- Full Name George Washington
- Occupation Politician, Military General
- Nationality American
- Birthplace Westmoreland County, Virginia
- Birth Date 22-2-1732
- Place Of Death Mount Vernon, Virginia
- Death Date 14-12-1799
- Did You Know? George Washington was born in a wealthy Washington family who were plantation owners.
- Brother Lawrence Washington (half-brother)
- Father Augustine Washington (Mills and tobacco plantation business)
- Mother Mary Ball Washington
- Height 6 feet and 2 inches (189 cm)
- Did You Know? As the Commander-in-Chief, Washington led the Continental Army during the America’s Revolutionary War against Britain between 1785 to 1783.
- Beliefs On Religion Religious plurality
- Ideological Affiliation/Affinity Freemason
- Great-great-grandfather John Washington
- Family background British Anglican colonists
- Did You Know? During his two terms as the President, Washington worked on reducing the US’s national debt and establishing a friendly relationship with Native Americans.
- Zodiac Sign Pisces
- Political Affiliation Federalist Party
George Washington | Biography
George Washington is the first President of the United States of America and one of the seven founding fathers.
George Washington is the first President of the United States of America and one of the seven founding fathers: John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Jay. He is also known as the “Father of the Nation” for his strong leadership during the United States’ early formation as a nation.
Who Was George Washington?
Owing to Washington’s military experiences and his unrelenting stance against the British, he was elected as the Commander-in-Chief on 16 June 1775.
As the Commander-in-Chief, Washington led the Continental Army during America’s Revolutionary War against Britain between 1785 to 1783. The war resulted in the North American English colonies’ independence from Britain and the modern-day USA’s eventual formation.
Early Bio and Childhood
George Washington was born in a wealthy Washington family who were plantation owners. His birthplace lies in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He was born as the eldest child of Augustine Washington and his second wife, Mary Ball Washington, on 22 February 1732.
His family made the majority of their wealth from land speculation. However, his great-grandfather, John Washington, was a military man. He was the lieutenant colonel in the local militia and also served briefly as a Virginia politician.
Washington was raised alongside five siblings. He had to move around a lot during his childhood. He was homeschooled for nearly eight years, from 1739 to 1747.
Spurred by his late brother’s military service as adjutant general, he sought a commission with Virginia’s Lieutenant Governer. The governor appointed him Major and gave him command of one of the four militia districts in Virginia.
In 1753, for one of his first war assignments, Washington was appointed as the special envoy to Fort LeBoeuf, now known as Waterford, Pennsylvania, to demand the French to leave the territory that the British had initially claimed. The French declined the orders, and thus, this event was to be the first among several critical moments in Washington’s war history.
French And Indian War
Post the failed negotiation with the French, Washington - under Lieutenant Governor of Virginia’s orders, Robert Dinwiddie - set up a military camp at Great Meadows (now known as Fort Necessity). The French and Indian War officially commenced after he led an attack against the French troops at Fort Duquesne. The battle ended with nine casualties on the French side, including commander Coulon de Jumonville. The remaining survivors were taken as prisoners.
Following their defeat, the French soon launched a counterattack on the English-controlled troops. After a day, Washington surrendered and was later released and sent back to Williamsburg on conditions that he would not build a second fort anywhere near the Ohio River.
In 1755, Washington was promoted to the honorary title of Colonel. Teaming up with General Edward Braddock, Washington, and the English forces, he attacked the French troops from three fronts: Fort Niagara, Crown Point, and Fort Duquesne.
Braddock lost his life at the battle, while Washington escaped with four bullets narrowly missing him.
Commanding the Virginia Militia
In August 1955, Washington was appointed as the commander of the Virginia militia. He was tasked with patrolling and protecting a border of about 400 miles (643 km).
Washington was frustrated with the assignment as he was to lead a troop of nearly 700 badly-behaved soldiers and had to depend on an unsupportive colonial legislature of Virginia.
Washington didn’t serve as the commander for very long as his health deteriorated at the end of 1757. He contracted dysentery and was sent home back for recovery.
Washington returned to his troops in 1758 and took part in the Battle of Fort Duquesne. The English side lost 14 soldiers, and 26 others were injured after a friendly-fire incident. But, despite the casualties, the British colonists succeeded in capturing the Fort.
Washington resigned his position as the Virginia troops commander in December 1758, after which he returned to Mount Vernon. There, he joined politics and was even appointed to the House of Burgesses in Virginia.
American Revolutionary War
George Washington didn’t initially support the idea of America’s independence from Britain. However, he changed his mind after Britain started imposing unreasonable taxes by making amendments in the law, including the Stamp Act 1765 and the Townshend Acts 1767.
By 1767, Washington was a vocal critic of the growing oppression of American colonists by the crown. Later, in 1769, he filed a motion requesting Virginia to boycott Britain’s goods until they removed the earlier imposed taxes.
Eventually, the First Continental Congress—consisting of representatives from 13 colonies, including George Washington—was formed. The Congress then decided to grant rights to civilians to take up arms against the encroaching British forces on 14 June 1775.
Washington was then promoted as the Commander-in-Chief and Major General of the rebel troops on 15 June 1775, nearly two months after the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
Moving Across Delaware
After the British Army launched an attack on New York City in August 1776, Washington’s army of 2,800 men suffered surrender. He retreated the remaining army to Pennsylvania across the Delaware River.
British General Howe, however, was assured that the war would be over soon. He sheltered his troops at Trenton and Princeton, providing Washinton an opportunity to attack at the right moment.
Washington availed the situation, and on Christmas night in1776, his troops surprisingly attacked Hessian mercenaries at Trenton and forced them to surrender. A few days later, Washington again attacked the British at Princeton, and the British troops suffered a humiliating loss.
Washington and the Continental Army went to their winter quarters at Valley Forge in December 1777. Valley Forge was 20 miles from British-occupied Philadelphia in eastern Pennsylvania. It was a strategic location that allowed his army to stay close to the city with a defensible position.
Over the following months, it became a deary place as the army suffered from cold, hunger, fatigue, and deaths, mostly from disease. Still, the army revived to a good shape, maintaining an order.
In February 1778, Washington appointed Baron Friedrich von Steuben as an unofficial Inspector at Valley Forge. Under his supervision, the entire army developed a drill and combat maneuver system that equipped them to rival the well-trained British regulars.
In May 1778, Washington allied with France, which had brought a large French army and a navy fleet. Subsequently, the weary troops were revitalized, reorganized, and well trained and could forge ahead at the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778.
Before the battle, the British had replaced General Howe with Sir Henry Clinton after they failed to capture the major colonial cities. They evacuated their army from Philadelphia and went back to New York City. Washington and his force launched a successful attack against the moving army near Monmouth Courthouse.
The Washington and French launched another strategic attack on British General Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. The British faced the combined French and Colonial armies, but Cornwallis defended as long as he could. On 19 October 1781, Cornwallis surrendered his forces.
The war officially came to an end on 3 September 1983, after signing the Treaty of Paris. On 23 December 1983, Washington resigned from his rank as the Commander-in-Chief and traveled back to Mount Vernon.
Despite winning independence from Britain, the different states of the current United States were not yet unified under a central government that could impose the authority to raise taxes and develop a national army.
A unanimous vote was passed, which elected George Washington to the United States’ first presidency on 30 April 1789. On the said day, Washington stood on Federal Hall’s balcony in Wall Street, New York, and swore in on his position.
During his two terms as the President, Washington worked on reducing the US’s national debt and establishing a friendly relationship with Native Americans.
However, his presidency was also not free of controversies. He signed a bill in 1971 which granted rights to Congress to impose taxes on distilled spirits. The bill angered the people of rural Pennsylvania, who, in turn, started full-fledged defiance of Federal Law. As a solution, Washington passed the Militia Act, 1792, and marched into the rebel areas with armed forces.
Further, he also ignored the United States treaty with France and remained neutral during the war between Britain and France in 1793, which enraged Thomas Jefferson.
But, in totality, George Washington was considered to have had two moderately successful Presidential terms.
During his terms, he set back a war with Britain, established boundaries with Canada, and created an international trade environment.
Washington eventually resigned from his position as the President on 4 March 1797 and returned to his family home in Mount Vernon.
Death & Legacy
From 1797 to 1799, Washington devoted his retirement life to his lands in Mount Vernon and also to some of his businesses, including his distillery.
On 12 December 1799, on one of his farm inspections, Washington caught a sore throat after getting caught in a snowstorm. He passed on 14 December 1799, after being bedridden for two days. He was 67 years old at the time.
Fact-checking and Ethical Concerns
We assure our audience that we will remove any contents that are not accurate or according to formal reports and queries if they are justified. We commit to cover sensible issues responsibly through the principles of neutrality.
To report about any issues in our articles, please feel free to Contact Us. Our dedicated Editorial team verifies each of the articles published on the Biographyhost.