HIST 116: The American Revolution

Lecture 16 - The Importance of George Washington. This lecture focuses on George Washington and the combined qualities that made him a key figure in Revolutionary America, arguing that the most crucial reason for his success as a national leader was that he proved repeatedly that he could be trusted with power - a vital quality in a nation fearful of the collapse of republican governance at the hands of a tyrant. (from

Lecture 16 - The Importance of George Washington

Time Lecture Chapters
[00:00:00] 1. Introduction: The Importance of George Washington
[00:03:36] 2. The Many Merits of Washington from the Letters of Hamilton and Adams
[00:15:42] 3. Ingredients of the Washington Phenomenon: Self-Presentation, Fortune, and the Need for a King
[00:25:07] 4. Balancing Solemnity with Humility: Washington as the Reluctant Leader
[00:30:13] 5. Washington's Symbolic Gestures as Commander-in-Chief of a Republican Army
[00:43:08] 6. Washington's Legacy as a Leader

Lecture 16 - The Importance of George Washington
Instructor: Professor Joanne Freeman. Transcript [html]. Audio [mp3]. Download Video [mov].

Go to the Course Home or watch other lectures:

Lecture 01 - Introduction: Freeman's Top Five Tips for Studying the Revolution
Lecture 02 - Being a British Colonist
Lecture 03 - Being a British American
Lecture 04 - "Ever at Variance and Foolishly Jealous": Intercolonial Relations
Lecture 05 - Outraged Colonials: The Stamp Act Crisis
Lecture 06 - Resistance or Rebellion? (Or, What the Heck is Happening in Boston?)
Lecture 07 - Being a Revolutionary
Lecture 08 - The Logic of Resistance
Lecture 09 - Who Were the Loyalists?
Lecture 10 - Common Sense
Lecture 11 - Independence
Lecture 12 - Civil War
Lecture 13 - Organizing a War
Lecture 14 - Heroes and Villains
Lecture 15 - Citizens and Choices: Experiencing the Revolution in New Haven
Lecture 16 - The Importance of George Washington
Lecture 17 - The Logic of a Campaign (or, How in the World Did We Win?)
Lecture 18 - Fighting the Revolution: The Big Picture
Lecture 19 - War and Society
Lecture 20 - Confederation
Lecture 21 - A Union Without Power
Lecture 22 - A Road to the Constitutional Convention
Lecture 23 - Creating a Constitution
Lecture 24 - Creating a Nation
Lecture 25 - Being an American: The Legacy of the Revolution