George Washington

Picture of George Washington

Date of Birth: 02/22/1732

Age: 67

Place of birth: Bridges Creek

Citizenship: United States


George Washington stands at the origins of American national history. It is largely involved in all initiatives that boosted the conversion of the thirteen colonies into a union of sovereign republics and then the first modern federal state. In Virginia in the Continental Congress, he belonged to those who are decisively opposed British colonial policy. As commander in chief of US forces organized and led the military resistance that after eight years of war led to independence. Convinced of the need for a strong central government was in 1787 - 88 years. the development and adoption of a new constitution, as well as president of the republic has created a basis for a federal state in which the Americans were able to find their national agreement.

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in the family, the fourth generation which lived in Virginia. His ascension to the colonial elite was by no means preordained since childhood and youth were spent in humble circumstances, received a surface schooling and lost his father Augustine, the owner of the tobacco plantations and land surveyor, in the age of eleven. His half-brother Lawrence raised, after whose death he inherited in 1752 Mount Vernon estate near Alexandria on the Potomac River. Internal uncertainty which has arisen as a result of a lack of formal education and cultivated manners, sometimes manifested itself in excessive desire for public recognition, and only gradually gave way to a confident demeanor. In its neighbor Feafekse Lord, who belonged to the most wealthy landowners of Virginia, Washington has found an influential mentor. Feafeks introduced him to a lifestyle gentry and supported the first steps towards a career public officer and surveyor.

Activities surveyor awakened interest in Washington to western areas. Throughout his life he tried to acquire land in the West and increase their ownership. Washington seemed to be created for the officer`s career, as already unusual growth and physical strength have stressed the nature of the authority. The colonel of the Virginia militia, he was involved in the 1754-55 biennium. on the territory of today`s Pittsburgh in the first fighting the French and Indian War. Although it was more about the clashes with inglorious outcome, this "baptism of fire" established his reputation as a military leader. The fact that he had to yield to the British officers of regular troops and his militia in the end of the war was only used to protect the borders, it caused him latent hostility to the metropolis, which he never managed to overcome.

Immediately after leaving military service in Washington January 1759 married Martha Dandridge Custis, a widow and mother of two children, which had a considerable fortune, and 150 slaves. But now Washington, who in the meantime was a member of parliament of Virginia, could be added to the planter aristocracy of the colony. In the subsequent time of his Mount Vernon estate became one of the informal centers of this elite layer that high epic serving the common good put together with such carefree pleasures as hunting, horse racing, dancing, and playing cards. Washington, however, intensively farmed and experimenting with new methods of cultivation of the land and breeding. He pitched his land a few plantations, tobacco gradually replaced by wheat and strove to ensure the very broad. He did not have their children, so caring, he took over his father`s role in the upbringing of her son and daughter Martha from her first marriage.

In the world of Washington and the political philosophy influenced the English opposition or agrarian literature beginning of the XVIII century, especially Vis-pin Bolingbrook, which contrasted fussy and corrupt activities of the court and the government patriotic ideal king. No less a figure attracted Washington`s Cato Jr., which he had learned from Joseph Addison`s play and is considered the totality of all the Roman virtues. These samples he tried to fit in public and private life, up to the classical style of speech and dignified gestures and facial expressions. Self-control, strict control of emotions and disciplined behavior were his outstanding qualities, under which less emerged the initial spontaneity. The conservative and prudent in temperament, moderately religious, without a deep interest in theological issues, but it is constantly ready to accept new ideas and thoughts, he combined the virtues Anglican past with the progressive consciousness of the Enlightenment. Fully in the spirit of agrarian ideology Washington knew the British imperial policy after 1763 as well as a targeted attack on the "old right" immigrants, which, if it is not firmly resisted, will lead to the complete elimination of the colonial government. Leaders in this struggle must take elite, supposedly one is able to rise to the common good above private, material interests and that people should meet with the proper respect. Based on this fundamental point of view, Washington categorically rejected the British tax laws and claims of sovereignty. In Virgin parliament and in the first Continental Congress in Philadelphia, which appeared in September 1774 in full form, he was an early proponent of armed resistance to the British.

After the battles at Lexington and Concord in April 1775, Washington was unanimously elected the Second Continental Congress in chief of the American armed forces. This was not only a manifestation of confidence in him as a military leader, but behind it the intention to mobilize the appointment Virginian South to support the New England colonies, which were under immediate threat. July 3, 1775 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Washington took command of the troops, who surrounded the British-occupied Boston. In March 1776, it was able to liberate the city, but, according to the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the thirteen American states have experienced a series of setbacks forced. Until 1778, when the alliance with France decisively strengthened the position of the rebels, Washington`s main merit was that it managed to keep its soldiers and escaped a crushing defeat in the fight against the better-trained and professionally led by the British Army. Thanks to the tactics of waiting and delaying and irregular and unexpected attacks, he compensated for the initial error, and gradually re-took the initiative in their hands. Respect and love of subordinates won the rigid discipline and tireless performances in the interests of the officers and soldiers. He became a pole of peace in the resistance, because even in the most difficult conditions, such as in the winter camp at Valley Forge 1777- 7`8 years., Was able to inspire confidence in the victory.

During the war, the biggest problem was Washington`s weapons and military supplies. Often he felt abandoned by Congress confederations, founded in 1777 on the basis of the Articles of Confederation, and the governments of the individual states. Despite these disappointments and intrigues that trailed against him in Congress, Washington has never challenged the primacy of civilian leadership. All political issues he has provided to Congress and to make important military decisions only after a detailed discussion with trusted people, which primarily belonged to Alexander Hamilton of New York and the French Marquis de Lafayette. His belief that no guerrilla tactics, and only victory in a normal battle will be able to force the British surrender, confirmed finally at Yorktown in Virginia. Thanks to a well-coordinated action with the French Army and Navy, he has made 19 October 1781 with the surrender of General Cornwallis 7000 British soldiers. This has opened the way to negotiations, which two years later led to the formal conclusion of peace and the international legal recognition of American independence.

After Yorktown in community officers, who feared that indecisive Congress may deprive them of their wages for the service, there was a secret desire to make the Chief of the dictator or king. Personal appeal to the officer corps in March 1783, Washington has restored discipline and again defiantly enshrined the principle of subordination of the military leadership political. Before December 23, 1783 in Annapolis solemnly command to return to Congress, he sent a circular letter to the governments of individual states, which contained the sum of his experiences during the war and political testament. In this circular letter, he advocated to strengthen the powers and authority of the central government, otherwise the Union will soon disintegrate. This is a "national vision" has not found favor with the mutual giving the tone of the Radical Republicans who favored a loose confederation of sovereign states. They were also shocked that Washington was elected president of the Society of the Cincinnati, fraternity officer, reminding European aristocratic society.

From Mount Vernon, where hospitably welcomed at any time, with the growing concern of Washington was watching the political events, which seemed to confirm his fears of collapse "republican experiment." When farmers in western Massachusetts in the autumn of 1786 revolted under the leadership of Daniel Shays Boston against the government, he predicted a slide into chaos and called her numerous correspondents for vigorous response. Being impressed by the Shays rebellion, he was unable in the spring of 1787 to waive the requirement to take over the chairmanship of the Constitutional Convention, which was to eliminate the disadvantages of the Articles of Confederation. He long hesitated whether to put him on the map for the sake of his reputation concept with an unknown outcome, but then came back out of retirement and led the negotiations in Philadelphia, where from May to September 1787 a completely new constitution was developed. Although he rarely took the floor in the convention, Washington had no doubt that on the side of "Nationalist", led by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, who wanted to strengthen the central government at the expense of the sovereignty of states. Like Hamilton, he admired the principle of "mixed" constitution on the English model, which provided a vibrant pursuit of national interests. Therefore, he had some doubts about the preferred by the majority of the convention rather strict separation of powers between the Union and the individual states, and between the three branches of the federal government. However, he believed the discussion best under the given conditions. After the project had been signed, he strongly advocated during the debate on the ratification of the backroom, which lasted months, with the adoption of the constitution. Federalists, as they called themselves supporters of ratification, tried, skillfully using a high Washington`s authority to obtain approval of the population, which was not at all guaranteed. The celebrations dedicated to the Constitution, 1788, Washington everywhere symbolically represented as the navigator of the new "ship of state" that was equal to public approval of his choice for president.

Washington did not take part in the election campaign, and waited in Mount Vernon, where he summoned his compatriots. The members of the election board, selected in the States in early January 1789, unanimously voted on February 4 for Washington as the President. The second largest number of votes won novoanglichanin John Adams, who was chosen vice-president. Washington again hesitated, because it is well aware of the brunt of the problem and was afraid that his consent may be interpreted as evidence of excessive ambition. Eventually he agreed, noting that the vote of confidence of the people did not leave him "practical alternative". The trip from Mount Washington Vernoya the residence of Congress in New York was like a triumphal procession, which demonstrated that the population has more trust in him as a person, what else untried constitution. April 30, 1789 the first United States president was inaugurated in Manhattan. In his brief acceptance speech touched on Washington for an important religious and political consciousness of Americans subject, openly declaring that the "invisible hand of the Almighty" guided the destiny of the United States; the future of the Republican system of government depends profoundly and, ultimately, from the results of the experiment, "which has been embedded into the hands of the American people."

Major Washington goal was to ensure the survival of self-government in permeated absolutism and despotism the world, filled with life and letters of the constitution at the outset to establish a new system of government on the "true principles". For this purpose, he wanted to make full use of constitutional possibilities offered by the president of the institute. He knew that being the first to hold the position, can give a very blurry picture presidency sharp contours and that the decision to establish the scale and create precedents. It started with the distribution of administrative posts at the same time it takes into account both the interests of individual regions and tried to link the various political and ideological direction. Following the pattern of his military council, he surrounded himself with brilliant intelligence officers who were supposed to be not only just the executive. From his ministers Alexander Hamilton (Finance), Thomas Jefferson (international affairs), Henry Knox (military affairs) and Edmund Randolph (justice) it is expected beyond their respective competence more advice and support that has led to an unintended constitution cabinet. He got to the ministers and officials were responsible only to him and to allow for their dismissal - differently than when they are appointed - he did not need the consent of the Senate. His idea of ??a single and united actions of the federal government, which was understood as the defender of the common good of the union, it would be carried out in close cooperation with the Congress. In this respect, it was good for what Federalists - according to Washington, friends of the government - in the first federal election years 1788-89. won a majority in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, and that James Madison became a close confidant of Speaker of the House. It is very sparingly used his right of veto, as based on the fact that it can reject laws, because it considers them contrary to the constitution, and not because he does not like the content. Washington himself gave his annual message to Congress, a practice that in the XIX century and was abolished only when President Woodrow Wilson revived. The boundaries of this cooperative, the unanimous government practices already knew Washington itself, where, for example, the Senate refused to conduct direct negotiations with it on the contract. Willy-nilly, Washington limited then written exchange of opinions, which, however, did not prevent him privately confide individual senators. Also the relationship with the Supreme Court, the head of the New Yorker whom Washington appointed John Jay, were not devoid of stiffness, because the president - as shown by his studies of the veto - took on the role of the interpreter and guardian of the constitution. Defiantly refusing to provide him with the requested legal opinion, the judge gave him to understand that he is dealing with an independent third governmental authority. Despite the challenges the limitations that are inevitable in a system of checks and balances, at least, the first period of stay in Washington as president was characterized by the highest degree of internal unity, which made possible the purposeful and vigorous government.

Unlike many republican theorists who distrust of government and, especially, to the central government considered valuable in itself, Washington is seen in a strong, vigorous action the federal government best guarantee of freedom and the security of citizens. So, clearly underlined Madison in Federalist newspaper federated member did not like him, because during the war he learned the state governments more as a disturbing factor. He respected their constitutional rights, but could not imagine "separation of powers" with them. On the other hand, Washington has realized the significance of the revolutionary principle of the sovereignty of the people and knew that he could establish the power of the federal government only on the consent of his countrymen. He understood the presidency as a symbol of national unity and as an instrument of formation is not yet established "the American character of the population. Tiring trip that he made as head of state in the first years of his tenure as president in various parts of the Union, served as strengthening the national consensus and the conquest of the citizens loyalty with respect to the federal government. However, he skillfully used his personal popularity and charisma to give the President of the Institute strong reputation. The pursuit of republican dignity defined public style of government, he had developed in New York and in the autumn of 1790, developed in Philadelphia. The weekly audience and gala dinners, in which Washington held a formal and somewhat stiff seriousness, should promote the impression that the Office of President of the political and social center of the nation. Even Martha Washington, which with its natural modesty little joy found in the representation must be had to contribute regularly morning receptions and tea parties. Although the ceremony was, in comparison with the pomp and etiquette of European courts, a very modest, there were critics castigate "presidential pump" as a violation of national mores. Even more, they took offense at Washington for what he allowed federalists organize official birthday celebration for him, and along with the July 4, installed a second national day on 22 February. Washington himself gave little importance to the cult of his person; but it gives it the right to his supporters because it took their veneration as a manifestation of loyalty to the new order.

Against the background of concerns about the authority of the central government and national unity should be considered Washington`s participation in the creation of capital provided for in the constitution. The decision to move the DC to the border between Maryland and Virginia, and to establish a federal city on the Potomac majority of Congress has met the southern states, which from the outset complained disadvantaged political and economic situation in the Union. Washington, of course, benefited from it personally, because I was one of the largest landowners in the region. He constantly traveled from Philadelphia to Georgetown, to influence the planning of the city, who in September 1791 was officially called the city of Washington. In his dreams about the future, he saw it as the metropolis of the American empire, stretching far to the west to the Mississippi, including areas that had hoped to learn via the shipping company Descendant taking it financially.

In the historiography of Washington it is often presented as the President, whose practical and political impact of the symbolic conceded that implemented plans of others, especially Hamilton, helped consolidate the federal government, but he is not its engine, and ultimately served only rostral figure. This opinion vyznat historians XIX

Century excessive glorification of Washington, in time has given way to a more positive assessment that Washington had a clear sound and surprisingly coherent overall concept, which purposefully embodied in practice. As president he was a "pragmatic prophet" who knew how to link the conservative-oriented society with modern republicanism economic beliefs, aimed at the freedom of the individual. First of all, he felt compelled to boost the integration of the American states in the new constitutional system. Office, headed by himself, took the "power center" Union.

The first period of stay in the Washington office was marked by a national economic and financial program of discussions that Hamilton introduced to Congress. The president almost did not interfere in the legislative work, but did not allow doubt that he shared the views of his secretary of Finance on the financial independence of the federal government from the state, to ensure public debt and a single monetary system. The core of Hamilton`s program was the creation of a national bank, which was supposed to manage public finances and provide investment capital for economic development. This led to the first significant disagreements on the constitution, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jefferson in his report to Washington challenged the right of the Congress to establish a bank. Hamilton argues in favor of the competence of the Congress should not be limited to the tasks clearly specified in the constitution. Moreover, Congress could rely on the issue of the bank in the constitution a clause necessary and appropriate, that gives him the right to wide, not explicit competence for the common good. When Washington joined a "broad interpretation" of the Constitution, and in February 1791 signed the Law on Banks, the success of the package of measures Hamilton was virtually assured. The financial legacy of the War of Independence had been settled, however, one-sided in favor of the wealthy, affluent community that gave rise to the Republican opposition. But the federal government has been due to duties and taxes on the importation, as well as the single currency as the dollar, a solid foundation on which, in spite of the burden of debt, could continue to develop. Washington supported the desire to encourage domestic manufacture of Hamilton to make the United States economically independent from Europe. At this point they are both far ahead of their time in order to successfully confront the agricultural interests and the interests of individual states.

Another great achievement was the Declaration of Rights (Bill of Rights), carried out through Madison and Congress added in 1791 in the form of the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Keeping the promise given during the debate on ratification, full compliance with Washington`s line, aimed at paralyzing the constitution critics and achieve broad constitutional consensus. Again and again, the president showed almost scrupulously respect its own constitution, suggesting that the most you can contribute to the development of constitutional consciousness on a national scale. In the initial phase of the French Revolution, he was hoping for deterrence and self-control people. His friend Lafayette, presented him with a symbolic gesture to gift the key to the Bastille, explaining in detail the constitution of the working value for the government and for the protection of the rule of demagogues and rabble.

Increasing concern in Washington vague attitude towards the Indians, who had sought protection from the oncoming immigrants in the southwest of the Spaniards, and the north-east of the British. The President has repeatedly advocated the fair treatment of the indigenous population, believed in his ability to assimilate and personally negotiated with the leaders. However, also spoke about the "Elimination", when his ideas about empire threatened the individual tribes. As commander in chief, he felt directly responsible for the defeats that are not armed and badly led American expeditionary forces suffered by the Indians in the Ohio Valley in 1790 and 1791, respectively. Therefore, he felt the pride and relief when General Anthony Wayne defeated a few years later allied northeastern Indian tribes on Lake Erie, and the United States were able to exercise their claim to sovereignty in the region of Ohio at the conclusion of peace in Greenville in 1795.

In his message to Congress, Washington was optimistic and emphasized the positive findings regularly made. In private life he was less sure, this depressed mood contributed to the aggravation of the political situation in Europe and, above all, the appearance at the end of first term as president stresses and cracks in their own government. Although Washington was trying to save the world of self-denial in his office, he is less able to overcome ideological differences between Jefferson and Hamilton, Glowing events in France. Agro-tuned equalization Foreign Minister further strengthens in opinion that Hamilton headed for the aristocracy or monarchy, and wants to use Washington as a sign. Madison Jefferson inspired to fight against these dangerous trends in the form of anonymous articles in the newspaper. In turn, Hamilton has accused opponents of intending to create in the United States, "the French circumstances." This concern is fully shared "not very busy" work of Vice President Adam. At the same time more and more manifest sectional differences, because Jefferson`s position is shared by many people in the southern states, while Hamilton and Adams found support primarily in New York and New England. In such circumstances it is not surprising that Washington sometimes with difficulty kept the proverbial composure and seriously doubted whether to put forward again as a candidate in the elections. Again, it took a lot of coaxing friends to convince him. For most of Washington, who felt it gradually melt strength, this assignment meant a real sacrifice, which could justify only threatens the collapse of the union. Its popularity has not diminished, and evidence of this is the unanimous approval of its members of the election board office at the turn of 1792-93 years.

In his second inaugural address, March 4, 1793 - a few weeks after the execution of Louis XVI - Washington promised to help to ensure that the constitutional form of governance has taken root "in the virgin soil of America." All tenure was marked by the war in Europe, which exacerbated conflicts in the internal US situation. In matters of foreign policy and diplomacy of Washington from the outset he retook the advantage of executive power to the legislative and left a large space for action. Now the required prudence and strong leadership, because the war forced to truly realize the Americans their delicate position: trade with the countries of the Caribbean and Europe will depend on the well-being of the British and French fleet. At the borders, not enough support for the troops, there have been conflicts with the Spaniards in the Mississippi Delta and the British in the Ohio Valley. Against this backdrop, Washington did not hesitate, announced August 22, 1793 United States neutrality, although the sympathy of the majority of his countrymen were on the side of the French "sister republic". At the same time he made it clear that the United States recognized the French revolutionary government and is considered a valid US-French alliance in 1778. At first, this was accepted by all the ministers, but in time to study more decayed. While Hamilton put on the British map, Jefferson leaned toward the French envoy`s wife strongly demanded that the support and through the president`s head appealed to the solidarity of Americans. Only Washington itself firmly and consistently adhered to the neutrality intended. In the end, Jefferson resigned from the post of foreign minister and began with Madison gather opposition to the forces that are perceived as "monarchical" subordinate England party.

Since an increasing number of British neutrality violations caused the danger of war with Britain, Washington sent John Jay in May 1794 as an Ambassador for Special Affairs in London - another precedent relied upon by many of his followers. While Jay negotiated in the English capital, the president faced a serious crisis in their own country. In the west of Pennsylvania and in some neighboring states, farmers refused to pay the tax on whiskey, which Congress passed as part of Hamilton`s financial program. Washington is not only afraid of the hard-won credibility of the federal government in tax matters, but also seemed to have seen the separatist aspirations in the western regions. Unlike Hamilton, insisting on a broad demonstration of military force, the president first exhaust all possibilities in the way of negotiations. Only when the strong resistance of the core was politically isolated, Washington, along with Hamilton went to .oktyabre 1794 led 3000th troops (on the way it has increased, thanks to the connection of the police state, to 13 000 people), of Philadelphia to the west. In view of the military set the so-called Whiskey Rebellion was over before this came to fighting. The leaders were sentenced to death but later pardoned and released by Washington. This was done to mitigate internal political ox tion caused by the enterprise, and to a greater extent the subsequent justification of Washington before Congress: in his speech of 19 November 1784 the President announced that the 30 democracies that have arisen between the modeled on the Jacobin clubs the United States, are responsible for the uprising and the threat of "indivisible union." The opposition, which called itself the Republican Party, I realized this attack as unacceptable interference in the internal policies and sharply criticized it. Thus, the concept of a politically balanced government in Washington almost suffered the collapse, as the president unilaterally dependent on the support of federalists are now and had to take this into account in the distribution of administrative positions. Thus, the administration increasingly assumed the character of federalist party government, which is dominated by the northern state policy. The most controversial officer, Alexander Hamilton, submitted in January 1795 to retire, but it only added to the feeling of loneliness in Washington.

A few months later, a dispute broke out over the agreement with Britain, which John Jay bargained in London. To keep the peace, ambassador at large on many points went against the British, for example in the definition of trafficking and in the regulation of some still open questions of the contract in 1783. When the Senate after the ratification of the Jay Treaty published in June 1795 broke out the storm of indignation that would sweep away the less powerful president than Washington, together with his government. Republicans have accused the government of subordination to the British and French allies treason. Even the Washington began to waver, but by mid-August has made the signing of the contract. His confidence, however, has gone so far that he began to suspect the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Randolph in collusion with the French. In fact, Randolph, who went immediately to resign, was the victim of intrigues, who could not see, and Washington itself. The dispute parties has acquired a sharp tone, and the president`s personality is increasingly becoming a target for hostile attacks Republican newspapermen, up to accusations that Washington regularly exceed your annual salary is 25 000 dollars and enriched at the expense of the state. In fact, the President paid from this amount not only to his secretary`s salary and all employees in the building, but also paying all the costs of travel and receptions. Washington consoled himself with the thought that this slander is the price for "unlimited benefits," which carries a free press.

In February 1796 the discussion about Jay`s treaty broke again, because the Republican majority in the House of Representatives refused to provide the necessary money for the execution of certain clauses of the contract. The requirement of Deputies, the president announced the entire diplomatic correspondence relating to the agreement, Washington declined, citing his executive privileges and a preliminary of informing