George Washington

the father of his country

Early Life

Born at Bridges Creek,Virginia, on Feb. 22, 1732. He was appointed to a major in the Virginia Militia in 1752. Washington's beginnings in politics were based on an alliance with his brother's father-in-law, Lord Fairfax. After working as a justice, a representative and a vestryman, he was later elected to be the first President of the US.

How he handled crises

Washington's army during the Revolutionary War was very unorganized. They had no way of setting up how the troops get supplies, ammunition, and clothing. Washington had to deal with a very feeble Congress and 13 very angry states that couldn't agree on their rights. Against the odds, he managed to keep the military together and beat the redcoats.

Washington was able to boost the morale of his troops and the people of his country to get them to support the war as much as they were able.

The Whiskey Rebellion

In 1791, the country was in increasing debt. Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, suggested placing a tax on "upon spirits distilled within the United States, and for appropriating the same," to help bring the country out of some of the debt. Congress passed the law, with much opposition from Thomas Jefferson and the Anti-Federalists.

As word of the tax was spread to Western Pennsylvania, farmers immediately voiced their disagreements with the law by refusing to pay the tax. The situation eventually worsened until July, 1794, when almost 400 rebelling farmers in Pennsylvania started to get violent with their protests, and set fire to the home of the local tax collector, John Neville.

To put down the rebellion, President Washington organized a militia of about 12,950 men towards Pennsylvania, telling the local people, "not to abet, aid, or comfort the Insurgents aforesaid, as they will answer the contrary at their peril." By the time the militia got to the city, the rebels were no where to be seen, and the militia tried 150 men for treason.

Washington's intended got across, and he successfully survived the first real challenge to governmental authority

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The right man at the right time

He was the right man for the time because the people had just gotten out of the grasp of a king, and they wanted something different. George Washington was an honorable man. Setting the precedent for the future Presidents, he stepped down after serving only two terms to keep from having a dictatorship.

Precedents he set

  • He established a cabinet of advisers for the Presidency (i.e. Sec. of State, Treasury, War, and Attorney General).
  • Set standards for the President's social interactions (i.e. meetings with the public).
  • Established a firm protocol for the constitutional treaty-making process.
  • The President is head over diplomacy and foreign affairs (i.e. remaining neutral in the conflict between the French and Great Britain).

Why he is remembered

  1. Won the Revolutionary War.
  2. He helped power his men through the harsh winter at Valley Forge during the war.
  3. He was really tall.
  4. First President of the US.
  5. Set the precedents for the Presidency.


  • Honorable- set the standard for the Presidency
  • Courageous- he fought in the military himself
  • Intuitive- figured out how to keep the militia together
  • Benevolent- he didn't do things for himself, he did them for others
  • Trustworthy- he had good judgement and he did what he said he would
Disney The American Presidents: George Washington