February 08, 2007

One for the Americanists

According to Lee Harris in 1798 John Adams nominated Washington to be commander in chief despite the fact that he was President and the constitution said he was commander in chief- I was just wondering whether anyone could clarify whether this was true and what the status of US law on this issue is? It seems fascinating.


Ellee Seymour said...

I have an American blogger who posts comments on my site, he has done today a couple of times, maybe you could ask him.

Gracchi said...

Cheers Ellee like your new picture too. I have a mate who comes on here and no doubt will inform me.

Anonymous said...

Yes the US Constitution, adopted in 1789 with Washington's election, automatically assigns the President the role of commander in chief of all the armed forces.

John Adams, himself later president, recommended Washington to be president of the Constitutional Convention, which convened in 1787, and that is what your correspondent refers to.

In 1976 President Ford enacted legislation which assigned President Washington the unique posthumous rank of General of the Armies of the United States, and that no other officer would ever outrank him. During his life, Washington only ever became a '3 star' general or Lieutenant General.

3 of the Union Army's civil war generals, Grant, Sheridan, and Sherman, are recognized as 5 star officers, as are 9 WW2 United States officers of flag and general rank, Halsey, King, Leahy, Nimitz, Arnold, Eisenhower, Marshall, MacArthur, and Bradley.

America's WW1 general, John Pershing is classed as an unofficial 6 star.

Washington outranks them all.