6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Our First President
bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
7 June 2008
Continuing the story of George Washington the mini-series from two
years earlier is George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation. Taken
again from that most accessible and readable of Washington biographies
by James Thomas Flexner, this series deals with Washington as our first
president under the new Constitution.
Barry Bostwick and Patty Duke continue with their roles as George and
Martha Washington and have a good cast of supporting players in roles
that step from the history books.
Washington as president dealt with working out the forms the government
would operate under. In every single decision he made, he was mindful
of the fact would set a precedent for all 42 of his successors to
follow. In fact it was the general understanding that Washington would
be the first president by the makers of the Constitution in 1788.
This series unfortunately gets a little too deep into the complexity of
the issues facing Washington. Historians would love it, but I do fear
that the general public would have trouble following it. Though there's
no doubt of what they would see in the antagonism of Thomas Jefferson
and Alexander Hamilton played here by Jeffrey Jones and Richard Bekins
Washington did have one rather foolish notion that today would strike
us as quaint. He really believed that political parties such as
developed in the British Parliamentary system would be left behind in
Europe. The quarrel between Jefferson and Hamilton with both eventually
leaving the cabinet was the foundation of our two party system.
Washington did make a concerted effort to at first govern non
partisanly, but eventually came down on the side of Hamiltonian
Federalists. It was with a Federalist cabinet that he left the
presidency after his second term in March of 1797.
George and Martha must have been lonely figures in retirement. He did
in fact come down on the side of the Federalists. But his native
Virginia was now under the domination of Thomas Jefferson and the
Democratic-Republicans. With the exception of future Chief Justice John
Marshall, all the prominent figures in Virginia were Jeffersonian
followers down the line.
The Forging of a Nation is a good mini-series for classrooms, but it's
very scholarly tone does not make it as good as the first series
dealing with Washington through the American Revolution. I liked this
series a lot, but fear it might be too complex for the average viewer.
Add another review