Friday, February 24

Research day: George Washington... and environs

Mark has a great post on the excellence of George Washington (you know, for Washington's birthday yesterday).

One minor note from me: I noticed the painting Mark mentions, The Apotheosis [man-becoming-god] of Washington , when I visited the capitol in 1993. My thought then: Think we have civil religion?

Washington: good. Civil religion: bad. I'm after the sweet spot.

This topic led me to read up on Washington at Wikipedia, with much enjoyment. I did not know, or had forgotten, that he was posthumously promoted to General of the Armies and it was decreed that no one could ever outrank him.

Reading about Washington led me to Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben , who brought Prussian organization and training methods to the Continental Army.

Also clicked from Washington to Historical rankings of United States Presidents
. I don't think I'll take exception with the survey results: it's a pretty subjective thing. I do like the average ranking chart with some of the reasons for that president's placement. And you know I'm a Nixon-hater, but I wonder if some of his positive leadership should ameliorate such a low ranking...

Also clicked to Alexander Hamilton. I was interested to read about his strong Federalist opinions, over against Jefferson's Republicanism. At first, I thought I'm more in line with Jefferson. Then I thought, that's probably true today, but would the US have ever grown to a point where it could support Republicanism (eg, state's rights and free trade) without having some strong Federalist influences in the early days?
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