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President George Washington

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President George Washington
3200 George Washington Memorial Parkway
Mount Vernon, Virginia 22121
Voice: 703-780-2000

The first president of the United States was George Washington. He was born on February 22nd, 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He grew up in Westmoreland where he received an early education.  Unfortunately, Washington’s father died in 1743, forcing Washington to move in with his half brother Lawrence in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

George Washington then became a surveyor. During his years as a surveyor, he measured Lord Fairfax’s lands in Shenandoah Valley. He also laid out the town of Belhaven, which is now known as Alexandria, Virginia. He became the official surveyor of Culpeper County. During this time, his half brother Lawrence became fatally sick and died, leaving Mount Vernon to George.

George Washington later joined the Virginia Militia. He was sent to deliver a message to the French telling them to stop settling on land claimed by the British. This dispute between the British and the French became the French and Indian War. After several battles, George Washington became a Colonel and leader of the Virginia Militia. In 1758, he left the army and became a politician.

The British started to tax the colonists in order to pay for the French and Indian War, which had become expensive. The colonists were angered by these taxes. In Boston, the colonists had revolted, throwing a shipment of expensive tea from England into the Boston Harbor. An event that later became known has the Boston Tea Party.

The Revolutionary War broke out. The Continental Army was formed, and George Washington was elected Commander-in-Chief. In 1776, the colonists declared independence from the British, forming the Declaration of Independence. After several long battles lead by the brilliant planning of George Washington, and help from the French a little later on in the war, he led the Continental Army to victory.

After the long war, the US Constitution was written in 1787, which stated how the legal system worked through three branches of the government, the Executive, Legislative, and the Judicial. The idea was ratified in 1788, and put into action in 1789.

In 1789, the American citizens voted, for the first time, for who their president would be. The vote was unanimous, George Washington became the first president, and John Adams became the first Vice President.

George Washington was president for two terms, after which he resigned from office, stating that anyone who was president for three terms would give them too much power. He retired on Mount Vernon.

On December 12, 1799, George Washington was inspecting his farms in the cold and snow, which soon turned into hail and freezing rain. He didn’t change out of his soaking wet clothes when he retuned to dine, and the next morning, he awoke with a bad cold, fever, and a throat infection. This illness eventually turned into laryngitis and pneumonia. George Washington died on December 14, 1799.



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