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Presidencies of the United States

01 - George Washington Episodes

The intro and outro music for the Washington episodes unless otherwise stated is from “Hail, Columbia” as performed by the US Navy Band. The full recording can be found at Wikipedia. The song was originally called “The President’s March” and was composed for Washington’s first inaugural. More information about the history of “Hail, Columbia” can be found at Wikipedia.

August 12, 2018

1.36 – Washington Q&A

I asked for your questions, and you sent in some great ones! As a part of the transition into a new presidency, we send George Washington off by addressing some lingering issues about his life and tenure including whether he thought of the Federalists as a political party, whether Hamilton would have become president if not for his affair with Maria Reynolds, did Washington really want to be called “His Excellency,” and what was up with the president tallying how many women he saw during his Southern tour. The answers to these questions and more can be found in this special episode of Presidencies!

01 - George Washington

June 24, 2018

1.35 – Washington Post-Presidency

Year(s) Discussed: 1796-1799 Washington envisioned a relaxing retirement at Mount Vernon with his family after leaving the presidency in March 1797, but it was not to be. Between personal issues and a return to public service, the last couple of years of Washington’s life prior to his sudden demise would be filled with business and breaches of trust and friendship.

01 - George Washington

June 10, 2018

1.34 – The Final(ish) Curtain Call

Year(s) Discussed: 1794-1797 After President Washington releases his Farewell Address, informing the nation that he would not seek another term, the 1796 election is carried out though, both domestically and abroad, there is much confusion about how exactly the United States would decide upon its next president. Meanwhile, the French plot to interfere with the election, the public attacks on Washington continue, and a military leader meets his untimely end.

01 - George Washington

May 27, 2018

1.33 – Race to the Finish Line

Year(s) Discussed: 1790-1796 Relations between the US and France deteriorate after the Jay Treaty goes into effect while Washington gets involved in the campaign to secure Lafayette’s release from his imprisonment in the Habsburg Monarchy, the administration takes care of business as the end of Washington’s second term draws closer, and the parties position themselves to launch into the 1796 presidential campaign as soon as Washington finally makes official his plans to retire (aka the worst kept secret in the 18th century).

01 - George Washington

May 13, 2018

1.32 – Samsons and Solomons

Year(s) Discussed: 1795-1796 Though finally managing to resolve his personnel issues, Washington and his Cabinet find themselves faced with a host of new problems including a new round of debate over the Jay Treaty and political maneuverings by the Democratic-Republicans as the next presidential election draws ever closer.

01 - George Washington

April 29, 2018

1.31 – Runaway

Year(s) Discussed: 1773-1848 On May 21st, 1796, Ona/Oney Judge slips out of the President’s House in Philadelphia, PA in a bid to obtain her freedom from enslavement. The story of her being born into slavery at Mount Vernon, her being brought to work in the Washingtons’ household, and the Washingtons’ attempts at bringing Ona back into captivity is a narrative that brings much insight into the institution of slavery in the United States in the mid-1790s as well as a more complete view of George Washington’s legacy.

01 - George Washington

April 15, 2018

1.30 – Under Pressure, Near and Far

Year(s) Discussed: c. 16th century-1795 Diplomatic representatives of the Washington administration navigate new waters as they seek a peaceful resolution to conflicts with the Barbary States and Spain while the President continues his frustrating search to find candidates willing to fill his vacant Cabinet offices. Meanwhile, the Senate throws the President a curve ball by rejecting one of Washington’s appointments.

01 - George Washington

April 01, 2018

1.29 – The Not So Dream Team

Year(s) Discussed: 1792-1796 With positions in his Cabinet to fill, Washington is finding it difficult to convince anyone to join his administration. Meanwhile, the son of his Revolutionary War comrade the Marquis de Lafayette shows up in the US and places the President in a difficult position as he’s forced to choose between personal loyalty and public duty. Around the same time, the disgraced Edmund Randolph makes his way up and down the east coast gathering evidence to clear his name.

01 - George Washington

March 18, 2018

1.28 – A Caesar, a Cromwell, and a Washington: The Betrayals of 1795

Year(s) Discussed: 1794-1795 Despite achieving a major diplomatic victory in the Northwest Territory, the administration is rocked by controversy as Secretary of State Randolph is confronted about allegations of collusion with the French while Washington himself is accused of improper use of public finances. Scandals and controversies abound in this episode!

01 - George Washington

March 04, 2018

1.27 – The Light of Burning Effigies

Year(s) Discussed: 1789-1799 While the construction of the nation’s new capital proceeds, the public battle against the Jay Treaty begins in earnest upon its publication by Benjamin Franklin Bache. Demonstrations and meetings go on up and down the Eastern seaboard, and even Alexander Hamilton has difficulty determining how to respond. Meanwhile, Washington has to fill John Jay’s position as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and deal with the last remaining member of his first Cabinet now looking to find a way out of his post.

01 - George Washington

February 18, 2018

1.26 – A Monument of Folly and Venality

Year(s) Discussed: 1794-1795 The Jay Treaty finally arrives in Philadelphia, but it turns out to be more of a curse than the blessing for which Washington and his administration were hoping. As Washington and Randolph scramble to figure out what to do with the treaty, the opposition makes preparations for a full-on attack on this treaty with the British. Meanwhile, the Administration learns of US Minister James Monroe’s “fraternal embrace” of the French and goes in search of a special envoy to send to Spain. Diplomacy and political intrigue abound at home and abroad in 1795.

01 - George Washington

February 04, 2018

1.25 – The Happy Course

Year(s) Discussed: 1772-1795 As Alexander Hamilton readies himself to depart from the administration at the beginning of 1795, I use this defining point of the Washington presidency to explore various points of domestic policy and foreign issues including the establishment of the Trans-Oconee Republic, the state of the Democratic-Republican faction, the first steps of the Thermadorian government in France, the Kościuszko Uprising in Poland, the influx of refugees from Saint-Domingue and the progress of the Haitian Revolution, and British intrigues in the Caribbean. Many issues face Washington and his new Cabinet secretaries as they enter the final two years of his second term.

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January 21, 2018

1.24 – The Mvskoke and Mathews

Year(s) Discussed: 1783-1793 The development of white settlements in what was then the Southwest United States brings about conflicts with various Native American nations including the Mvskoke (commonly referred to as the Creek). Thus, the Washington administration finds itself in the position of having to police its own citizens while at the same time negotiating peace with native peoples in the region. Meanwhile, the threat of slave uprisings moves closer to the United States and causes some slaveowners to reconsider their approach to enslaved people and the institution of slavery as a whole.

01 - George Washington

January 07, 2018

1.23 – Effigies and Efficacies

Year(s) Discussed: 1793-1794 James Monroe arrives in France as major changes are occurring in the governance of the nation – Robespierre is out, and the Thermadorians are in. Back in the US, Washington and Hamilton ride at the head of an army west to put an end to the Whiskey Rebellion once and for all, but they will be shocked by what they find as they draw nearer to Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, as we near the end of 1794, the longest serving member of Washington’s Cabinet considers his future.

01 - George Washington

December 24, 2017

1.22 – My, What Big Treaties You Have

Year(s) Discussed: 1793-1794 Developments on both sides of the Atlantic keep the administration busy in 1794. Prominent envoys are sent to both Britain and France in order to avert the US being drawn into conflict with a foreign power. General Wayne and his troops march into action in the Northwest Territory. Even Washington is getting into the action as he heads into the field to face the rebels in western Pennsylvania. Though only five years old, the new government under the Constitution is tested like never before.

01 - George Washington