strategy by which he employed them were the hybrid products of his own experience on the American frontier and European precedents for both grande and petite guerre. Ultimately, they served his nation’s dearest interests: independence and territorial expansion.

CATEGORIES

Revolutionary and Early National

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