Washington Resigns His Commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army

On December 23rd, George Washington appears before the Continental Congress which was meeting at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland and resigns his position as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army.  When King George III heard that Washington planned to do this, he said, “If Washington does this, he will be the greatest person in the world.”  No other leader of a successful revolution either before or after has ever done this.  By doing so, Washington established the primacy of civilian power.  Above is a painting of this event by John Trumbull that hangs in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.

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~ by americanpresidents on March 8, 2010.

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