George Washington (1732–1799)

George Washington

1732 Born at Wakefield, Westmoreland County, Virginia, on the 22nd of February, son of a tobacco farmer and grandson of an immigrant that had come from Northamptonshire.[1] He was the first President of the United States (1789–1797), the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.[2] George Washington wanted only to be rich, but it was written for him to be venerated. Having an ambition that was over his conventional education, he became a skilful supervisor and a greedy land speculator. Initially, he had his elder brother as a role model, Lawrence, who joined Virginia’s elite by marriage. Washington inherited Mount Vernon Domain after his brother’s early death (he died because of tuberculosis).

Probation he did within local militias helped Washington to ascend social ladder and he also got an invaluable experience regarding fortifications construction, financial field and diplomatic relationships.

1755-1759 He led Virginia regiment.

1759 He left military service and married to a rich widow, Martha Custis (1731-1802). Then, the young slaves’ owner dealt with the fortune’s growth and with the Congress, the first legislative body that operates in Virginia. English people’s attempts to limit land acquisitions, for borders’ security, annoyed Washington a lot and pushed him towards an opposition politics. Revolutionary war start propelled him on the position of rebellious army commander, partly because of his military experience, partly because of the fact it was desired that Virginia would join rebellious state.

1775-1783 General Commander of continental army. As a General, Washington proved to be more skilful to support losses than as victory supporter. He was not a military genius, but an excellent manager who succeeded to maintain the unity of an army made of different fractions of patriots, despite the chronic lack of arms and supply and of the fact that the aids sent by continental congress were few and came very rarely. After they conquered Boston City from British possession, he left New York by a strategic maneuver, he regrouped the troops to White Plains and so he obtained tactical victories at Trenton and Princeton, victories that proved to be decisive for morale boosting and to get food they needed so much. Two defeats followed, at Brandywine and Germantown, but the great success of him was the fact that he was able to keep his army united during the horrible winter spent at Valley Forge (1777-1778), situation which was crucial to get the final victory. After this episode, he led the army only from strategically point of view because his priority was Southern Campaign. French troops’ intervention was decisive for the divided British army’s defeat.

1781 Washington left his headquarter in New York and took over the French-American forces’ command, obliging British army that was besieged in New York to surrender and so stopping the war. Even if he wanted to move to countryside, Washington was convinced to fulfil the president term, firstly of constituent Assembly in 1787 and then of the young nation. On this position he established an effective administration and a financial stability.

1789-1797 He was elected as the first president of USA.

1794 He was elected again for a second president term. Washington ordered by his own “Whiskey riot’s” suppression, mutiny that started against state tax bodies. When the war started between France and England, Washington kept USA as a neutral part, bearing to all pro-French pressures made by Jefferson and by his proponents. Internal rival factions emergence made Washington to refuse the nomination for the third mandate, so, conventionally the rule of the two terms was established, rule that was tacit respected until Franklin D. Washington four times in row. Washington explained his decision by a presidential speech to say goodbye (so making another precedent), speech that complained of parties influence growth and that emphasized the danger represented by interference in external politics. He took back, at least nominally, army’s control when a war against France was very close, 1798-1799.

1799 On the 14th of December he died and was buried at Mount Vernon. When the news arrived in England, his formers opponents honoured his memory with twenty cannon volleys fired by Straits of Dover’s fleet.[1]