Persephone Reeves

The Formation of Charismatic Authority: An Analysis of Julius Caesar and George Washington
Volume 8 | Issue II | June 2024
Friends Academy ’25
New York, USA
Born and raised in London, I recently moved to New York and was astonished by experiencing the differences between the “two nations separated by a common language.” I found it fascinating to see life from the American perspective and became interested in its history, particularly how it won its freedom from Britain. I am a big-picture person by nature, so I was drawn to the topic of charismatic authority, very much in the current zeitgeist, and the qualities that made a leader such as George Washington charismatic. I started the paper in the Concord Review history camp and submitted a 3,000-word version for this year’s National History Day, where it won the Global Explorer’s Prize. I continued exploring the topic of charismatic authority for The Schola submission, but following the editors’ feedback, I reworked it almost completely to focus on comparing two iconic charismatic leaders, George Washington and Julius Caesar. I have never worked or thought so intensely, nor have I assimilated so many scholarly sources before. However, writing this paper has been an enlightening experience, and I intend to pursue a career in academia in the future. My great love is painting and art history, but I also enjoy writing. This summer I’m excited to take a photojournalism course at The New York Times and then write a historical account of the Underground Railroad in Port Washington, Long Island, where I live. It boasts a profound yet concealed legacy within the Quaker community for sheltering fugitives on the Underground Railroad.
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