Essay, Research Paper: George Washington

Famous People

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George Washington was one of the founding fathers of the United States of
America. He served as commander-in-chief of the Continental army during the
Revolutionary War, and later served as the first president of the United States.
His thoughts and ideas helped mold the United States into the great country that
it is today. George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland
County, Virginia. He was the eldest son of Augustine Washington and Mary Ball
Washington. He received no formal education, but he read geography, military
history, agriculture, deportment, and composition. Washington later developed a
powerful and convincing style of speech and writing. He enjoyed sports and
social occasions, and he later became a surveyor for landowners on the Virginia
frontier. George Washington was elected president of the United States in 1789,
and in New York City on April 30, 1789, he took the oath of office as President
of the United States at age 57. He was extremely influential in the initial
operation of the new government. After the ballot he wrote, "My movements
to the chair of government will be accompanied by feeling not unlike those of a
culprit, who is going to the place of his execution." Washington's task was
to organize a government but also create a role for the highest officer of the
new nation. Both tasks earned him enemies. One of Washington's first duties of
office was establishing a cabinet. He appointed Alexander Hamilton secretary of
treasury and Thomas Jefferson secretary of state. Washington allowed Jefferson
to pursue a policy of seeking trade with European nations. Hamilton proposed
important ideas such as a funded national debt and the creation of the Bank of
the United States. The first United States census was taken in 1790 which showed
the population to be four million. He created departments within the government,
each with different jobs. The government issued money that was good in all
states. President Washington also helped plan a new capital for the nation that
was named "Washington" in his honor. Also, Vermont and Kentucky were
added as states in 1791 and 1792 respectively. George Washington reluctantly
agreed to serve a second term as president, even though he wanted to go home to
Mount Vernon. An outbreak of war in Europe plagued Thomas Jefferson's foreign
policy design. Alexander Hamilton formed a pro-British foreign policy during
Washington's second administration. Jay's Treaty of 1795 settled outstanding
American differences with Great Britain. This treaty was extremely
controversial, although the treaty was passed by a narrow margin in both the
Senate and the House of Representatives. The Whiskey Rebellion in western
Pennsylvania against a federal excise tax was his critical domestic challenge.
He himself rode partway to the field at the head of the militia that was raised
to put down the rebellion. Washington reorganized his cabinet in 1795, and
Tennessee became a state in 1796. He was asked to return for another term as
President, but he declined. Washington carefully planned a farewell speech to
mark the end of his presidency, and issued his farewell speech on September 7,
1796. He was succeeded by his vice-president, John Adams the following March 4.
He then retired to Mount Vernon, where he died two years later on December 14,
1799 at the age of 67. George Washington remains one of the most important
figures in the history of the United States of America. Washington's
accomplishments are and will continue to serve as precedents for future
Presidents. I feel that his two terms in office as the President of the United
States were the most important periods in the history our country. He shaped the
government that we live under today, and if not for him, our government might be
completely different.
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