Words from Washington's Eulogy
"First in War, First in Peace, First in the Hearts of his Countrymen."
Born on February 22, 1732 in Virginia, George Washington rose to become the first President of the United States of America. He had not received formal education and was home-schooled by his father and elder brother. But he had made himself an expert in surveying and map-making.
In 1748, at the age of sixteen, Washington surveyed the Shenandoah Valley region and then went on to join the Virginia Forces. Washington was barely out of his teens, when he joined the army of the United States, and was sent to assess the strategy that the French made to capture the Ohio River Valley.
George Washington established the position of 'The President', and led America from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797. He was regarded as the Father of the Nation and the Founder of American democracy.
George Washington's Accomplishments
In 1754, George Washington was appointed as the lieutenant colonel for the mission to Fort Duquesne against the French. He successfully attacked the French camp near Jumonville. He built a Fort named 'Necessity' on the Ohio river, to stop the French from intruding further into the area. But the poorly built and wrongly placed fort was taken over by the French army, and Washington was asked to surrender. Thus it can be said that the outcome of the mission was not in favor of Washington and his troops. But his role in the expedition was an exhibit of excellent leadership skills and courage.
During the Monongahela expedition of 1755, Washington showed great valor and emerged as the Hero of Monongahela. He was given the new rank of colonel and was made the commander in chief of the Virginia forces.
In 1774, Washington was the chairperson of the meeting where Fairfax Resolves were adopted. He also got the opportunity to attend the First Virginia Convention. There he was elected as a delegate to the First Continental Congress.
On June 19, 1775, he was commissioned as the general and commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. In 1783, he voluntarily resigned from the post. People wanted to choose him as their King. But Washington's dream was of a free, democratic country. He refused to be the King.
On July 4, 1776, the declaration of independence was signed. He did not sign it. On July 9, he had the declaration read out to his troops in New York City. Congress President John Hancock had sent a copy of the Declaration to Washington, asking him to have it read out to the soldiers to inspire them and encourage people to join the army. Many times in that year, Washington's army defeated the attacks of the British. His troops also crossed the Delaware river to capture the German mercenaries at the Battle of Trenton in New Jersey. Once again, George Washington had proved his valor.
During the American Revolutionary War that continued from 1775 to 1783, Washington was the leader of the Continental Army. Under his able leadership, the Continental Army won against the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Reiterating his greatest accomplishment, George Washington became the first President of the United States of America. He assumed office in 1789. He was the only president to obtain 100% electoral votes. He was re-elected as the president for the second time in 1793. After serving two terms, he selflessly refused to serve the third. His example was probably an influence on the 22nd amendment of the US Constitution, which limits the presidential term to two.
After assuming office, Washington organized the first United States Cabinet and the Executive Branch. He established the United States federal judiciary. He played a major role in bringing amendments to the US Constitution through the Bill of Rights. He had 14 copies of the Bill of Rights made; 1 for the Congress and 13 for the thirteen states.
On July 16, 1790, George Washington signed the Residence Act of 1790, a federal law that established the site of the United States capital. The act authorized Washington to select a location for the capital. Officials were divided between the site on Potomac River near Georgetown, and the site on Susquehanna River near today's Columbia, Pennsylvania. No conclusion had been reached until 1789. The Residence Act approved of the site along the Potomac River as the United States Capital. Assisted by Thomas Jefferson and with the help of a 3-member commission he had appointed, Washington oversaw the development and implementation of the city's plan, and the design of the US Capitol and the President's House.
The Neutralization Act of 1790 established the rules to be followed when granting citizenship to "free white persons" of "good moral character". The Bank Act of 1791 established the first bank of the United States. The signing of the Coinage Act of 1792 established the United States dollar. The Militia Act signed in the same year authorized the President to bring the state militia under federal control. Washington signed the Naval Act of 1794, establishing the US Navy.
Washington was never a member of any party and he believed that a party-based approach towards governance would cause conflicts and hinder the country's growth. In 1793, George Washington issued the Proclamation of Neutrality. The proclamation served as the basis for avoiding any involvement in foreign conflicts.
Washington signed the Jay Treaty in 1794, marking the beginning of a decade of peace with Britain. In the same year, he signed the Treaty of Greenville, ending the Northwest Indian War. The Pickney's Treaty signed in the same year, established America's friendship with Spain.
George Washington as...
While in office, Washington always worked towards bringing reforms to his nation. He served as a source of inspiration for many. Initially, he did not accept the notion of being salaried for his service as a president. He was a very good administrator. He used to consult his juniors and delegates before taking a decision, due to which he earned respect from his subordinates. He was a strong supporter of building a central government, implementing a tax system, and building a national bank.
He had a heart of gold. In his last will, he expressed his wish to have the imprisoned slaves freed. He also showed and suffered in sympathy with the poor and half-starved soldiers, while being cold, strict and austere at the same time, as that was what his position demanded.