George Washington - 50 minutes - ebook

George Washington ebook

50 MINUTES

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Opis

Keen to learn but short on time? Get to grips with the life of George Washington in next to no time with this concise guide.

50Minutes.com provides a clear and engaging analysis of George Washington. Recognised as one of the founding fathers of the United States of America, George Washington was the country’s first president and his actions have shaped its fate ever since. From the Seven Years’ War against the French to the definition of American protectionism, right up to the development of the Constitution and the creation of US federal institutions, he laid the foundations for the values and identity of the country that are still in force today. 

In just 50 minutes you will:
   • Understand more about the political, economic and social context of George Washington’s time
   • Learn more about the life of the first American president and why he was elected
   • Analyse the actions taken by George Washington during his two terms in office and the impact they had on the future of the United States

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George Washington

Key information

Birth: 22 February 1732 in Pope’s Creek (Virginia)Death: 14 December 1799 in Mount Vernon (Virginia)Political party: Leaned towards Hamiltonian federalismElection dates:4 February 1789, first term13 February 1793, second termOffice term: 7 yearsMain contributions:The US ConstitutionThe implementation of federal power and the presidential functionDiplomatic protectionism

Introduction

George Washington, the first president of the United States, is a crucial figure. His name is known by all thanks to the federal capital which bears his name. His face is familiar from the US dollar bills and his statue on Mount Rushmore (South Dakota).

One US dollar bill, 2003.

Recognized as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, he participated in the birth of a nation. From the Seven Years’ War against the French (1756-1763) and the War of Independence against the British (1775-1783), to the definition of American protectionism, the drafting of the Constitution for the creation of federal government bodies, he was at the heart of the values and identity of the country, which still benefits from his legacy today. Deeply engaged in his time, he was faced with the emergence of major issues in the history of the United States, both internal, such as relations with the Native Americans and the issue of slavery, and external, such as diplomatic policy with Europe.

Biography

George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, 1797.

Youth

George Washington was born on 22 February 1732 in Pope’s Creek in Westmoreland Country in the state of Virginia. His father, Augustine Washington c. 1694-1743), a planter, had three children from a previous marriage. After being widowed in 1729, he remarried two years later to Mary Ball (1708-1789), with whom he had George Washington, their eldest son. On the death of his father, he only inherited a small amount of land, most of it having been left to his half-brothers. It was one of these siblings, Lawrence Washington (1718-1752), who supported the education of young George at the age of 11. An average student, he stopped his schooling at 15 and became a surveyor engineer. With his income, he bought land located mainly in Western Virginia. In 1752, he inherited property in Mount Vernon from his half-brother Lawrence, becoming a wealthy landowner. He also replaced Lawrence as a commander of the militia of Virginia.

While Franco-British relations in the US were deteriorating, the governor of Virginia, Robert Dinwiddie (1693-1770), sent the new lieutenant-colonel to the Ohio Valley, where the French had erected a military building, Fort Duquesne. Responsible for building a British fort (Fort Necessity) to face that of the French and clearing the area that is present-day Pittsburgh, he took part in a brief confrontation in which his men killed the French commander Joseph Coulon de Jumonville (1718-1754) in strange circumstances. This was the first serious incident in a war that would see the British and the French fight against each other for seven years in the Americas. During the conflict, George Washington served as an officer and stood out particularly when taking Fort Duquesne in 1758. He was then appointed colonel.

The English take possession of Fort Duquesne, 25 November 1758.

In 1759, once the Ohio Valley was taken back from the British and the Franco-British war had ended, he retired to his estate in Mount Vernon, where he married a rich widow, Martha Dandridge Custis (1731-1802), thus increasing his land capital. He was now the owner of hundreds of hectares of tobacco plantations and fisheries on the Potomac River, operated by more than one hundred slaves.

Political career