Skip to comments.America's 'Lost Monarchy': The Man Who Would Be King
Posted on 10/11/2008 8:36:57 AM PDT by Oyarsa
The children of Paul Emery Washington think of their father as an unpretentious, generous guy who climbed the corporate ladder to become regional manager at CertainTeed manufacturing, a building-supply company. Now 82, he takes care of his wife, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, while spending time on the San Antonio, Texas, property that he shares with his children. "I think he would've been a great king," says son Bill Washingtona statement, we admit, that might seem a little odd. Except that Paul Emery Washington is a direct descendant of George Washington, our nation's first president and perhaps the only man in history who turned down the position of monarch.
Had George Washington ascended to the throne, Paul Emery Washington (Joe Six-pack, incarnate) could now go by King Paul, the first. Lore has it that President Washington was so well liked after his Revolutionary victory that a group of citizens frustrated with the Continental Congress floated the idea of a coup-d'etat and the installation of King George and the creation of an American monarchy. But Washington, who believed that anyone (anyone!) might make for a good leader, staunched the idea and eventually relinquished his power as commander-in-chief.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsweek.com ...
By English precedent, parliament would have established the succession, which could as likely passed through Martha’s children, adopted by George.
Once that line daughtered out, the Stuarts would have been as likely successors as Lawrence’s descendants.
I’m the third cousin six times removed of Bushrod Washington, George’s nephew and one of the worst Supreme Court justices in our history. So what does that make me? A princess?
His uncle George Washington sponsored Bushrod's legal studies with fellow Founder James Wilson. He inherited Mount Vernon from George after the latter died in 1799.
You should lay claim to Mt. Vernon!
1) There is no evidence that a monarchy was seriously considered by the Constitutional Convention.
2) There is no evidence that Washington would have accepted the throne if offered to him.
3) Yes, Washington may have been able to pull an Oliver Cromwell and use the Continental Army to overthrow the Continental Congress(would the army have followed him? Your guess is as good as mine.), but he didn't so that ends that. George III called Washington “the greatest man in Christendom” for resigning his commission and disbanding the army, which still was waiting on payment of back pay. Eventually the soldiers got their money.
4) If offered the throne, and if accepted by Washington there is no reason to assume it would be hereditary. It may have been elective, like Poland or the Papal States.
5) Assuming it was hereditary, since Washington had no descendants either the Constitutional Convention would have had to provide a mechanism for the succession, perhaps picking the successor themselves, or leaving it to Washington to designate a successor. Perhaps he would have picked someone like Alexander Hamilton instead of a relative?
6) And finally there is no reason to assume that this new monarchy would not have joined the the Empire of Mexico, the Empire of Brazil, the Empire of Haiti, the Kingdom of Patagonia, or the Kingdom of Hawaii on the trash heap of history in a generation or two. The only monarchies that still rule any territory in the New World are monarchies of the Old World, like the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands.
It may be cool to be a relative of George Washington, but I suggest these people not worry about what might have happened and get on with their lives.
The whole concept of a national government at that time was paper-thin. Real power rested with the states. Slight support for a monarchy might have been found in places like Charleston or some parts of the Chesapeake tidewater.
But in New England, it was absolutely out of the question. New Englanders simply would not have stood for it.
Also, the great inland settlement running from Philadelphia down central Virginia all the way to Georgia, settled initially by the Scotch-Irish, would not have permitted it. By the close of the Revolution, their hatred for the British king was white hot. They would not have suffered an American king.
The U.S. presidency is for all intents and purposes an elected monarchy and has been for some time. It does not have some of the superficially trappings of European style monarchies, but that’s just a matter of style.
Note: this topic is from October 11, 2008.
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No, "Paul Emery Washington" is NOT a direct descendant of George Washington. Washington had no children.
He can be a indirect descendant but not a direct descendant. Words mean things.
And every four to eight years we get to metaphorically commit regicide.
That's OK. We don't have a president either.