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American Art Project

Autor:   •  January 24, 2018  •  1,550 Words (7 Pages)  •  622 Views

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Part 2 – U.S. Capital National Statuary Hall Collection – Virginia Representatives

George WashingtonJean Antoine Houdon[5]

Virginia

George Washington was a highly respected leader, soldier, politician, and contributing member of the early American society. His contributions to the forging of the United States are nearly without equal. His military career began in the French and Indian war where he served as a major. Washington advanced to become a colonel and at the young age of 23 earned the position of commander of all Virginia troops. In 1775, Washington, then Commander-in-Chief, led the colonial forces to victory over the British for the independence of the United States. During the forging of the U.S. constitution, he presided over the Constitutional Convention in 1787 after which his peers unanimously elected him as the first president of the United States. Washington served two terms as president – more than he personally wanted but understood the fragility of the new government so continued with the second term. He led the country with thoughtful humility during his two terms as president and helped forge the multi-branch structure of government that still serves us today. Washington’s home and large farm, and ultimately his burial site are located in Mount Vernon, Virginia. George Washington contributed more to America than to Virginia, but because so much of the early political landscape played out on Virginia soil, he could not be a better representation for the state.

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Robert E. LeeEdward V. Valentine[6]

Virginia

Robert E. Lee carried was born into, and believed himself to be an integral part of, a long history of Virginia politicians and militants. His wife shared similar heritage being George Washington’s great granddaughter. Lee was a top graduate of West Point and served in the Mexican American war in 1846 where he earned a reputation for being both a brave and strategic military leader. When the civil war was taking shape, Lee declined an offer from Abraham Lincoln to command the Union forces based on misgivings over a war centered on slavery. He later agreed to support the Confederate army. Lee’s troops did not fare well and suffered heavy losses in the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg, the latter becoming a turning point for the Union forces that ultimately led to Lee’s surrender. He returned home to his family and became the president of a small Virginia college, and died five years later of a stroke. While leading the Confederate forces, Lee defended a deeply rooted part of Virginia history – slavery - but he may not have been the best choice to represent the state in National Statuary Hall. I believe that Thomas Jefferson may have been a better choice for his contributions to both state and federal initiatives.

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Bibliography

America's Best History - U.S. Timeline - 1830s. n.d. http://americasbesthistory.com/abhtimeline1830.html (accessed November 23, 2013).

Architect of the Capitol - Explore Capitol Hill. n.d. http:/www.aoc.gov/capitol-hill/art (accessed November 20, 2013).

Brands, H.W., T.H. Breen, R. Hal Williams, and Ariela J. Gross. American Stories, Volume 1, Second Edition. Pearson Education, 2012.

George Washington. n.d. http://www.biography.com/people/george-washington-9524786 (accessed December 1, 2013).

Robert E. Lee. n.d. http://www.biography.com/people/robert-e-lee-9377163 (accessed December 1, 2013).

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