Virginia History 101: George Washington & His Presidency

David Hoth

David Hoth speaking at the Charlottesville Senior Center.

Regular listeners of our podcasts might know Rick Britton. He’s a historian and cartographer and a frequent guest on WINA’s Charlottesville Right Now with Coy Barefoot. Rick also designs and hosts Virginia history programs for the Charlottesville Senior Center.

In the fall of 2010, the Senior Center offered one of Rick’s programs entitled “Virginia History 101.” Running from October 7th through November 18th, this six-session lecture series was designed for those interested in Virginia’s fascinating early history. The series focused on some of the big topics that dominated the Old Dominion’s first two centuries, including, Native Virginians, Tobacco, Slavery, the Revolution, George Washington’s Presidency, and Jeffersonian Architecture. The series was followed with a travel session where participants experienced Virginia history first hand.

The November 4, 2010 talk, “George Washington & His Presidency,” was delivered by David Hoth, Editor of the Papers of George Washington (both the Revolutionary Series and the Presidential Series), and a former Editor of the papers of Presidents James K. Polk and Andrew Jackson. Using his extensive knowledge of both Jackson and Washington, Hoth commences with some interesting “compare and contrast” anecdotes. Both Presidents had gained fame as military commanders–and Jackson saw himself as a “Washington-like” hero–but George Washington exhibited much more control and restraint, and his political abilities have been greatly underestimated. Washington cared a bit about money, but he was not motivated by power. What was the driving engine behind his Presidency?

This is the fifth in a six part series for 2010.

Click here to listen to all six lectures in this series:

* December 2, 2010 – The Monacan Nation – Rick Britton
* December 9, 2010 – Tobacco, The First Cash Crop – Susan Kern
* December 16, 2010 – Foodways of the Enslaved – Leni Sorensen
* December 23, 2010 – The Yorktown Campaign – Ed Lengel
* December 30, 2010 – Washington’s Presidency – David Hoth
* January 6, 2011- Architecture in the Jeffersonian Period – Ed Lay