ANOTHER ACCOMPLISHMENT OF GEORGE WASHINGTON. Goldsworthy identifies the absence of a rule of succession as a fatal weakness in the Roman Empire. The Emperor was not formally a king, so claims to power came from the heads of armies or from the accidental choices of the palace guards (often influenced by money payments). Emperors were reluctant to delegate power to deal with problems and often chose to lead armies themselves rather than to grant military power to a potential rival. Loyalty was more important than talent in a subordinate. Goldsworthy says: “At a basic level the emperors and government officials of the Late Roman Empire had forgotten what the empire was for. The wider interests of the state…were secondary to their own personal success and survival.”
All this is a reminder of how important for America was the day when John Adams succeeded George Washington pursuant to the Constitution.