George Washington - His way to the first president of the United States of America

Presentation / Essay (Pre-University), 2003

11 Pages, Grade: 2 (B)

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Table of contents

01. Introduction page

02. The life of George Washington
02.01. His first important steps page
02.02. The way up page

03. The constitution of the Union page

04. The last acts of George Washington page

05. The politics after George Washington page

06. Epilogue page

07. Bibliography

01. Introduction

George Washington: His family, his life and his ideas. Nobody knows something about these important things. Of course everybody can say that George Washington was the first president of the United States of America but too less know more. But even these facts say something about this man. George Washington is and was an important man in the American history and in America and for the whole world, too. The way of George Washington, his family and his ideas are interesting. A few people think history is boring and there is no fun. Yes, it is not every time “funny” but if we are interested in these things, we will learn more about it.

The people who lived in America were mostly poor farmers but they still thought about their politic and their land. The “soldiers” who fought against the British soldiers were no trained soldiers. Of course they had guns and knifes but they were not armed as well as the British soldiers.

Because of these facts and some others France has supported America and they fight together against England. The farmers would like to die for their land and for their liberty.

At the beginning George Washington was a farmer, too. He fighted for his land and therefore he became rich later. George Washington was respected and at the end the people loved him. This was hard work for him but he loved his land and he did everything for the politic. This and his life are important facts. Of course there are more but these are the biggest. George Washington is more interesting than it seems.

Everyone has to know more about the history of the first president of the United States of America: George Washington.

02. The life of George Washington

02.01. His first important steps

22nd February 1732 George Washington was born in Virginia. His family was not rich, so Gorge lived very modest. He had a superficial education and with eleven years he lost his Dad Augustine. After the death of his father his stepbrother Lawrence brought him up. This was the reason that George had not a dad who thought him something. In 1752 after the death of Lawrence he had inhered the land Mount Vernon near Alexandria on the Potomac River. His neighbour Lord Fairfax, the richest landowner in Virginia, was an important person in his life and he helped him with the first step to a public man and George Washington became a surveyor and an officer. He was interested in the land in the west and every time in his life he tried hard to buy it and to enlarge his own land. For an officer Washington did his job very well because he was tall and powerful. As a colonel he fought his first battles in the French and Indian War. This first fights in his life were in 1754/55 and in this time George was only twenty-two years. During this fights he got the job of an important leader. After this time he went back home and in 1759 he married the widow Martha Dandridge Custins[1]. Lady Custins was twenty-seven, short and broad and a little plump. She had a curved nose, big eyes and a month which she rarely open because she did not knew if she said the right things. Besides she was the mother of two children and was very rich. In the marriage she brought a lot of land and 150 slaves. Only after this marriage he named a man who belonged to the parliament in Virginia. The marriage with Martha was the best thing what he did in his life, he said later about this marriage. Now he was an aristocrat and in the result of this, his land Mount Vernon was a social centre in Virginia for the rich men. But George Washington was not only an aristocrat. He searched for new corrections in the farming. With his wife he had not got any children but he was a good father for the two children of Martha’s first marriage. But his stepdaughter was an epileptic and died with seventeen. Washington hoped that at least his stepson John would like to be an important man but Jacky was a lightweight and so he was for George a good-for-nothing. In the next time Washington learned a lot.

02.02. The way up

Washington declined the taxes and the government of the British Empire. In 1774 he pleaded for an armed resistance before the continental congress from Philadelphia started. In April 1775 after the fights in Lexington and Concord the second continental congress voted unanimous for George Washington as the commander-in-chief of the American armed forces. This was a big event in the carrier of Washington and later some people were so happy that he was the president because they knew: this was a man who lived for his land. On 3rd July 1775 in Cambridge/ Massachusetts, he took the command over the troops who locked Boston which was occupied by the British soldiers. March 1776 George Washington and his “soldiers” rescued the town but unfortunately the American had to handle a lot of setbacks. In the next two years Washington was not so good with his acts but in 1778 he did a new ambush tactic with surprise attacks sometimes. With these tactics he got a lot of reputation. All of the people loved him and everyone thought about him. George Washington was the perfect leader and in the complicated positions, for example in the winter camp in Valley Forge in 1777/78, he conveyed the impression that the army were victorious. With these actions he became a high standing. When Washington was in a fight he needed sometimes gears or other things. But in this time the congress and the other states did not help him. Then he was alone and sometimes the congress thought a lot of plots for him. But he was every time for a civil guidance. He gave all of the political decisions in the hands of the congress and if he concerned an important military problem, he always talked with his confidants, for example Alexander Hamilton[2] from New York or Marquis de Lafayette[3] from France. By a good coordinated attack with the France army he forced the British general Cornwallis with 7000 soldiers, on 19th October 1781. Now the way into the independence was free. Two years later America and Britain made a formally conclusion of the peace treaty and America was an independent state.

After this time the officers had secret ideas that the leader would like to be a king to appoint because the officers were angry to get their money from the war. But George Washington would not be a dictator or a king, so he spoke with all the officers and by a personal roll call he arranged the old discipline. On 23rd December 1783 he gave the command to the congress back in Annapolis. But before he gave it back, he send a letter to every single state in which he wrote that every state had to support the government in America or the union fall apart. With this “national vision” he pushed at not much pleasure by the radical Republicans. The Republicans thought that George Washington would like to be the president of “Society of the Cincinnati”. George Washington never thought of this and so the population always loved him.

After this George Washington looked from his home of the political acts and what he saw, made him very sad. In autumn 1786 Daniel Shays[4] made a revolution with the farmers in Massachusetts against the Boston government because he saw the chaos in this government. In spring 1787 the government asked George Washington if he would like to be the president of the group for the constitution. Washington had to search for the problems in the “Articles of Confederation” and wrote new articles for these mistakes. He hesitated with his answer but at the end he thought that the “Shays’ Rebellion” had brought a new beginning and so he came back from his retirement. Between May and September in 1787 the group with their president George Washington worked out a new constitution. George Washington did not say too much in this group but every time he stood to the strengthening of the government. At the end of the constitution he said that this was the best after a hard time. In 1788 on the party of the constitution the population placed George Washington symbolic as the helmsman for the new “country ship”. With this act the population said that they thought George Washington was their new president.

George Washington did not do an election campaign. He waited in Mount Vernon that his population shouted for him. Men built a group who stood by George Washington. And on 4th February 1789 they voted unanimous for Washington as the first president of the United States of America. The vice-president was John Adams[5] and George Washington said that the population said he was their new president and he could not say no. The way from Mount Vernon to New York was a triumph.

On 30th April 1789 in Manhattan the first president was introduced in his office and in his speech George Washington said that his government was an experiment and the experiment was in the hands of the population. Prime at the end of this speech George Washington was really the first president of the United States of America.

03. The constitution of the Union

The finish of George Washington was that Americas domestic had to become better. He thought that every single state helped another or got help if it had a crisis. To get to this finish was very hard and on the first Monday in September 1786 Virginia invited in all the other thirteen states to Annapolis. The state and George Washington would like to make a new trade policy. On this date George Washington was ill but every time he asked what with this congress was. The answers were bad. Only Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York came. Under this men were two enemies James Madison[6] and Alexander Hamilton. The end of this congress was sad. But Alexander Hamilton called a new congress with all of the members on May 1787. He said the Union has to come to a better end and they must act as defined union. All members thought the same because the commotions in Massachusetts showed that the position of the nation was bad. The congress in Annapolis decided so that the congress goes to Philadelphia. Some members said that this was good and some said that was bad because they thought that the congress would like to write a new constitution and they would like to improve the old “Articles of Confederation”. Benjamin Rush[7] from Philadelphia explained that all the problems came from the bad government and that this is the weakness of the land. Rush was a man who thought the American Revolution has not finished yet end and the right end was only if a new government was born. A bit Benjamin Rush was right because the men who was in the war, was absented now. This menace was for George Washington because he was ill and did nothing for his land. But the people from Virginia stood by George Washington. The meeting in Virginia voted unanimous for George Washington and the people coated that Washington went to the congress in Philadelphia and to act for Virginia. On the beginning of the list with Virginias substitutes stand in big letters: “HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON”. George Washington knew that this was a big honour for him. But he hesitated. He had a big problem. When he had said that he was not the leader of the army he has said that he did not went into the public. If he went to the congress in Philadelphia he went to the political. But what would his companions said if he went to the politic and not to the army? He thought a lot about this but afterwards he went to the congress. On 9th May 1787 before sunrise he rode to Philadelphia. But the decision was good. The population and the government were happy to see the president. It was a party if he went in the town and his appearance gave the population a feeling for their land. On 25th May 1787 the meeting votes unanimous for George Washington as the president of this group. Some people said that George Washington was the man who made the nation happy. Washington sat on a chair with a half sun and Benjamin Franklin did not know if this was a rising sun or a setting sun. George Washington spoke never too much so his job was very good for him because as the president he was impartial and he had to pay attention that the meeting were right and nobody expected that Washington said something because his presence was enough. Often the weather was hot and the men came in rage very fast, George Washington was very quiet and he radiated a special silence. The negotiations ran well but just before the end of the meeting it stopped. Some states were discontented. On 5th August 1787 the constitution was ready but some members had to change something in the constitution. Finally on 17th September 1787 the constitution was written on a parchment and ready to sign. An important part was that all of the execute violence lied by the president of the United States of America. Some people said that the constitution was perfect for George Washington and the constitution was size of him but even the dissatisfied people paid of this constitution. By the signing three people did not sign: Edmund Randolph, Elbridge Gerry[8] and George Mason from Virginia. The last was very hard for George Washington. Thirteen members went back home. So thirty-nine of the forty-two members signed the constitution. The first one who signed was “Go. Washington, President and Deputy from Virginia”[9]. When Washington signed the constitution the independence bell sounded which at least sounded by the end of the war in 1783. After this moment Benjamin Franklin knew: The sun on the chair from George Washington was a rising sun.

04. The last acts of George Washington

George Washington as the president of the United States of America had got a lot of duties. For every important part he had got a man; his ministers. Alexander Hamilton was for the finances, Thomas Jefferson[10] for the foreign politics, Henry Knox for the wars and Edmund Randolph for the justice. Washington had divided the force very well. But unfortunately Hamilton and Jefferson had a problem because Hamilton worked with the commerce and this was of course with other lands. All in all the separation of powers was good but George Washington did not too much. Washington did a lot for his land, for example the “Bill of Rights”. These were the basic rights of every people. George Washington had a big problem with the Indians. Every time he said the people had to be fair to the Indians but sometimes he would like to enlarge his land, he rooted out some Indian races. All in all it was trouble for the Indians. Out of the original inhabitants disturbed his Empire-Vision. Later the Americans defeated the Indians in the northeast and lived with these people in peace.

In 1793 France had a war against Britain, Prussia and Austria. During this war George Washington saw that his foreign politic was not as good as he had thought. George Washington and America were impartial in this war. But the most time he was against France. He said if America had a war with France he would be the leader. But fortunately America concluded peace with France before George Washington was beginning.

In 1797 George Washington moved back from the politic. Before he moved back he admonished his people in his famous farewell message. In this message he wrote that the people have to hold on the unit of the nation and he warned for quarrel in the parties and for alliances. He lived happy with his woman in Mount Vernon and he often visited a big building site, a town who carried his name: Washington D.C.

George Washington died on Mount Vernon on 14th December 1799. Already in his lifetime the people revered him as the basis father and as a national hero. In America there were a lot of funeral obsequies and at Henry Lee[11] his friend praised him: “the first in the war, the first in the peace, and the first in the heart of his American people”. A long time ago George Washington was the symbol of the American identity besides the national flag, the constitution and the Independence Day.

05. The politics after George Washington

After George Washington the president of the United States was John Adams. It was very hard for him because George Washington was a popular man and the people often compared John Adams with George Washington. But he also worked very hard too and of course he did everything for America and its power. After John Adams came Thomas Jefferson became the president of the USA. He was a little “national hero” for the people, too. Because he had written “The Declaration of Independence”. His name was a word that the Americans used very often, for example “Jefferson Democracy”, “Jeffersonian Republicanism” or “Jeffersonianism”. All in all America had forty-two presidents. And every president completed the democracy and the union of George Washington the first president of the United States of America.

06. Epilogue

Nobody knows how it was earlier. But sometimes we get a little inspect from the time in those days. George Washington, I think, was a hero and nobody doubts at this. Of course George Washington was not all the time the best president for America but he did always good things for his land. I can not say that everything what George Washington did was right because everybody makes mistakes. George Washington was a man who lives on in the mind of the people - in this time and today. Perhaps George Washington was very unfortunate. But I think he was a man who loved his job and who was happy every time he could help his land. He was a good politician and a good soldier. His acts were historical and very important. George Washington was a fighter for his land. And at last I can say: George Washington was the best first president of the United States that the American people could get.

Words: 3.125

07. Bibliography


1. Herre, Franz. George Washington: Präsident an der Wiege einer Weltmacht. Deutsche Verlags- Anstalt. Stuttgart, 1999
2. (Hrsg.) Heideking, Jürgen. Die amerikanischen Präsidenten: 41 historische Portraits von George Washington bis Bill Clinton. C.H. Beck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung. München: Beck, 1995
3. McPherson, James M.. Für die Freiheit sterben: Die Geschichte des amerikanischen Bürgerkrieges. Ins Deutsche übertragen von Fließbach, Holger und Seibicke, Christa. 5. Auflage. Paul List Verlag. München, Leipzig, 1996

Reference Books:

1. Microsoft Encarta Enzyklopädie 2002 1993-2001 Microsoft Corporation
2. Meyers Lexikonverlag Microsoft


[1] b. 02nd June 1731, Williamsburgh; d. 22nd May 1802, Mount Vernon

[2] b. 11th January 1755, Nevis; d. 11th September 1804, American politician

[3] b. 6th September 1757, Chavaniac; d. 20th May 1834, Paris; French general and politician

[4] b. in 1747; d. in 1825

[5] b. 30th October 1735, Braintree (today Quincy); d. 4th July 1826, Quincy; first vice-president of the United States of America and second president of the United States

[6] b. 16th March 1751, Westmoreland County (Virginia); d. 28th June 1836, Montpelier (Virginia); fourth president of the United States

[7] b. 1745, Byberry (Pennsylvania); d. 1813; American medicine and politician

[8] b. in 1744; d. in 1814

[9] Herre, Franz „George Washington“ Präsident an der Wiege einer Weltmacht; page 280

[10] b. 1743; d. 1826; 3 th president of the United States; he wrote the “Declaration of Independence”

[11] b. 1756, Leesylvania; d. 25th March 1818, Cumberland Island/ Georgia

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George Washington - His way to the first president of the United States of America
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Alexandra Koch (Author), 2003, George Washington - His way to the first president of the United States of America, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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