George Washington’s Temptation of Absolute Power

As we approach Christmas this year we must not forget December 23rd, the anniversary of the momentous resignation of General George Washington.

When the War for Independence came to a close, General George Washington was tempted by the offer of nearly unlimited power in these United States. His officers in the Army sought to draft him as King of the fledgling country. His popularity was unanimously acknowledged while on the other hand the reputation of Congress was beneath dismal.

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We all can agree a true test of character is when great power is offered to an individual who has earned the trust of the majority of citizens in a country.

What George Washington did by resigning his position as General and disbanding his army on December 23rd, in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ 1783, was unparalleled. He had the option of becoming king of this new country, of amassing his soldiers and marching on Congress to dislodge them from their seat of power. Had he done so he would have had the backing of the vast majority of Americans. In fact, many expected him to do so, even King George III. The fact that he did not demonstrates not only his character, but, even more, the love he held for his country. He cared less for his own aggrandizement and more for the wellbeing of these United States.

Would to God that we had a legion of such individuals today, not just in Washington, but in all our State Capitals and all our County Seats!

May his example inspire us as we remember this day the 230th anniversary of General George Washington resigning his military commission to Congress in Annapolis, Maryland.

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