Reply To: Rothbard on Franklin and Washington


Washington was completely inexperienced in command at that level at the war’s beginning, and it showed on Long Island and on Manhattan. He did however eventually decide upon precisely the right grand strategy for American victory. Besides that, he steadfastly insisted that Congress, not he, had final authority in the American system, both when some of his officers and when the British pushed him in the other direction. He ultimately resigned his commission. These three facts combine to make him not only a good military commander, but the greatest man in American history.

I agree about Franklin, though we mustn’t ignore John Jay’s pivotal role in concluding the Treaty of Paris.