George Washington Biography Essay

George Washington (1732 – 1799), the First President of the United States, is a prominent individual of the American history. He was commander in chief of the victorious Continental army of the American Revolution and won many important battles that helped the Americans defeat the British. During his presidential terms, he set many important precedents for the following Presidents, such as having Presidential Cabinet Members. He was nicknamed for his accomplishments as the “Father of His Country”.

George Washington was born on Feb. 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia on an estate along the Potomac River. He was the oldest son of Augustine Washington and his second wife, Mary Ball Washington. When Washington was eleven, his father died and left only himself, his mother and his five other brothers and sisters. After the his father’s death, Washington could not go to school because he needed to help at the family farm to acquire enough money for his family to live. In his free time he practiced land surveying for fun with his father’s tools. Later, Washington started his occupation as a surveyor. When Washington turned 16, he surveyed lands of the Shenandoah for Thomas, Lord Fairfax.

After his half-brother, Lawrence, had died, Washington inherited the farm and large amount of land at Mount Vernon, Virginia. Also, Lawrence was adjutant of the colony so Washington took over this responsibility. As district adjutant, he was referred to as Major Washington and was had trained the militia in the quarter he was assigned to. He first gained public awareness by being adjutant of Virginia and was sent off to warn the French to stop additional intrusion on the land of the northern colonies. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1754 to carry out this task and he departed to the North. Washington found out that the French already had a set up a fort and had a large number of soldiers camped, so he quickly built Fort Necessity. However, the French surrounded and attacked Fort Necessity.

The French captured Washington in this attack. Luckily, Washington was released based on the earlier agreements of the British and French. These first several battles fought were the beginnings of the French and Indian War. The next year, Washington volunteered to be the aide of General Edward Braddock because he was discouraged and angered by the defeat. At that time, Washington tried to convince Braddock to use the style of fighting of the Native Americans, but Braddock disagreed and used the regular fighting technique. Braddock was mortally wounded in this battle and Washington was nearly injured because of four bullets that ripped his coat and two horses that were shot from under him.

After the French and Indian War, Washington was 26 years old and fell in love with Martha Dandridge Custis. She was a wealthy widow with her two children, Martha “Patsy” and John Parke. They married and moved to Mount Vernon where Lawrence once lived. Washington was very successful in farming there. While they lived in Mount Vernon, Washington was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1759 to 1774 and he strongly against the British Stamp Act and the Townsend Act which set taxes on many products. Washington like many others did not buy these taxed products and boycotted them. In the middle of 1774, Washington thought that the many British laws were striving to stop self-government within the colonies and were attempting to have tyrannical rule over the colonies as the King had over England. Washington was one of the few that proposed of a continental congress to be held to govern the colonies.

Read also  Jay's Treaty, Pinckney's Treaty and the Whisky Rebellion

He was elected to be a delegate of Virginia for the First Continental Congress. The Congress created a new government devoted to overthrow unfair rule of Britain. The Second Continental Congress joined together on May 10, 1775, after the fighting of Lexington and Concord had took place. Surrounded by almost 14,000 of Massachusetts’s soldiers, the British army was trapped in Boston. The British government announced that Massachusetts had committed treason after this rebellion, and were trying to take over MA. Washington appeared at the Second Congress in full uniform conveying the message that he was in support of Massachusetts. Congress created the Continental Army for this reason to fight the British. Washington was unanimously elected as general and commander in chief of the army.

As commander of the Continental Army, Washington’s actions were left to him because the Congress could not provide laws to help. Washington was given full power to do anything with authority to improve the service. As General, Washington lost many battles such as the Battle of Long Island but Washington learned from his many experiences and he began to have many successes such as the Battle of Saratoga which was the turning point of the Revolutionary War. The colonies in this war had a great number of help from other countries, such as France, and Washington became good friends with Marquis de Lafayette. This war was won by the help of the French and Washington’s expertise. After the war, Washington left the power of general and returned back to Mount Vernon to be with his wife.

Washington became President on April 30, 1789. Washington did not have any examples to follow of previous Presidents since he was the first. One of the first precedents that Washington set was to have only two terms in office. This precedent was followed until 1940. Another was to have the Cabinet contain two leaders of different ideas to balance the Cabinet. Washington appointed John Jay as the Chief Justice because Washington felt he was most suitable. In the Whiskey Rebellion, Washington sent many soldiers to stop the farmers from revolting and the farmers instantly stopped. Washington also pardoned the farmers for their actions because the government’s strength was already shown. This event is very similar to Shay’s Rebellion, but the swift ending of the Whiskey Rebellion showed that the Constitution worked well and strong.

In the Spirit of Cincinnatus, Washington left his power after being the General of the Continental Army, and after the Presidency to go back to his farm at Mount Vernon. Each morning he rode his large farm on horseback. Sometimes he rode fifteen miles north of Mount Vernon to watch the building of a new city. The city would be the capital of the United States, named after him, as Washington D.C. Washington died at Mount Vernon of a throat infection in December 14, 1799, after he made his last tour of his property on horseback in the winter weather. It has been said that George Washington was, “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

More Essays

  • George Washington_ Better General or President_

    In response to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson said, "We sir, Cannot do without you." Everyone knows George Washington was America's first president. He has been called the father of the country, the indispensible man, and America's own Moses. Many will agree that George Washington was a great leader...

  • The Contributions of Washing and Jefferson

    In 1789 George Washington was elected as the First President of the United States of America under the Constitution. In the following years after George Washington's administration was John Adams and succeeding him was the Third President of the United States Thomas Jefferson. George Washington and Thomas...

  • Life as a Spy During American Revolution

    Hello, my name is John Honeyman, and I am a spy. It is 1777 on the calendar. The real thing I do is spying for George Washington. You might ask me, why have I chosen such a dishonest duty? Why do I help the enemies of the Crown to which I have given an oath? Well, let me explain and perhaps you will not...

  • Was Thomas Jefferson a Political Compromiser_

    The "revolution of 1800" made many Federalists wary, when Thomas Jefferson finally cut a deal to break the election tie, many Federalists questioned the future welfare of the country. After all, with Thomas Jefferson as president, wouldn't everything they had worked so hard for in the previous decade, be...

  • Road to Independence Revolution

    "War is when the government tells you who the bad guy is. Revolution is when you decide for yourself."(Unknown) In the case of the American Revolution, the colonists decided for themselves and truly believed in the cause. The Colonists knew that "change" had to take place because of the unfair treatment...

  • The War That Made America

    The French and Indian war went on from 1756 to 1763. It was also known as the Seven Years' War, it lasted seven years. It greatly involved the Native Americans and affected the relationship that they had with the French. The British and the French were fighting to see who would take over the colonies in...

  • Jay’s Treaty, Pinckney’s Treaty and the Whisky Rebellion

    I am sure many have heard about historical changes such as "Jay's Treaty", "The Whiskey Rebellion", and "Pinckney's Treaty". They are taught to children as young as Eight years old. These three were major parts in Domestic Politics in the 18th century. In 1793, the British government violated international...

  • American Revolutionary War and Common Sense

    Many students feel they know about the American War for Independence, but few understand how complex the arguments were and how long the war lasted. In your studies this week, what impressed you about the formation of the American nation? Was there anything presented in the material that you had not thought...

  • Thomas Paine_ Propaganda and Persuasion

    Thomas Paine, often called the "Godfather of America" was an eighteenth century writer who used propaganda and persuasion techniques to motivate Americans in the fight for freedom from Britain. In one of several editions of his pamphlets titled The Crisis, Paine used several propaganda and persuasion...

  • Nathan Hale

    In the small town of Coventry, Connecticut on June 6, 1755, Nathan Hale was born, to devout Puritans, Deacon Richard Hale and Elizabeth Strong Hale. Hale was the sixth of twelve children. The Hale's had 9 boys and 3 girls. Hale's parents were concerned that he wouldn't survive his first year, like the two...

Read also  George Washington_ Better General or President_