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George Washington’s Resignation

December 19, 2013

230 years ago, on December 23, 1783, George Washington resigned his commission.  That single action, above everything else he did, is an indication that is one of the greatest men of all time.  He could have been King, President or Commander in Chief for life.  Instead, he turned the reins of power back to the civilian leaders who gave him his charge. General_George_Washington_Resigning_his_Commission

He traveled to Congress that was assembled in Annapolis, Maryland, after a farewell dinner with his officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York.

Washington is a mythical figure, leading the Revolutionary War, becoming the first President of a newly born nation establishing the form and manner of government and also refusing to run for re-election after a second term to establish a precedent of a citizen leader who would not serve for life – and – who would be accountable to the people.  His leadership skills gave him the confidence to put the strongest leaders of the two major parties in his cabinet and have them sculpt the mechanics and workings of an infant country.

King George III, upon hearing of Washington’s resignation, said that this “placed him as the most distinguished of any man living.”  He also called Washington, “the greatest character of the age.”  His resignation, rather than everything else he accomplished, made him an international hero.

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