George put what he learned to good use.

George put what he learned to good use.

George Washington’s memory is held in honor by his fellow countrymen and by the world. The enemies and critics who attacked him in war and in peace are now largely forgotten, but his name has become a byword for honor, loyalty, and love of country.

He was known as the “father of his country”. Washington was a “father” in several 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 of the United States. He led the men who turned America from an English colony into a self-governing nation. Also, he set the standard for future presidents and for the whole nation with his ideals of liberty and democracy.

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Washington was born on February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. When his father passed away in 1743, Washington grew restive under his mother’s management and went to live with his half-brother Lawrence at Mount Vernon. Lawrence taught him trigonometry and surveying. While there, he cultivated a taste for ethics, novels, music, and the theater. At the age of 16, he became a surveyor and one of the principals of the Ohio Company.

The company’s main purpose was the exploitation of Western lands.Washington played an important role in the struggles preceding the start of the French and Indian War. He was only 20 years of age at the time Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie of Virginia appointed him a major of militia and sent him to deliver an ultimatum calling on French forces to cease their encroachment in the Ohio River Valley. In 1755, 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. For the next three years, he fought in the wars against the French and Indians, serving as General Edward Braddock’s aide in the disastrous campaign against Fort Duquesne. At war’s end in 1759, Washington resigned from the militia, married Martha Dandridge Custis, and settled down as a farmer at Mount Vernon.

To me, Washington showed great maturity to be able to lead an army at the age of 20. He had a strong mind and learned quickly. He put what he learned to good use. Although Washington was unsuccessful in his first attempt as a leader, he did not give up. He was determined to be successful. His determination, hard work, and perseverance paid off in the end.

In the later years, when fighting broke out between Massachusetts and the British, the Continental Congress named Washington commander of its newly created Continental army, hoping thus to promote unity between New England and Virginia. This was one of the many acts of leadership that Washington is famous for today. Washington told the Congress he wanted no pay beyond his actual expenses. He said ” as no pecuniary consideration could have tempted me to accept this arduous employment at the expense of my domestic ease and happiness, I do not wish to make any profit from it.” He assumed command on July 3, 1775 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Inadequately supported and sometimes sabotaged by the Congress, in charge of troops who were inexperienced, badly equipped, and impatient of discipline, Washington conducted the war on the policy of avoiding major engagements with the British and wearing them down by harassing tactics.

His able generalship, along with the French alliance and the growing weariness within Britain, brought the war to a conclusion, with the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown on October 19,1781. Washington’s contribution to the American victory was enormous. Being selective about when and where he attacked the British prevented his enemies from being successful. He was determined to show that American officers could be every bit as civilized as their European counterparts. Dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation led Washington back into the public life. He was the leader in the movement that led to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. At first, this meeting considered only changing the Articles of Confederation, but it finally became clear that they could not successfully be revised.

Washington gave full support to building the new Constitution. After the Constitution was adopted, Washington was the obvious man for the presidency. He was elected unanimously as the first president of the United States, receiving 69 electoral votes, the total number cast. On April 30, 1789, he took the oath of office in New York, the first national capital.

In office, he sought to unite the nation and establish the authority of the new government at home and abroad. During his presidency, the Hamilton-Jefferson rivalry emerged. He worked to stay neutral but actually sympathized more with Hamilton. He was then elected to a second term in 1792. He was bitterly criticized by the Jeffersonians because he openly admitted he was supportive of the Federalists.

I consider George Washington to be an excellent leader because he had to set an example for all the other presidents to follow. Being the first president of the United States was a hard role to fill. Washington used his personal qualities to help him be successful. His honesty, hard work, patriotism, and wisdom helped shape the nation that exists today. From the beginning, Washington showed that he possessed great leadership qualities. He symbolized qualities of discipline, military orthodoxy, and persistence in adversity. Our nation today shows their appreciation for all of the contributions that this outstanding character had made to better his country by having his face printed on the one-dollar bill.

Washington will serve as a symbol of American identity along with the flag, the Constitution, and the Fourth of July for as long as this nation stays united.

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