Video:Profile of George Washingtonwith Jade Broadus
George Washington may be the most influential person in American history for his military leadership and role developing the government. Watch this About.com video to learn more about the first American president, George Washington.See Transcript
Transcript:Profile of George Washington
Hi, I’m Jade with About.com, and today I’m going to tell you a little about George Washington, the first President of the United States and the "Father of our Country."
Early History of George Washington
Born to a moderately wealthy planter family on February 22, 1732, George Washington spent his early years in Colonial Virginia. One of the Founding Fathers of the U.S., he later served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, completed two terms as the nation’s unanimously-elected first President, and was a key player in the drafting of the Constitution.
As a child, Washington grew up with six siblings. When he was eleven, his father passed away, and his half-brother Lawrence became his role model. Washington began his military career in 1752 and cultivated his skills throughout the French and Indian War.
In December of 1758, he retired to the Mount Vernon property he had inherited from Lawrence and served in the Virginia House of Burgesses.
George Washington's Military Role
At the Second Continental Congress in May 1775, Washington was unanimously named Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. For the six years of the American Revolution, he led his troops through victories and defeats. In 1781, the Continental Army decisively won the fight against the British at the October 17th surrender at Yorktown.
George Washington's Political Role
Soon after he resigned as Commander-in-Chief in 1783, Washington returned to politics, becoming an important figure at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. His influence helped both create and ratify the Constitution. In 1789, he was elected the first president of the United States by the Electoral College, and in 1792, he served a second term. Following his second term as president, Washington again retired to Mount Vernon, this time permanently.
George Washington is well remembered for his words to James Madison: "As the first of every thing, in our situation will serve to establish a Precedent." His presidency established precedents for the governing of the United States on such matters as foreign policy, political term limits, and political appointments.
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