From Boy to President
JENNIFER R. BANKSTON
May 01, 2011
Many men are judged on their character, integrity and contributions they have made. There are many men that have made an impact on the early beginnings of this young country, the United States of America. Whether they were a general, inventor, writer or an artist, in some way and some form they have contributed to the culture we have today. George Washington was one of the most important ones in the shaping of the United States of America. As the first U. S president, the Continental Army commander and his roles in the government etched him as a major figure in American history. He commanded many battles that were significant in gaining our freedom from the British. He was also a politician that was involved in many of the laws that were put in place during and after British rule.
Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in Virginia. In those days many people did not believe such influential men were born in the Americas. (Weems 1962) “What! Buckskin (which Virginians were referred to in those days) George Washington to buckskin! Pshaw! Impossible! He was certainly a European: So great a man could never have been born in America”. (p6) Many well-to-do men that were leaders in those times were Europeans. They left Britain in order to pursue their dreams that could not be met while still living in Britain. To have a man from America our own kind was very rare to see. Washington was a true American that believed in this country as much as the settlers living in it. Washington’s father, the late Augustine Washington wanted his children to be educated and well rounded. Washington’s school years began in a humble old field school which was ran by one of his father’s tenants named Hobby. He had gone to several different schools, taught by many scholars during his childhood. It was not till his father’s passing when Washington decided to drop out of school. (Weems 1962) Many argue that Washington was a Latin scholar. It was not so. His last teacher, Mr. Williams was a scholar in the field of reading, spelling, English grammar, arithmetic, surveying, book-keeping and geography. Mr. Williams would always boast that he made Washington into a scholar of his likeness. (p20) They say that at the early age of eleven Washington would divide his classmates into opposing armies, the French and Americans. Little did he know that would be his destiny as an adult. Washington’s father always told him that a man should not be alone. He married his first wife Miss Danbridge who mothered two sons, Lawrence and Augustine. When he married Miss Danbridge, it sprung Washington to the top level of the Planters class. His first wife passed away leaving Washington to raise the boys by himself. He still believed that it was not good for a man to be alone so he remarried Miss Mary Ball, a young lady from one of the best families in Virginia. She mothered five children: four sons and a daughter.
(Ellis 2004) In 1769 Washington rose to the political scene by presenting a proposal calling for a colony wide boycott on European goods to include the slave trade. (p61) The proposal was written by George Mason who refused to leave the confines of Gunston Hall. By presenting that proposal, Washington’s public career was shaping up because now he was considered a leader in the Virginia’s planters class. Washington followed the proposal as he expected the colonists to do. When he sent out for goods to be bought he would only send out for a few new items, but he would leave it up to Cary and Company to decide what to include and exclude.
In 1774 Washington was once again in the political spotlight when parliament place legislation enacted the Intolerable Acts. Those acts shut down Boston’s port and martial law was imposed on Massachusetts because of the event known as the Boston Tea Party. (Ellis 2004)...
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