George Washington

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George Washington was born into the landed gentry in 1732 at Wakefield Plantation, VA. After he lost his father when he was 11 years old, his half-brother Lawrence, who had served in the Royal Navy, acted as his mentor. George learned trigonometry and surveying and cultivated a taste for ethics, novels, music, and the theatre.

 

A ranking officer in the Virginia militia, Lawrence had served with Admiral Edward Vernon for whom the plantation was named and thus imbued George with aspirations for military service.

 

In 1754, winning the rank of lieutenant colonel and then colonel in the militia, George led a force that sought to challenge French control of the Ohio River Valley, but met defeat at Fort Necessity, PA an event that helped trigger the French and Indian War between 1754-63.

 

George Washington was the first President of the United States (1789–1797); he was elected president as the undisputed choice of the electors in the elections of both 1788–1789 and 1792. He oversaw the creation of a strong, well-financed national government that maintained neutrality in the wars raging in Europe, suppressed rebellion, and won acceptance among Americans of all types.

 

His leadership style established many forms and rituals of government that have been used since, such as using a cabinet system and delivering an inaugural address.

 

Historians laud Washington for his selection and supervision of his generals, encouragement of morale and ability to hold together the army, coordination with the state governors and state militia units, relations with Congress and attention to supplies, logistics, and training. In battle, however, Washington was repeatedly out manoeuvred by British generals with larger armies.

 

Washington had a vision of a great and powerful nation that would be built on republican lines using federal power. He sought to use the national government to preserve liberty, improve infrastructure, open the western lands, promote commerce, found a permanent capital, reduce regional tensions and promote a spirit of American nationalism.

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Washington married Martha Custis (born June 2, 1731 – died May 22, 1802) in 1759.Washington was unanimously elected President of the United States of America by electors in early 1789 and again in 1792. Both votes were unanimous.

 

John Adams was his vice-president. Washington’s first inauguration took place in New York City, New York (which was the first capital of the USA, from 1789 to 1790).Washington had a strangely cool and distant relationship with his mother.

 

During the Revolutionary War and her son’s presidency, she never uttered a word of praise about him and she may even have been a Tory. No evidence exists that she ever visited George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon.

 

Late in the Revolutionary War, Mary Washington petitioned the Virginia legislature for financial relief, pleading poverty and, by implication, neglect by her son. Washington, who had been extremely generous to his mother, was justly indignant.

 

Washington nearly died twice during his first term in office, the first time from a tumour on his thigh that may have been from anthrax or an infection, the second time from pneumonia.

 

Many associates blamed his sedentary life as president for the sudden decline in his formerly robust health and he began to exercise daily. Washington died on December 14, 1799, at his home, Mt. Vernon, located in Fairfax County, Virginia.