Richard Brookhire’s Founding Father Rediscovering George Washington
George Washington is an American hero. Washington gave up its comfortable life to confront the British and gain American independence. Had he not supported the Revolution the colonists may have remained under British rule. It is mesmerizing to come to such a conclusion that had it not been for the wiling spirit of one man as General, the country would not have otherwise come to a revolution but remained in a New England war.
General George Washington played a central role in the creation of the United States of America. He was a military commander who led his country’s troops to victory, and yet he is not remembered as a military genius but as a brave patriot. In 1774, Washington was elected Virginia’s representative at the First Continental Congress – the first US government body. In June 1775, the Second Congress chose him to command the American troops, known as the Continental Army. This choice was due to his military experience, but most significantly because of his reputation. Washington was a man of firm determination and character. Thus, during the war, he served his country with admirable courage and determination. Several other American military leaders were defeated during the Revolutionary War while George Washington, still having lost some battles, was able to prevail and gain independence for his country.
During the war, he served his country with admirable courage and determination. George Washington’s most notable military accomplishments was his brave Delaware River crossing to attack British troops at Trenton on Christmas Eve in 1776 and his ability to keep his army together during the arduous winter camp at Valley Forge, between 1777 and 1778. Lastly, his victory over the British at Yorktown (1781) effectively secured the American victory.
Nevertheless, had it not been for a righteous spirit as President, the United States of America would not have succeeded as a country. After the war, Washington remained active in the affairs of the newly formed country. President George Washington was the corner stone for the birth of a new nation and the establishment of a new and respected government.
For instance, in the role of political leader, Washington was crucial for the solidification of Constitution of the United States. This document continues to be the basis for the American laws, democratic rights and duties of the country.
The United States’ Constitution is a document written for the United States of America in 1787. Its purpose was to set a plan for how the government of the United States of America should run. It was a plan for then and continues to be the plan for now. It was a plan for the past and for the future of the country. Thus, it was crucial that the Constitution be written and improved so that everyone could know how this new government would operate. It is “”the highest law in the land.”” Every law formulated from then on after would need to follow and respect the Constitution. No law is above the Constitution. No bill can pass if it goes against what is written and instructed with the Constitution. No political, judicial or legislative authority exceeds the authority of the Constitution.
It is almost bafflingly to realize that all branches of government of the most powerful country in the world are controlled and supervised by a document. Nevertheless, a document which every United States citizen respects. As a revered and trusting leader, George Washington is the reason for this. After the long war for independence, the colonies were disorganized and exhausted by the war. What would have happened to the new born nation if George Washington, the victorious and beloved Commander, had given in to become a king or even a tyrant over the new nation? Instead he made himself an example, a living testament of obedience to the Supreme law of the land. He united the states and led the country under and within the Constitution.
As the first American president, Washington refused to assume the role of king or monarch. He was a strong supporter of democracy and allowed the country to emerge as a nation truly focused on the interests of the people. Washington was elected and re-elected to office, but after the end of his term, he did not try to stay in power. He then established the organized and peaceful passage of power from one elected leader to another which is a precedent that has always remained and will continue to remain in place throughout United States history.
George Washington embodied the spirit and purpose of the Constitution. For instance, the Constitution begins with the first three words “”We the people.”” These three famous words are the corner stone of the United States of America. This nation was built by the people and exists for the people. One of the reasons the colonists fought for independence from Great Britain was to obtain liberty and freedom. It for this very reason the Constitution begins with “”We the people.”” While serving as an officer in the Virginia Militia during the Franco-Indian War, George Washington observed how the British troops treated the colonists as subjugated enemies and developed animosity for those British troops. He cared for the people. As discontent grew among the colonists and developed into armed conflict, George Washington became commander of the American army. He stood-up for the people. He struck brilliant and daring attacks against the British army. He fought for the people. Throughout the gruesome war, he would continuously raise the morale of his troops. He encouraged the people. Lastly, as President he created a powerful and centralized government, but with the consensus of the people. George Washington supported a government built by the people so that it would exist for the people.
Nevertheless, the very fact that one of the fifty states of the United States is named after George Washington speaks volumes. The state of Washington is the only state named after a United States President. The state of Washington was named after the President because of the mangy things George Washington achieved for the new born country and the never forgotten role he played in the history of the United States of America. George Washington is called the “”Father of the country”” because he ultimately guided his country like a father cares for a growing child. No American has been or should be more honored than George Washington.
Nevertheless, the capital of the nation, Washington District of Columbia (DC), it also named after his name. The United States of America is a grateful nation that recognizes that its greatness is largely due to men like George Washington, who struggled to create a country based on the ideals of “”life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness.”” Even if American history is not flawless, the nation has proved to be a source of freedom, opportunity, and wealth to Americans and immigrants from other nations of the world.
Sadly, George Washington died at his home in Mount Vernon in the year 1799. The people greatly and immensely mourned his death. Were it not for his leadership, the basis for law, order, and democracy in the United States would probably not have been established so solidly and would not have stood the test of time. It would be interesting to imagine how George Washington would deal with some of the popular and confrontational issues of today, such as gun control and immigration reform. It is impossible to know what his position would be on these issues, but by reflecting on his struggles and legacy as a General, as a President, and as a Founding Father, one thing is sure is he would support freedom and opportunity for the people. He was truly a revered and trusting leader.
Fundamentally, in his book, Founding Fathers: Rediscovering George Washington, Richard Brookhiser looks at George Washington’s role and achievements in the Revolutionary War, the Constitutional Convention, and in the Presidency. He explores Washington’s character and highlights his morals and virtues as reasons for his success and as for being named as the Founding Father of the United States of America.