Was George Washington truly America's indispensable man?
John Adams thought so, and lots of later historians agreed. Washington had the qualities the country needed at the time - dignity, gravitas, and integrity. He was perceived to be above the kind of petty squabbles that would doom the newborn republic.
But things very nearly didn't go his way. After his defeat at the Battle of New York in 1776, the war, and with it the Revolution, was nearly over.
Had Washington not managed to get things back on track, there were a few other commanders who would have been quite happy to take the top spot.
Washington saved the day with a couple of surprise wintertime attacks, but things had a way of turning against him.
1777 saw a string of British victories, except for one smashing battle won by the Americans. The only problem - George wasn't the general who won the victory.
Ellis, Joseph J. “His Excellency: George Washington.” Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon. “The ‘Indispensible Man’: Would the Revolution Have Succeeded Without George Washington?” Retrieved September 23, 2022 from https://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/the-revolutionary-war/was-washington-the-indispensable-man/would-the-revolution-have-succeeded-without-george-washington/