WASHINGTON’S SKILL
DID HAVE A BACKGROUND IN HIS OWN EXPERIENCE. HE HAD BEEN AN OFFICER IN THE ANGLO AMERICAN
ARMY IN EARLIER YEARS. HE HAD A GOOD DEAL OF EXPERIENCE
BUT HE HADN’T HAD, OBVIOUSLY, EXPERIENCE OF COMMANDING
A NATIONAL ARMY. HE LEARNED FAST AND HE WAS
JUST A VERY GIFTED COMMANDER. HE HAD A VERY DIGNIFIED
PRESENCE ABOUT HIM. HE WAS RESOURCEFUL AND HE WAS
TOUGH WHEN HE HAD TO BE TOUGH. AND CONSEQUENTLY HE PUT ALL
THIS TOGETHER AND DEVELOPED INTO A KIND OF COMMANDER-A
SENIOR COMMANDER THAT ONE PERHAPS
COULDN’T HAVE ANTICIPATED. BUT HIS PERSONALITY
COUNTED FOR A GREAT DEAL. HE WAS A PERSON OF GREAT
DIGNITY AND PRESENCE. AND ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT IS ALSO IMPORTANT IN AMERICAN HISTORY, BESIDE HIS
ROLE IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, IS HIS ROLE AS THE FIRST
PRESIDENT WHERE THE WHOLE OF THE ORGANIZATION OF THE
NATIONAL GOVERNMENT WAS UNSURE. IT WAS ONLY A PIECE OF PAPER. THERE WAS NO ORGANIZATION YET. AND THE DIGNITY THAT HE HAD
DEVELOPED THROUGH THE WAR YEARS, THE COMMANDING PRESENCE HE
HAD, WHICH WHEN TRANSFERRED IT INTO THE PRESIDENCY, GAVE
THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH THE KIND OF POWER IT OTHERWISE
COULD NEVER HAVE HAD. HE PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE AS
PRESIDENT AS WELL AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF PARTLY-JUST BECAUSE
OF HIS PRESENCE, HIS DIGNITY AND HIS SENSE THAT HE
REPRESENTED A NATIONAL MOVEMENT THAT WAS DEVELOPING
IN AN IMPORTANT WAY. HIS DIGNITY, I THINK,
COUNTED FOR A GREAT DEAL, WHICH HE WAS ABLE TO USE
EFFECTIVELY BOTH AS A WAR LEADER AND AS A CIVILIAN PRESIDENT.