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The Importance of George Washington for America

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Words: 1393 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Jan 29, 2019

Words: 1393|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Jan 29, 2019

Does anyone know why George Washington is so important? For starters his face is on every U.S. dollar bill! George Washington is one of the most significant American historical figures, not only for his role in founding and governing the young nation, but for his leadership style, political ideas, and Revolutionary vision for the United States of America.

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George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 and died December 14, 1799 at the age of 67. Born into a wealthy family in Colonial Virginia, Washington started out as a soldier fighting in the French and Indian War and became a lieutenant in the army by the time he was 22. During the American Revolutionary War from 1775-1783, Washington fought for independence as the Commander-in-Chief of the army. He led the army to victory and the U.S. gained its independence. He was then sworn into presidential office (a brand new position) on April 30, 1789 after winning 100 percent of the electoral votes. Retiring after two terms as President, Washington returned to his Mount Vernon Estate where he died December 14, 1799 from a throat infection. “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen”- President George Washington’s Memorial Service, December 26, 1799

According to History, “George Washington is often referred to as the father of the United States, for the role he played in the founding of the country. He served in the American Revolutionary War as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and under his military and political leadership, the United States gained their official independence from Great Britain in 1783. In the years following the war, Washington helped lay the foundation for the U.S. government as it is known today. He presided over the 1787 writing of the U.S. Constitution, the document that provides the basis for the laws governing the country. He also won the presidency in a unanimous vote in 1789 and would go on to serve two terms as the first President of the United States. The overarching ideas he is known for include preserving the liberty of the newly freed nation and improving the government’s overall infrastructure. Washington advocated for a national bank, a system to pay off the national debt, and an effective tax system. In this way, he hoped to keep the newly freed country together and to promote a new sense of nationalism. He also warned against sectionalism and partisanship. Unfortunately, this last goal was not realized, as after Washington left office, the U.S. did form political parties and remains deeply divided politically today”.

According to George Washington – U.S. President, General – Biography, “By the late 1760s, Washington had experienced firsthand the effects of rising taxes imposed on American colonists by the British, and came to believe that it was in the best interests of the colonists to declare independence from England. Washington served as a delegate to the First Continental Congress in 1774 in Philadelphia. By the time the Second Continental Congress convened a year later, the American Revolution had begun in earnest, and Washington was named commander in chief of the Continental Army. Washington proved to be a better general than military strategist. His strength lay not in his genius on the battlefield but in his ability to keep the struggling colonial army together. His troops were poorly trained and lacked food, ammunition and other supplies (soldiers sometimes even went without shoes in winter). However, Washington was able to give them the direction and motivation to keep going. Over the course of the grueling eight-year war, the colonial forces won few battles but consistently held their own against the British. In October 1781, with the aid of the French (who allied themselves with the colonists over their rivals the British), the Continental forces were able to capture British troops under General Charles Cornwallis (1738-1805) in Yorktown, Virginia. This action effectively ended the Revolutionary War and Washington was declared a national hero.”

According to BBC-History-Historic Figures: George Washington, ” In 1783, with a peace treaty signed between Great Britain and the U.S., Washington, believing he had done his duty, gave up his command of the army and returned to Mount Vernon, intent on resuming his life as a gentleman farmer and family man. However, in 1787, he was asked to attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and head the committee to draft the new constitution. His impressive leadership there convinced the delegates that he was by far the most qualified man to become the nation’s first president. At first Washington balked. He wanted to, at last, return to a quiet life at home and leave governing the new nation to others. But public opinion was so strong that eventually he gave in. The first presidential election was held on January 7, 1789, and Washington won handily. John Adams (1735-1826), who received the second-largest number of votes, became the nation’s first vice president. The 57-year-old Washington was inaugurated on April 30, 1789, in New York City. Because Washington, D.C., America’s future capital city wasn’t yet built, he lived in New York and Philadelphia. The United States was a small nation when Washington took office, consisting of 11 states and approximately 4 million people, and there was no precedent for how the new president should conduct domestic or foreign business. Mindful that his actions would likely determine how future presidents were expected to govern, Washington worked hard to set an example of fairness, prudence and integrity. In foreign matters, he supported cordial relations with other countries but also favored a position of neutrality in foreign conflicts. Domestically, he nominated the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Jay (1745-1829), signed a bill establishing the first national bank and set up his own presidential cabinet. His two most prominent cabinet appointees were Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), two men who disagreed strongly on the role of the federal government. Hamilton favored a strong central government, while Jefferson favored stronger states’ rights. Washington believed that divergent views were critical for the health of the new government, but he was distressed at what he saw as an emerging partisanship.”

According to BBC, In 1783, with a peace treaty signed between Great Britain and the U.S., Washington, believing he had done his duty, gave up his command of the army and returned to Mount Vernon, intent on resuming his life as a gentleman farmer and family man. However, in 1787, he was asked to attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and head the committee to draft the new constitution. His impressive leadership there convinced the delegates that he was by far the most qualified man to become the nation’s first president. At first Washington balked. He wanted to, at last, return to a quiet life at home and leave governing the new nation to others. But public opinion was so strong that eventually he gave in. The first presidential election was held on January 7, 1789, and Washington won handily. John Adams (1735-1826), who received the second-largest number of votes, became the nation’s first vice president. The 57-year-old Washington was inaugurated on April 30, 1789, in New York City.

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Because Washington, D.C., America’s future capital city wasn’t yet built, he lived in New York and Philadelphia. The United States was a small nation when Washington took office, consisting of 11 states and approximately 4 million people, and there was no precedent for how the new president should conduct domestic or foreign business. Mindful that his actions would likely determine how future presidents were expected to govern, Washington worked hard to set an example of fairness, prudence and integrity. In foreign matters, he supported cordial relations with other countries but also favored a position of neutrality in foreign conflicts. Domestically, he nominated the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Jay (1745-1829), signed a bill establishing the first national bank and set up his own presidential cabinet. His two most prominent cabinet appointees were Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), two men who disagreed strongly on the role of the federal government. Hamilton favored a strong central government, while Jefferson favored stronger states’ rights. Washington believed that divergent views were critical for the health of the new government, but he was distressed at what he saw as an emerging partisanship.

Works Cited

  1. Chernow, R. (2010). Washington: A life. Penguin.
  2. Ellis, J. J. (2004). His Excellency: George Washington. Vintage.
  3. Ferling, J. E. (2010). The ascent of George Washington: The hidden political genius of an American icon. Bloomsbury Press.
  4. Flexner, J. T. (1984). Washington: The indispensable man. Little, Brown.
  5. Fischer, D. H. (2004). Washington's crossing. Oxford University Press.
  6. Freeman, D. S. (1999). George Washington: A biography (Vol. 1-7). Simon and Schuster.
  7. Grizzard Jr, F. E. (2002). George Washington: A biographical companion. ABC-CLIO.
  8. Mount Vernon Ladies' Association. (2022). George Washington's Mount Vernon. https://www.mountvernon.org/
  9. National Park Service. (2022). George Washington Birthplace National Monument. https://www.nps.gov/gewa/index.htm
  10. The Papers of George Washington. (2022). University of Virginia. https://gwpapers.virginia.edu/
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The Importance Of George Washington For America. (2019, January 28). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/why-george-washington-is-so-important/
“The Importance Of George Washington For America.” GradesFixer, 28 Jan. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/why-george-washington-is-so-important/
The Importance Of George Washington For America. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/why-george-washington-is-so-important/> [Accessed 15 Apr. 2024].
The Importance Of George Washington For America [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Jan 28 [cited 2024 Apr 15]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/why-george-washington-is-so-important/
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