George Washington Quotes, Life & Philosophies
It’s been almost 250 years since the United States of America was founded. In that time, the bloody war that followed the writing of the Declaration of Independence has been imbued with an almost mythical quality rather than a simple conflict over taxation and the right of self-governance.
The American Revolution has instead become a morality tale.
The triumph of good over the evil of freedom over tyranny, the many played a part in the country’s formation has become legendary figures, none more so than George Washington.
Everyone knows who George Washington is. His face is on the $1 bill.
The capital of the United States is named after him, and the tallest structure in the capital is a monument that is dedicated to him.
He was the victorious general of the Revolutionary War and then served as the first president of the United States.
His face and name are pretty much everywhere. The Romans used to worship dead emperors as gods, and the U. S. Has come very close to doing the same to George Washington.
But buried beneath the myth is the story of a real man, a man who is full of contradictions Washington fought for the freedom of others.
Yet he himself owned hundreds of slaves. He is known as a master military strategist, Yet he made several major mistakes that almost cost the Americans the war.
He is called the father of the country, yet he has no children of his own. He wasn’t perfect. He certainly wasn’t a God, but what he was was uniquely American.
Life of George Washington
George Washington was born on February the 22nd 1732 in the English colony of Virginia.
The Washington family had emigrated to Virginia from England in the 16 fifties and had become one of the wealthiest families in the colony.
They owned several tobacco plantations that were worked by hundreds of slaves on the wealthiest produced for them allowed them to become foremost among the new class of American aristocrats, a status they have been unable to achieve Back in England.
August in Washington, George’s father was very active in local politics, serving as a justice of the peace and county sheriff.
He died suddenly in 1743 when George was 11 years old, and much of Washington’s estate was handled by Georges older brother Lawrence, who George idolized Washington was considered well educated for a man of his time.
He was trained as a land surveyor and showed talent as a mapmaker in a draftsman.But the teenager wasn’t content with such a sedate profession, and he craved action and adventure.
When George was 19, his brother Lawrence, became ill with tuberculosis. The brothers travelled to Barbados, hoping that the warm climate would alleviate the condition. But Lawrence died in 1752, and George returns home, now the son of the Washington family.
After returning to Virginia, Washington sought a commission in the Virginia colonial militia being appointed as a major by the lieutenant governor of the colony.
He joins the military a very dangerous time on the frontier to the west of the established British colonies; the Ohio River Valley was being contested by both Great Britain and France, both of whom were building forts at strategic locations to solidify their hold on the territory.
Washington was named deputy commander of the Virginia Regiments, that first professional colonial military unit, the regiment, was ordered to march the forks of Ohio, the future site of the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, toe opposed the French movement there in 1754. On the way there, the commander of the regiment, Joshua Fry, fell off his horse and broke his neck. He died soon thereafter and commanded Past to Washington.
Washington arrived at the forks and discovered the French had gotten there first and began construction of their own fortress 40. Dechaine Washington retreated to contemplate his next move, and he was joined there by a friend he had made the year before.
The sachem of the Mingo tribe, Tana Charis in Tanna Harrison, informed him of a force of about 35 French soldiers approaching their position and suggested an attack.
On May the 28 1754, the two forces confronted each other. What happens next is a matter of dispute.
All that is known for sure is that by the end of the encounter, most of the French detachment was dead, including its commander, Joseph Coonan Davillier.
The French would claim that Davillier was there on a peaceful diplomatic mission, was massacred, while Washington believed that the French were there to spy on his forces.
Whatever happens, the battle of Jubinville Glenn, as it later became known, proved to be the spark that touched off a worldwide war between Great Britain and France known as the Seven Years War.
After the violence that Jumonville Glen Washington figured that the French garrison of four do Cain was going to attack him sooner or later. So we built a fort of his own called Fort Necessity.
It was a crude construction, essentially a wooden palisade, and it wouldn’t hold off they determined to solve the long.
Louis Callen Davillier, outraged at his brother’s death, led a force of 600 soldiers to Fort Necessity and attacked it on July the third.
The Virginians were undisciplines.
They fled under fire it at one point during the day, broke into the liquor cabinet and got drunk when the French offered to allow him to return to Virginia with his troops unharmed.
If he surrendered the fort of them, Washington felt he had no choice and marched back to what he thought was a disgrace and the end of his military career.
To his surprise, the Virginia House of Burgesses blamed the defeat of Fort necessity on other factors, and not on Washington.
The next year, the British Center force of 2000 soldiers, under the command of General Edward Braddock toe capture for du Cane Washington came along as a guide because of his experience with this area.
The British met with disaster at the Battle of Monongahela on July the 9th, 17 55 two thirds of the British force was killed or wounded, including Braddock.
Washington earned some distinction during the battle by forming a rearguard to prevent the retreat from turning into a rout, resulting in even more casualties.
Washington would serve in the colonial militia until 1758 when he resigned in disgust after being rebuffed in his attempts to secure a royal commission in the British regular army.
The British commanders dismissed Washington and other colonial leaders as amateurs and simple tones and assessment that would come back to haunt them a bit later.
In 1759 Washington married Martha Curtis, a young, wealthy widow with one of the largest plantations in Virginia.
When combined with Washington’s own holdings, he was now one of the richest men in the colonies. He delighted in braising his step Children Jack and Patsy casters, although he and Martha never had any children of their own.
Despite being married for 40 years, it is believed that about smallpox as a young man had rendered him sterile.
Washington entered politics, serving in the House of Burgesses and entertaining people of rank at his estate, Mount Vernon.
He grew increasingly concerned throughout the 17 sixties and early 17 seventies with the British Parliament’s attempts to exert more control over the American colonies through taxes.
Washington and many others felt that this was an act of tyranny since the Americans had no representation in the government that was making the laws that they were subject to.
In 1775 the increased tension it finally snapped into open conflict in Boston, where British troops under General Thomas Gauge we’re trying to subject gate and the increasingly rebellious colonial populace at Lexington and Concord on April, the 19th British regulars and Colonial militia shot at each other for the first time.
Formally beginning the American Revolutionary War. Washington represented Virginia at the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, which opens soon after the bloodshed in Massachusetts.
On June 14th, 1775. The Congress created the Continental Army to provide for the common defence of the colonies, and talk of who would command the new army soon turned to Washington.
Washington had never actively campaigned for the job. Still, he was the only delegate who attended meetings of the Congress wearing a military uniform, which is a perfect example of dressing for the job you want.
That’s combined with his height. He was 6 ft two, which was much taller than the other delegates, as well as the fact that he was the most famous soldier in the colonies because of his war service 20 years earlier made him the unanimous choice to lead the new Army.
On June the 19th, he received his commission, and three days later he departed for Boston.
When Washington arrived in Boston, he found his army was really a ragtag group of militia units with no real organization.
After the battles of Lexington and Concord, the British had retreated into the city and the Patriots as they began to call themselves at blocks off the land routes into the city and put it under siege.
Washington immediately began shaping the militia into a proper army while keeping the British bottles up in Boston.
In October, King George, the third replaced general gauge with a new commander, William How, finally, in March, of 1776 the Continental Army placed cannons on the high ground of Dorchester Heights and against bombarding the British positions in Boston.
This compelled how to retreat to Halifax by sea, and the Americans had won their first victory.
Washington wasn’t about to rest on his laurels, however. A few weeks later, he moved his Army south to New York City, Washington, and how both knew that New York was key to controlling the continents, and Washington expected a British invasion force to attack there.
He spent the next few months preparing fortifications and continuing to train his troops. British ships began arriving in New York Harbor on the second of July, were always boosted in the Continental Army a few days later when word reached them of the ratification of the Declaration of Independence, which stated that the colonies were declaring themselves free An independent states.
On August, the 22nd general, how landed in Brooklyn, on the western end of Long Island, with 20,000 troops.
Five days later, he attacked Washington’s position. The battle of Long Island’s was a stinging American defeat. The Continental suffered 20% casualties.
The American revolution could have ended right there. But Washington organized a stealthy nighttime retreat across the East River on to Manhattan Islands when the British or the next day, they were astonished to find that the Americans were simply gone.
On September the 15th, the British landed on Manhattan Island. The American troops did not even attempt to stand and fight but fled in a panic route.
Washington was enraged the cowardice of his men and at one point was within 100 yards of the advancing British troops on aid had to grab the bridle of the general’s horse and lead him away.
New York fell soon after and would be occupied by the British for the remainder of the war.
The Continental Army was pushed through New Jersey and into Pennsylvania when winter set in and how broke off his pursuit
in the 18th century Armies typically did not fight in winter and how returned to New York to wait for the spring thought.
Washington, meanwhile, knew that he had to do something. Morale was at an all-time low.
Desertions were increasing in Washington figured if he didn’t act quickly, his entire army would dissolve.
Washington had developed an effective spy network by the end of 1776, and he received intelligence that a garrison of 1500 German mercenaries Haitians was in winter quarters near trends in New Jersey.
They were complacent and not expecting an attack. That was where Washington plan to strike. He hoped a victory would boost Patriot morale and lead to a surge in Volunteers.
On Christmas night, Washington led his army on a stealthy nighttime crossing of the Delaware River into New Jersey, remarkable military feet.
On the morning of December 26, the Continentals took the Haitians completely by surprise and took over 800 of the prisoner.
They also took tons of crucial supplies and weapons to equip their army. With a few days later, the British attacks Washington’s position at Trenton and were repulsed.
Then, in another remarkable military manoeuvre, Washington circled around the British Army and attacked the garrison of Princeton, inflicting the third defeat on the British and 10 days.
The British retreated from southern New Jersey entirely, and Washington finally went into winter quarters of Morristown.
This stunning SYRIZA victories likely saved Washington’s army, but the war was still far from over.
The British Plan for the war in 1777 was more complex than the year before on invasion.
Army, led by General John Burgoyne, called Gentleman Johnny for his elaborate uniforms and lavish lifestyle, would advance south from Quebec to take Albany, New York.
The goal was to isolate New England’s, which had the highest concentration of patriots and was contributing the bulk of volunteers to the Continental Army from the rest of the colonies, which they felt would be easier to control.
How is New York was supposed to send troops to support Burgoyne but controversially failed to do so likely due to personal rivalries between the senior British commanders?
Instead, in the summer of 1777 house it out from New York to capture Philadelphia, where the Continental Congress met.
How defeated Washington and the Battle of Brandywine and is in September entered Philadelphia. The Congress flood west to York, Pennsylvania, but the real action was taking place in the North.
In New York, gentleman Johnny had led his men into a trap without realizing it, finding himself completely surrounded by an American army commanded by Horatio Gates.
He expected help from help, never came, and he was defeated in detail by the Americans in two battles at Saratoga in September and October.
On October the 17th, he was forced to surrender his army to gates. The surrender of Burgoyne sent shockwaves around the world’s nowhere more so than in Paris.
Since the war began, the French government had been looking for a reason to support the American cause, since it would hurt their British rivals.
The victory of the Americans at Saratoga convinced King New with 16 that the Americans could stand up a za fighting force and entered into a formal alliance with the Americans By the end of 1777.
They promised troops, money supplies and, most importantly, a naval fleet, something the American sorely lacked.
Horatio Gates, meanwhile, took much credit for the victory despite not having much to do with the actual battle strategy itself, and he used it to advocate himself to, replace Washington as general in chief and attempts that are ultimately failed.
Washington’s Army made winter camp at Valley Forge, north of Philadelphia, that winter was brutal, bitterly cold and snowy, and around 2500 American soldiers died at the encampment.
Three American cause was greatly helped by the presence of two foreign officers who wanted to help the American course.
The Marquis de Lafayette, 19-year-old French nobleman and soldier, sailed for America in late 1777 against the orders of his king.
On was made a general by Washington laughing. It’s brought knowledge of European warfare to the Americans, and he had a positive effect on morale.
It is believed that the eventual alliance between France and the Americas was due in no small part to his efforts.
Meanwhile, Baron Friedrich von Steuben, a former Prussian Army officer and administrator, left Germany after being accused of having homosexual affairs.
He arrived at Valley Forge in February 1778 and was made inspector general of the Army. He was influential in developing a training program that turns the Continental Army into a professional fighting force.
He was a colourful figure, elaborately dressed and prone to cursing at the soldiers in several languages.
Facing fallout from the campaign off 1777, General Howe resigned and was replaced by Sir Henry Clinton.
Clinton abandoned Philadelphia and marched back to New York, pursued by Washington.
The two armies fought an indecisive battle at Monmouth on June the 28th and came back to New York to discover a French fleet in New York Harbor.
The French have declared war on Great Britain, and what had been a regional civil conflict was now a continent-spanning war involving several major European powers.
The British government, now ascending few reinforcements to their armies in America, more concerned with protecting their Caribbean possessions.
The focus of the war now moved to the southern colonies after the British captured the city of Charleston, South Carolina, in early 1780 on Army, commanded by Lord Cornwallis, routed Horatio Gates that the Battle of Camden, which ended gates his military career.
He was replaced by General Nathaniel Greene, who engaged in hit and ran tactics with calm Wallace’s army that slowed their advance north to Virginia.
Washington, whose ranks were now swelled by French soldiers and French naval fleet, received word that Cornwallis had moved his army to Yorktown.
Sensing an opportunity to trap him there, Washington moved his army away from New York to Virginia.
Connolly’s found himself surrounded. He wasn’t able to retreat by sea because the French fleet had blockaded it, and Washington’s troops had laid siege to his fortifications.
After two weeks about, or Cornwallis realized the situation was hopeless. He surrendered to the Allied Army on October the 19th, 1781. The war was, for all intents and purposes, over the defeat of Yorktown caused the collapse of Lord North’s government in London and the new government called peace talks.
In September 1783 the Treaty of Paris was signed, in which Great Britain recognized the United States of America as an independent nation.
The last British troops left New York at the end of 1783. Against all the odds and the hardships, George Washington and the Continental Army had won the war and earned America independence.
Washington was a national hero now. Many in Congress were prepared to offer him the title of King, but Washington refused.
He was the head of the Army and could have easily taken power had he wanted to. But Washington wasn’t interested in being a dictator.
In December of 1783, he voluntarily resigned his commissioners general in chief and retired to Mount Vernon.
The articles of confederation, which governs the new nation, quickly proved to be inadequate, and it became clear that a national Constitution was needed to establish a government for the United States.
Washington was called out of retirement to service president of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia.
There he oversaw the creation of the documents that still forms the basis of American law.
More than 200 years later, on serves as the basis for national constitutions all over the world. The first election for president of the United States was held in 1788 and Washington was elected to serve as the first president.
He was inaugurated in New York City in April 1789. Being the first president, Washington was left to define many of the president’s that still serve the executive branch.
Today he settled on being addressed, Mr President, turning down the more elaborate title His Excellency or His Highness.
He gave the first inaugural address and the first presidential address to the assembled houses of Congress.
He also forms the executive branch into a Cabinet of department secretaries, which persists to this day.
Most of Washington’s time is the president was spent playing referee to two warring factions within his cabinet. Washington was the only president not to be a member of a political party and didn’t like the idea of them in the first place.
The same cannot be said of Alexander Hamilton, secretary of the Treasury, and Thomas Jefferson, secretary of state.
Hamilton believed that the future of the nation was in strong federal governments, a national banking system and commerce in cities and forms the Federalist Party, while Jefferson favoured decentralized government controlled by the states and on economy controlled by agrarian interests.
And he hated the idea of banks he forms the Jeffersonian Republican Party.
The two were bitter rivals, and Cabinet meetings often degenerated into shouting matches, with Washington having to step in to maintain order.
He favoured Hamilton’s plan and spent most of his first term on economic issues.
He was exhausted by 1792 and showed no interest in running for a second term that was begged to do so by all sides and was unanimously re-elected by 1796. He outright refused to run for a third term and chose to retire.
This set another president. No president would serve more than two terms until Franklin Roosevelt in 1940 after Roosevelt died in office during his fourth term, Congress passed an amendment to the Constitution that set the two-term limit into federal law.
Washington again retired to Mount Vernon. Vice President John Adams, being elected in 1796 is the second president.
During this time, relations with France deteriorated after the French Revolution, and it seems like there might be war.
Washington accepted the position of commander in chief of the United States Army in 1798 to defend the country if it was attacked, but no army would appear in. Washington didn’t have a field command.
On December 13th, 1799, Washington started suffering from a sore throat. The next day it was even worse.
Doctors were summoned but disagreed on what was causing the illness and what to do about it. At one point, nearly a pint of blood was drawn from him.
Bloodletting is a common medical practice at the time, though it probably just made things worse.
At around 10:30 p.m. On December the 14th, George Washington died aged 67. News of his death touched off a wave of national mourning that is funeral on December, the 18th General Henry Lee, known as Light Horse Harry gave the eulogy.
In an ironic twist of fate, Lee’s son, Robert E. Lee, would be the leading figure in a rebellion against the nation that George Washington played a key role in founding Washington owns over 300 slaves.
At the time of his death, slavery was essential to the building of his family’s wealth. But as he grew older Washington groom or uneasy with the institution of slavery by 1780, Washington was privately in favour of emancipation.
He kept silence on the matter, while President, recognizing that it played such an oversized role in the economy of the Southern states since that it could destroy the new nation, Washington and the other founding Fathers is the failure to settle.
The question of slavery would lead to civil war. 60 years after Washington’s death, Washington wanted to free his own slaves while he was still alive.
But he wasn’t able to persuade the other heirs of the Curtis estate to free their slaves.
At the same time, the slaves that worked at Mount Vernon had intermarried and started families, and Washington said he did not want to break up those families by freeing some on not the rest, meaning the ones not freed could still be sold to someone else and shipped away.
In his will, he ordered that half of the slaves be freed immediately after his death, with the rest being freed after Martha’s death.
Martha preempted this by freeing all of his slaves in January 1801 but never freed her own slaves, thus causing the breakup of slave families that Washington had tried to prevent.
She died in May 1802 At the age of 70 George and Martha Washington was interred at the tomb of Mount Vernon, where they still are today, despite some attempts by the American government to have the move to a tomb in Washington, D. C.
The new capital that was named after the nation’s first president after his death, memorials and monuments to Washington went up all over the country in the capital of the 555 ft tall Washington Monument was completed in 1888 because of a federal law passed in 1910 to limit the height of buildings in Washington, D. C. The monument is the tallest building in the city and is likely to remain that way in the future.
The myth of Washington outgrew the man Washington Was. Very quickly, a character emerged that was almost God-like the person every American aspires to be.
But we think that this story is interesting enough on its own that it doesn’t need to be embellished like that.
Washington, the man, was a far more complicated figure than Washington, the myth, but that just makes him more compelling as a historical figure.
Perhaps light horse. Harry Lee said it best in his eulogy of Washington when he described him as first in war, first in peace, at first in the hearts of his countrymen.
George Washington Quotes
“It is better to be alone than in bad company.”
“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
George Washington Quotes