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George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation (1986)

The life of George Washington as the first President of the United States of America and his 8 years running his country. The trials he faces dealing with mobs and riots while keeping the country together.

Director:

William A. Graham

Writers:

Richard Fielder, James Thomas Flexner (biography)
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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barry Bostwick ... George Washington
Patty Duke ... Martha Washington
Jeffrey Jones ... Thomas Jefferson
Richard Bekins ... Alexander Hamilton
Penny Fuller ... Eliza Powel
Marcia Cross ... Anne Bingham
Guy Paul ... James Madison
Norman Snow ... Edmund Randolph
Lise Hilboldt Lise Hilboldt ... Maria Reynolds
Robert Kelly Robert Kelly ... James Monroe
Haviland Morris ... Henrietta Liston
Daniel Davis ... Patrick Henry
Sam Tsoutsouvas Sam Tsoutsouvas ... Citizen Genet
Farnham Scott ... General Henry Knox
Leo Burmester ... Eban Krutch
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Storyline

The life of George Washington as the first President of the United States of America and his 8 years running his country. The trials he faces dealing with mobs and riots while keeping the country together.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 September 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Forging of a Nation See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As a young man, Henry Knox wounded himself in firing a shotgun, losing two fingers on his left hand. That is why Farnham Scott wears a handkerchief around his hand in all of his scenes portraying General Knox. See more »

Connections

Follows George Washington (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Our First President
7 June 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

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 respectively.

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.


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