Program Details

POTUS 1: How George Washington Made the Presidency

David Head
Politics / History
Video Catch-up

Course Description

When George Washington was inaugurated president in 1789, he faced an impossible task: unite the people of thirteen independent-thinking states; rescue the nation from lingering war debt; navigate European power politics; prove the Constitution worked; and establish what he called a "national character," America's reputation on the world stage. Washington was aware that everything he did would set a precedent, and so the presentation focuses on key moments when the first president both responded to urgent events and set an example for the future. We'll look at how Washington created the cabinet, how he set the limits of executive power, and how he led during turmoil, both foreign and domestic. We'll also explore why Washington was the greatest president we've ever had and why it's a good thing he won't be matched.

About the Instructor

  • David Head, PhD, teaches history at the University of Central Florida. An expert on early America, he is the author of two books: Privateers of the Americas: Spanish American Privateering from the United State in the Early Republic (Georgia, 2015) and A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution (Pegasus Books, 2019). He is also the editor of two works: Encyclopedia of the Atlantic World (ABC-CLIO, 2017) and The Golden Age of Piracy (Georgia, 20818). An native of Western New York, Head earned his bachelor's degree in history from Niagara University and his doctoral degree in history from the University at Buffalo.

Upcoming programs presented by David Head.

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