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George Washington

George Washington George Washington George Washington by far is one of the greatest revolutionaries in the history of the United States. His role in gaining our independence for the American Colonies and helping to unify them under the new U.S. federal government can not be overestimated. After an eight-year struggle his quest for victory brought final defeat to the British, thus giving us our independence. George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, in West Moreland, Virginia.

Washington was the eldest son of a well-to-do family. Young Washington received most of his schooling from his father and always wanted to be a surveyor. George grew up a strong, tall young man, who excelled in outdoor pursuits and music. When George was 17 he was appointed surveyor of Culpeper County, Virginia, this was the first public office he held. In 1751 George had his first and only experience of foreign lands when he joined his brother on a trip to the West Indies in hopes to better the symptoms of his brothers tuberculosis.

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Even though the trip did little good for his brother, George did get something out of it; George came down with small pox. Although it seemed like a bad thing at the time having this immunity to small pox would help him later on when the colonial army had a brake out of small pox. When his half-brother Lawrence died in 1752 George inherited the beautiful estate of Mount Vernon, one of six farms held by his family. Lawrence had held the position of adjutant in the colonial army; a full-time salary paid position, carrying the rank of major. After his brothers death only at the age of twenty Washington felt he could handle the job and Governor Robert Dinwiddie soon appointed him adjutant of the southern district of Virginia. During the Seven years war Washington found out that Britain was sending over less-experienced officers that would have higher ranking over him. He found this intolerable and in 1754 Washington resigned.

Through all this time Washingtons reputation was getting bigger and bigger and in 1755 Governor Dinwiddie appointed Washington commander in chief of all of the colonies armed forces, with the rank of Colonel. For the next three years Washington fought along side with British General John Forbes at Fort Duquesne, and when they had one the fort Washington resigned once more. The year was 1759 and Washington had better things on his mind such as marrying the women that he loved. And he did in January of 1759 Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis. Washington spent a few years with his wife on their farm trying to figure out the best way to rotate his crops and what crops would make him the most money. Then in 1765 Washingtons perspective broadened and he became involved in the protests of Virginians against the restrictions of British rule.

Washington saw it more and more that the King and his ministers saw the American people as nothing more then inferior people and they sought to control our whole substance. Washington began to see the deepening division between Britain and the Colonies, as a member of the House of Burgesses he opposed such measures as the Stamp Act, Washington also foresaw that British policy was doing away with self-government in America all together. Washingtons anti-British feelings were strengthened by the introduction of the Townshend Acts in 1767. His voice joined in Virginias decision in 1770 to ban or boycott all any British goods from the colonies. By 1774 with the American resistance well developed, Washington had become one of the key Virginians supporting the colonial cause.

Washington was elected to the First Continental Congress. How ever he knew that more then paper resolutions would be needed to save the American liberties, and so he spent the winter of 1774 and 1775 organizing a militia. On June 15, 1775 the Continental Congress unanimously elected George Washington as General and commander in chief of the colonial army. Washington was chosen for two basic reasons; first of all he was respected for his military abilities, his selflessness, and his strong commitment to colonial freedom. Secondly, Washington was a Virginian and it was hoped that with his leadership it would bind the southern colonies more to the rebellion, which was basically situated in New England at the time.

On June 25, 1775, Washington set out for Massachusetts, and on July 3, 1775 Washington took control of the colonial army. Washington and his army fought their first battle at the Battle of Bunker Hill. This battle would be one by the colonial army and was the first of very many battles, but the rest is history. During the next couple of years we won a few battles but we retreated more often then not. On May 1, 1778, Washington heard the news that transformed the nature of the war; a treaty of alliance had been signed between the U.S. and the French.

This new treaty and the arrival of fresh troops completely changed the pace of the American Revolution, the French came in and helped us out fight and outsmart the British army. Not only did the French bring us fresh troops but they also brought us Naval Superiority. Peace was officially proclaimed on April 19, 1783,but not until November 25, as the last British boats left did Washingtons troops enter New York. At the end of the war Washington wrote in a letter that he hoped to stay a private citizen but to his disappointment that wouldnt come true. At the Constitutional Convention of 1787 Washington was named President of the convention.

On September 17, 1787, the conventions work was done and the Constitution of the Untied States of America was signed by all of the delegates and the convention was adjourned. Once again Washington headed for home in hopes of having some peaceful quiet time but in the election of 1789 Washington was elected the first President of the United States of America. Then in 1792 Washington was reelected to serve a second term. After serving his terms of office Washington returned to Mount Vernon. On the morning of December 14, 1799 Washington awoke with an inflamed throat.

His condition rapidly worsened, and George Washington died at 11:30 December 14, 1799. George Washington lived a very important life, and due to his contributions and sacrifices it is possible today for there to be a United States, and I think that we all owe him a great debt for what he did to help every one living here. So, in closing I feel that George Washington was the greatest revolutionist of the time. Bibliography History Essays.

George Washington

George Washington George Washington is unanimously referred to as the “father of America”. The first president of the United States of America, Washington set the manner for what was to become the most powerful seat of government in the country. The purpose of this paper is to provide biographical information on Washington and to explain why he is known as the “father of America”. Born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on February 22, 1732, George Washington was the eldest son of Augustine Washington and his second wife, Mary Ball Washington. His five younger brothers and sisters were Elizabeth, Samuel, John, Augustine, Charles, and Mildred (who died in infancy).

Washington’s two half brothers, Lawrence and Augustine, were fourteen and twelve years older than he, but the three boys liked and respected one another.1 When Washington was three the family moved to a larger plantation further up the Potomac River. It was called Epsewasson, or Little Hunting Creek, from the name of the stream it faced. Young Washington grew to love the estate with a passion that lasted all his life. Some years later Augustine bought a farm on the Rappahannock, opposite Fredericksburg, and moved the family there. The plantation, Ferry Farm, was the place where Washington chopped the cherry tree down.2 When Washington was eleven, his father died.

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The plantation at Epsewasson was granted to Lawrence. Lawrence added to the estate and renamed it Mount Vernon, in honor of Admiral Vernon, under whom he had served in the West Indies. George went to live with Augustine at Wakefield because Henry William’s school, one of the best in the colony, was located nearby.3 Little is know of George Washington’s schooling. He was probably tutored at home for a while, and may have attended school in Fredericksburg before going to Henry William’s school. At fifteen he was ready to do practical surveying.

He was good in mathematics; he was a neat penman and an accurate mapmaker. In 1748, Washington went to live with his half brother, Lawrence, at Mount Vernon. Lawrence, who became something of a substitute father for Washington, had married into the Fairfax family, prominent and powerful Virginians who helped launch Washington’s career. An early ambition to become a naval officer had been discouraged by Washington’s mother; instead he turned to surveying.4 Lord Fairfax, a cousin of Lawrence’s wife and master of more than five million Virginia acres, was fond of Washington and hired him to help survey his holdings beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains. The work was difficult, but Washington did well.

In about a year, the surveying was completed, and, partly through Fairfax’s influence, Washington was appointed surveyor of Culpeper County, his first public office. He took the oath of office on July 20, 1749.5 By 1753, the growing rivalry between the British and the French over the control of the Ohio Valley, soon to erupt into the French and Indian War, created new opportunities for Washington. He was a grown man at twenty, who already owned his first plot of Virginia land, bought with money borrowed from Lawrence. In 1753, Governor Dinwiddie made him a major of militia and sent him, with a message, to the French commander of Fort Le Boeuf. The note protested the building of a chain of French forts between Lake Ontario and the Ohio River.

Near Great Meadows, Washington surrounded and attacked a party of thirty-three Frenchmen. Ten Frenchmen were killed, and twenty-two were captured. This action has been credited with starting the Seven Year’s War. The French sent out nine hundred men to retaliate this slaughter. Washington, upon hearing of the arriving French threat, built a crude fort, aptly named Fort Necessity.

The French badly beat Washington and he signed a document that he thought stated he attacked the party at Great Meadows. However, the document was written in French, which Washington could neither read nor speak, and the document that Washington signed stated he assassinated the party. The confession of the attack set off the world war.6 In 1755, Washington volunteered to join General Braddock and a large army to attack Fort Duquesne. Despite Washington’s warnings, Braddock’s troops marched in typical European fashion-long rows of men, drums beating and banners flying. For the French and Indians hiding in the woods and behind rocks, it was little more than target practice.

Out of 1,400 officers and men, three fourths were killed or wounded; even Braddock himself was killed.7 That same year, Governor Dinwiddie made Washington colonel and commander of all Virginia militia forces. This was a high and well-deserved honor for the 23-year-old officer. The colony expanded its forces to 1,000 men, who were able to patrol and defend the whole 350-mile frontier. In 1758, Washington and his men took possession of the ruins of Fort Duquesne, burned to the ground by the French. Washington’s service in the French and Indian War was finally over.

Assured that the Virginia frontier was safe from French attack, Washington left the army in 1758 and returned to Mount Vernon. In January 1759, he married Martha Dandridge Custis, a wealthy and attractive young widow with two small children. It was to be a happy and satisfying marriage. After 1769, Washington became a leader in Virginia’s discord with England’s colonial policies. As a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congress, Washington did not actively participate in the deliberations, but his presence was undoubtedly a positive influence.

In June 1775, he was Congress’s undisputed choice as commander in chief of the Continental forces.8 In May 1787, Washington headed the Virginia delegation to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and was elected presiding officer. His presence added importance to the proceedings, and although he made few direct contributions, he generally supported the advocates for a strong central government. After the new Constitution was submitted to the states for ratification and became legally effective, he was unanimously elected president in 1789.9 Washington was reelected president in 1792, and might have been president a third term, but he refused to run again. In March 1797, when Washington left office, the country’s financial system was well established and the Indian threat east of the Mississippi River had been largely eliminated. His vice-president, John Adams, succeeded him.10 On December 12, 1799, Washington rode over his farms for about five hours.

It was snowing when he started, and later changed to hail and rain. Without changing his wet clothes on his return, he sat down for dinner. The next day he complained of a sore throat. During the night of the 13th he became seriously ill, but he would not disturb the household or allow Mrs. Washington to get up for fear she would catch cold. He grew weaker the next day, and died late that night, on Saturday, December 14, 1799.

Washington was America’s “father” in many ways. He was commander in chief of the American forces in the American Revolution, chairman of the convention that wrote the United States constitution, and the first president. He led the men who turned America from an English colony into a self-governing nation. His ideals of liberty and democracy set a standard for future presidents and for the whole country.


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