Who was George Washington?

Following a modest Virginia childhood, George Washington rose to military prominence during the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. He later was instrumental in the creation of the United States Constitution and served two terms as the nation’s first president.

George Washington

George Washington

George Washington was one of the founding fathers of the United States and served as the country’s first president from 1789 until 1797. He is considered one of America’s first heroes because of his accomplishments during the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War and due to his political achievements.

George Washington was born in Virginia in 1732 to a poor family. His father died when George Washington was young and he had very little formal education, but he trained himself to become a surveyor and woodsman.

While still a young man, George Washington enlisted in the Virginia militia and advanced to the rank of colonel during the French and Indian War. Soon after the war, he married Martha Custis, a rich widow from Virginia.

George Washington began his political career in 1758 when he was elected to serve in the state’s government, called the House of Burgesses.

In 1775, Washington was appointed as Commander in Chief of the colonies’ army. George Washington led poorly trained and ill-equipped Patriot troops to victory against the British in 1781 and was widely recognized for his military brillance.

Following independence, the colonies struggled to be ruled under the Articles of Confederation. In 1787, George Washington presided over the country’s first Constitutional Convention and helped draft the United States Constitution. It took nine years for Convention members to ratify the Constitution, which calls for a representative government consisting of three branches that check and balance each other.

Following the convention, Washington was elected as the country’s first president. During his tenure, Washington oversaw the creation of the Bill of Rights and appointed Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State, Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of Treasury and Henry Knox as the Secretary of War.

Following his death in Virginia in 1799, the capital of the United States was moved from Philadelphia to an area closer to Washington’s home. The area was named Washington in his honor.