1. George Washington
George Washington, “the father of our country” was born in Virginia sometime in 1732. During the Revolutionary War, he was our top general and spoke’s person.
During the Second Continental Congress conference in Philadelphia in May 1775, Washington was named Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. George Washington knew he didn’t have the army the British had, so he used questionable tactics to beat the British.
After the American Revolutionary War, Washington returned to Mount Vernon, Virginia to retire but the Article of Confederation exposed the new country. So, at the 1787 Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, Washington helped ratify our current Constitution. He was also elected our first US President by a unanimous vote using the new Electoral College. He served from 1789-1797 as President.
George Washington time as President set precedents for every future President. To this date, George Washington was the perfect person to be our first President of the United States.
Five pros/cons of his Presidency:
1. Never infringe upon the policy-making powers that the Constitution gave Congress.
2. Concluded that foreign policy was the Presidents concern- No one knew at the time if Congress would have more power, Washington decided this is for the president only.
3. To never have the country jump into foreign affairs (the war between England and France)- Kept the US neutral.
4. Never joined a political party- He was a federalist but this wasn’t an official political party
5. Stepped down as President/Commander in Chief after his second term in office.
1. Unable to eliminate factions to fully unit the country. Thomas Jefferson would soon divide country by political parties.
2. Unable to end slavery, although he freed his slaves after his death, he could’ve started the conversation.
3. Washington didn’t believe in forming a national army, but instead supported state militias. This almost destroyed the country during the war of 1812.
4. George Washington was a freemasonry. The Freemasons continue to get a bad reputation because of the secretes they hold. To this day, only a few know what powers this group had over Washington but the freemasonry continues to be a powerful society in today’s America.
5. Washington was unable to control Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. This would cause the first major rift in this country. The effect is new rules for the elections of a vice-President.
Something you didn’t know about George Washington:
The 1st United States Congress voted to pay Washington a salary of $25,000 a year—a large sum in 1789. Washington, already wealthy, declined the salary, since he valued his image as a selfless public servant. At the urging of Congress, however, he ultimately accepted the payment, to avoid setting a precedent whereby the presidency would be perceived as limited only to independently wealthy individuals who could serve without any salary.
“Chernow, Ron (2010). Washington: A Life. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-1-59420-266-7., Pulitzer Prize”
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