George Washington – the First President of the United States of America

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Category: Literature
Date added
2019/02/15
Pages:  5
Words:  1548
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Introduction

After the American Revolution ended, we decided that the nation needed a leader. George Washington, an American Revolution general, became the first president of the United States of America. From then on, we have had many leaders of this country. However, I am going to focus on the first three presidents of the United States of America.

Purpose and Scope

I chose to write about the first president of the United States of America, due to the lack of knowledge most people have about our nation’s history. I have selected the first president, George Washington, for the purpose of informing others about his life and accomplishments.

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This report will cover the life and presidency of George Washington. I will also address some of his successes and failures, as well as his greatest accomplishment. I aim to explain their impact on the United States of America and hope to share information that few people know about our first president. Additionally, I have decided to address the controversial topic of George Washington’s interaction with his slaves, an issue which has led many people to discredit him.

Assumptions

Some people have little to no knowledge of the presidents of the United States of America.

For others, it is very important to know the past of the United States presidents.

People want to be better educated about the past and history of the United States of America.

Limitations

This report on the first three presidents of the United States of America contains an enormous amount of information, but many of these sources are opinionated. In order to make this report as authentic as possible, I had to ensure that every score was valid and accurate. Furthermore, the early lives of these men were in the late 1700s, and some of the sources recount different stories that describe the lives these men led before their presidency.

George Washington

Early Life

George Washington was born on February 20, 1732, in Westmoreland, West Virginia. He was born to Augustine Washington and Mary Ball Washington. As for the rest of young George Washington’s early life, little is known. It remains the least informative part of his life. Many well-known myths and fables are used to tell the story of George Washington’s early life of honesty and physical strength. George Washington’s father, Augustine Washington, died when he was eleven, leaving his property to George’s half-brothers. George helped manage the plantation along with the help of his brothers.

Education

Little is known about George Washington’s formal education. Boys usually began their education at the age of seven with private tutors or at local private schools. “Wealthy planters often sent their sons to England to finish their schooling” (“Biography of George Washington”). Lawrence and Augustine, George Washington’s half-brothers, were able to go to England to finish their schooling before their father died. However, because his father died when George Washington was still young, he was not able to continue his studies abroad. George instead had to help on the plantation. George Washington’s formal education probably ended when he was fifteen.

Surveying

George Washington joined George William Fairfax to survey the unexplored Virginia frontier. He spent three years surveying. During this time, he earned a reputation for his fairness and dependability. Wanting to establish himself, Washington continued to work hard and saved his money until he had enough to buy unclaimed land.

The French and Indian War

In 1753, the governor of Virginia at the time, Robert Dinwiddie, sent George Washington to relay a message to French troops to vacate the area they occupied. The French troops were occupying an area south of Lake Erie which was claimed by Virginia. George Washington’s nine hundred mile return trip tested his endurance. “He hiked for days through snowy woods, fell off a raft into the ice-choked Allegheny River, nearly drowned, and was forced to spend a freezing night on an island without shelter” (“Biography of George Washington”). A few months later, Robert Dinwiddie sent the new lieutenant colonel, George Washington, and one hundred fifty troops to Virginia. George Washington and his men were overpowered and he was forced to surrender. Although George Washington had to surrender, he was recognized for his heroic war actions and was given command over the entire Virginia military. In 1758, when Virginia was again at peace, George Washington resigned as commander of Virginia’s army and returned to Mount Vernon.

Marriage and Family

“A month after leaving the army, George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis, a widow, on January 6, 1759” (“George Washington Biography”). Martha Dandridge Custis, from the Tidewater area in Virginia, brought two young children to the marriage, Jacky and Patsy. This was George Washington’s first marriage; however, it was Martha’s second. George Washington had no children with Martha. Both of Martha’s children died: Patsy died during an epileptic seizure at the age of sixteen, and Jacky died after visiting a disease-ridden continental army camp at the age of twenty-six.

George Washington: The Entrepreneur

George Washington worked continuously to expand and improve his house and surrounding plantation. He also experimented with new crop rotation, tools, crops, fertilizers, and livestock breeding. Further, George Washington expanded the work of the plantation to include flour milling and commercial fishing in an effort to make Mount Vernon a more profitable estate (Biography of George Washington).

This map shows Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, and all its land holdings as of 1793.

Revolutionary War

George Washington was given command over the Continental Army. George Washington’s command kept him from Mount Vernon for almost eight years. He was given command because of his military background, but “he had no practical experience maneuvering large formations, handling cavalry or artillery, or maintaining supply lines adequate to support thousands of men in the field” (“Biography of George Washington”). Washington was tasked with defending New York. However, this proved to be an overwhelming task due to the intricacy of the waterways, which gave a substantial advantage to the British and their superior navy. Washington and his army were eventually pushed out of New York. A few weeks later, however, he rallied his troops. They crossed the Delaware river and attacked the unsuspecting British fort, forcing them to surrender. For the remainder of the war, it was Washington’s job to keep the British contained in New York. He prevailed over the more numerous, fully trained, and better supplied British army. On December 23, 1783, Washington presented himself to Congress in Maryland and resigned as Commander of the Continental Army.

The First President of the United States of America

With all that George Washington had done in the Revolutionary War and his contributions during the Constitutional Convention, he was the prime candidate for the first President of the United States of America. George Washington spent the majority of his first term (1789-1793) organizing the executive branch of the new government. He also used his first term to “establish administrative procedures that would make it possible for the government to operate with the energy and efficiency he believed were essential to the republic’s future” (“Biography of George Washington”). He appointed Alexander Hamilton as the Secretary of the Treasury, Thomas Jefferson as the Secretary of State, and Henry Knox as the Secretary of War.

The graph above shows the 1789 election where George Washington ran unopposed. North Carolina and New York did not participate in the election because they had not yet ratified the Constitution.

George Washington’s second presidential term was primarily focused on foreign affairs. “George Washington assumed the Presidency on the eve of the French Revolution, a time of great international crisis. The outbreak of a general European war in 1793 forced the crisis to the center of American politics” (“Biography of George Washington”). George Washington believed that the United States of America should remain neutral throughout the European war. He argued that war would harm the newly-built economy and ruin the new nation’s finances. The country’s future depended on commerce and Washington’s hopeful westward expansion. One of his greatest accomplishments was keeping the United States out of the European war. This decision significantly shaped America’s foreign policy.

The map below depicts the 1792 election where George Washington, once again, ran unopposed. He was considered unanimously elected.

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George Washington’s Final Years

“On Thursday, December 12, 1799, George Washington was out on horseback supervising farming activities from late morning until three in the afternoon. The weather shifted from light snow to hail, and then to rain. Upon Washington’s return, it was suggested that he change out of his wet riding clothes before dinner. Known for his punctuality, Washington chose to remain in his damp attire” (“Biography of George Washington”). George Washington was said to have a sore throat that was getting progressively worse and more hoarse. On December 14, 1799, between ten and eleven at night, George Washington passed away. A funeral was held at Mount Vernon on December 18, 1799. George Washington is remembered as a war hero, founding father, and the first president of the United States of America.

Conclusion

George Washington was a hero throughout the French and Indian War, and the Revolutionary War. George Washington was also a prominent member during the Constitutional Convention and in the writing of our nation’s Constitution. Lastly, George Washington was the first president. I hope that you have learned some new information about the first president of the United States and American hero, George Washington.”

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George Washington - The First President of the United States of America. (2019, Feb 15). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/george-washington-the-first-president-of-the-united-states-of-america/