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George Washington

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George Washington-"The Father of Our Country"

Although many Revolutionary leaders such as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison may be referred to as our founding fathers, George Washington is truly the "Father of Our Country". He accomplished an enormous amount that influenced our country during his lifetime, and he is most importantly remembered commander of the Continental Army that won American independence, his role in directing the convention that wrote the U.S. Constitution, and becoming the first President of the United States. George Washington is one of the most recognized presidents in United States. Many of his succeeding presidents looked admired him and his tactics, accomplishments, and reputable character. He was probably the first historical character children learn about in elementary school. Because of all that he has accomplished and contributed to our country, President George Washington definitely deserves the title of "Father of Our Country".

When Congress created a continental army in 1775, they chose George Washington (despite his wishes) as the commander in chief because he possessed more experience than any other American-born officer. In addition he was an early advocate for independence, and was admired, respected and trusted by almost everyone. Washington took command in June of 1775. However, Washington, himself felt inexperienced and learned much through trial and error. He led the Continental army for eight years, until the United States had finally won its independence. General Cornwallis surrendered to Washington on Oct. 19, 1781. Washington made the American Revolution successful because of his personal military triumphs and because of his skill in directing other operations. Although the bankrupt Congress was having trouble paying the soldiers, Washington convinced his fellow countrymen not to raise arms against their struggling country. In 1783, after the final peace treaty was signed Washington retired to his home in Mount Vernon.

Washington's retirement proved only a dream, as four years later, he became actively involved in government again, and would be until his death. He was asked to preside at the Congressional Convention in Philadelphia, where he would help create, a new National Constitution. The new Constitution called for a single chief executive known as the "president". Washington commented, "This Constitution is really in its formation a government of which all power is derived from and, at stated periods, reverts to them..." Washington was undoubtedly elected as the president.

As President, George Washington was very much aware of the precedence he was setting. He was inaugurated April 30, 1789 in New York City. There were hundreds of fireworks, cannons, and flowers at his ceremony, and Washington was actually frightened at the intensity of admiration the people had for him. As Washington chose his cabinet he was careful not to do so according to wealth or social standing, but instead choose the men who held the greatest reputations. Throughout his first term in presidency he consistently supported Hamilton's policies, and worked hard to maintain the newly created country. Just before his second term as presidency, the political parities of Republican and Federalists emerged. Some of the problems Washington faced during his second term included the Whiskey Rebellion and issues with Native Americans, British, and Spanish in the west.

When Washington resigned from presidency



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