George Washington Essay

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George Washington
As a soldier George Washington demonstrated enough courage to become the commander of the Virginia troops that defended the state's western frontier during the French and Indian War. He was also a successful tobacco planter at his family plantation. In 1787 Washington's concerns about the crumbling of the nation prompted him to serve as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. He presided over the convention and his support was very important to the ratification of the newly proposed Constitution. In 1789, Washington became the first president of the United States. He served two terms guiding the new government through the organization of the executive branch, founding the nation's capital, and opening the west for settlement. George Washington's stance toward slavery changed as he grew older. George Washington was a slave owner himself since the age of 11. Like a Virginia plant owner he lived off of slavery and his views were very conventional. In letters he is shown to be humane and caring towards his slaves but in others shown as a Virginia Slave owner. By the time of his presidency, he mostly believed that slavery was wrong and against the principles of the new nation. As President, Washington did not lead a public fight against slavery because he believed it would tear the new nation apart. Abolition had many opponents especially in the South. George Washington feared that if he took such a public stand, the southern states would withdraw from the Union. He thought he had worked too hard to build the country and then risk tearing it apart. In his private life, Washington could and did lead by example. In his will, he arranged for all of the slaves he owned to be freed after the death of his wife, Martha. He also left instructions for the continued care and education of some of his former slaves, support and training for all of the children until they came of age and continuing support for the elderly.

In 1792,...
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