(1732 - 1799 )
Who was George Washington ?
George Washington, the "Father of His Country," was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. The son of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington, he was raised to be a gentleman. Although he had no formal education, Washington had an interest in military arts and western expansion. 1754 marked the beginning of his military career. Prior to the American Revolution, Washington managed an estate around Mount Vernon and worked as a planter and member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. When Washington attended the Second Continental Congress as a delegate from Virginia, he was elected Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. Following the Revolution, Washington concentrated his efforts on the establishment of the Constitution and a new government. When the Constitution was ratified, Washington was unanimously elected the first President of the United States.
Washington knew that as the first President he would be setting important precedents. Among these is the "Washington Tradition" of serving only two terms as President, which many of his successors adhered to. President Washington felt that his duty was to allow Congress to dictate policy and law. However, Washington strictly believed in neutrality when it came to foreign affairs.
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