Charles Cornwallis

The Unknown X Factor

Research Introduction

According to John Maxwell, an author, speaker and pastor, “Leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” Leaders may not always be the person with the most money or connections, but rather more talent and experience. A leader is the last one to give up on a situation and even when all is lost, they will help others out before they leave themselves. Leadership cannot be granted to someone, rather it must be earned by the one who desires it. Many military officials are deemed leaders since they could command their troops with great skill, and this can be attributed to General Charles Cornwallis of the British army during the Revolutionary War. Born December 31, 1738 in London, he was the eldest son of the 1st Earl Cornwallis. Born into the upper class, he was given much more from than others would have. He attended Eton and would go on to serve in the Seven Years War as a soldier. Charles Cornwallis had the greatest attributes of anyone in the Revolutionary War due to his leadership, strategic smarts, and political background.

Research Hghlights

  • He believed that the colonies had a point and defended them in Parliament. He was not afraid to speak his mind.
  • He was a aide-de-camp to King George III. This position was a confidential assistant for the king.
  • He had spent time at a military academy in Turin, Italy so that he could find success on the battlefield.
  • When he commanded troops, he used his experiences in politics to clearly communicate his ideas to peers.
  • He was the joint Vice Treasurer of Ireland in 1769, and Ireland was still under British rule at the time.
  • Following the death of his father, Charles became the new head of household and helped his siblings with their lives while advancing his own. He assumed the role as the second Earl Cornwallis, the same spot his father held previously.