George WashingtonGeorge Washington
George Washington by far is one of the greatest revolutionaries in the history of the United States. His role in gaining our independence for the American Colonies and helping to unify them under the new U.S. federal government can not be overestimated. After an eight-year struggle his quest for victory brought final defeat to the British, thus giving us our independence.
George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, in West Moreland, Virginia. Washington was the eldest son of a well-to-do family. Young Washington received most of his schooling from his father and always wanted to be a surveyor. George grew up a strong, tall young man, who excelled in outdoor pursuits and music.
When George was 17 he was appointed surveyor of Culpeper County, Virginia, this was the first public office he held. In 1751 George had his first and only experience of foreign lands when he joined his brother on a trip to the West Indies in hopes to better the symptoms of his brothers tuberculosis. Even though the trip did little good for his brother, George did get something out of it; George came down with small pox. Although it seemed like a bad thing at the time having this immunity to small pox would help him later on when the colonial army had a brake out of small pox.
When his half-brother Lawrence died in 1752 George inherited the beautiful estate of Mount Vernon, one of six farms held by his family. Lawrence had held the position of adjutant in the colonial army; a full-time salary paid position, carrying the rank of major. After his brothers death only at the age of twenty Washington felt he could handle the job and Governor Robert Dinwiddie soon appointed him adjutant of the southern district of Virginia.
During the Seven years war Washington found out that Britain was sending over less-experienced officers that would have higher ranking over him. He found this intolerable and in 1754 Washington resigned. Through all this time Washington’s reputation was getting bigger and bigger and in 1755 Governor Dinwiddie appointed Washington commander in chief of all of the colonies armed forces, with the rank of Colonel. For the next three years Washington fought along side with British General John Forbes at Fort Duquesne, and when they had one the fort Washington resigned once more.
The year was 1759 and Washington had better things on his mind such as marrying the women that he loved. And he did in January of 1759 Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis. Washington spent a few years with his wife on their farm trying to figure out the best way to rotate his crops and what crops would make him the most money. Then in 1765 Washington’s perspective broadened and he became involved in the protests of Virginians against the restrictions of British rule.
Washington saw it more and more that the King and his ministers saw the American people as nothing more then inferior people and they sought to control ?our whole substance.? Washington began to see the deepening division between Britain and the Colonies, as a member of the House of Burgesses he opposed such measures as the Stamp Act, Washington also foresaw that British policy was doing away with self-government in America all together.
Washington’s anti-British feelings were strengthened by the introduction of the Townshend Acts in 1767. His voice joined in Virginia’s decision in 1770 to ban or boycott all any British goods from the colonies. By 1774 with the American resistance well developed, Washington had become one of the key Virginians supporting the colonial cause. Washington was elected to the First Continental Congress. How ever he knew that more then paper resolutions would be needed to save the American liberties, and so he spent the winter of 1774 and 1775 organizing a militia.
On June 15, 1775 the Continental Congress unanimously elected George Washington as General and commander in chief of the colonial army. Washington was chosen for two basic reasons; first of all he was respected for his military abilities, his selflessness, and his strong commitment to colonial freedom. Secondly, Washington was a Virginian and it was hoped that with his leadership it would bind the southern colonies more to the rebellion, which was basically situated in New England at the time. On June 25, 1775, Washington set out for Massachusetts, and on July 3, 1775 Washington took control of the colonial army. Washington and his army fought their first battle at the Battle of Bunker Hill. This battle would be one by the colonial army and was the first of very many battles, but the rest is history. During the next couple of years we won a few battles but we retreated more often then not.
On May 1, 1778, Washington heard the news that transformed the nature of the war; a treaty of alliance had been signed between the U.S. and the French. This new treaty and the arrival of fresh troops completely changed the pace of the American Revolution, the French came in and helped us out fight and outsmart the British army. Not only did the French bring us fresh troops but they also brought us Naval Superiority.
Peace was officially proclaimed on April 19, 1783,but not until November 25, as the last British boats left did Washington’s troops enter New York. At the end of the war Washington wrote in a letter that he hoped to stay a ?private citizen? but to his disappointment that wouldn’t come true.
At the Constitutional Convention of 1787 Washington was named President of the convention. On September 17, 1787, the conventions work was done and the Constitution of the Untied States of America was signed by all of the delegates and the convention was adjourned. Once again Washington headed for home in hopes of having some peaceful quiet time but in the election of 1789 Washington was elected the first President of the United States of America. Then in 1792 Washington was reelected to serve a second term.
After serving his terms of office Washington returned to Mount Vernon. On the morning of December 14, 1799 Washington awoke with an inflamed throat. His condition rapidly worsened, and George Washington died at 11:30 December 14, 1799. George Washington lived a very important life, and due to his contributions and sacrifices it is possible today for there to be a United States, and I think that we all owe him a great debt for what he did to help every one living here. So, in closing I feel that George Washington was the greatest revolutionist of the time.