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Date of Birth
February 22, 1732
Date of Death
December 14, 1799
Place of Birth
Westmoreland County, Colony of Virginia, British America
Augustine Washington and Mary Ball Washington
Martha Dandridge Custis Washington
John Parke Custis (stepson), Martha Parke Custis (stepdaughter),
Eleanor Parke Custis Lewis (step-granddaughter, raised by Washington),
George Washington Park Custis (step-grandson raised by Washington)
Homeschooled by his father and eldest brother
Farmer, soldier, and First President of the United States
Reason for Fame
Besides being the first president of the United States, he was the commander of the
Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War from 1775 to 1783
Because of his significant role in the revolution and in the formation of the United States,
Washington is often referred to as “Father of His Country”
- George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. His father, Augustine Washington, owned mills and tobacco plantations, while his mother, Mary Ball, was a member of Virginia’s middle class.
- In 1735, Augustine, Mary, and their six children moved to Little Hunting Creek Plantation, later known as Mount Vernon.
- Young George learned geography, Math, Latin, and English classics through a schoolmaster. His acquaintance with plantation foremen taught him tobacco growing and surveying.
- At the age of 11, his sister-in-law, Anne Fairfax, taught him the aspects of colonial culture. By 1749, Washington was appointed as the official surveyor of Culpeper County.
- For the next two years, he surveyed the land in Culpeper, Augusta, and Frederick counties.
- In 1752, his brother, Lawrence, died of tuberculosis. Lawrence and Anne’s only child, Sarah, also died the same year. This event made Washington the sole heir of the vast estate, Mount Vernon.
Early Military and Political Career
- In the early 1750s, Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, Robert Dinwiddie, appointed Washington as the adjutant of the Virginia militia. By October 1753, Washington was sent to Fort LeBoeuf, now known as Waterford, Pennsylvania. The French refused to vacate the land claimed by Britain, which later started the French and Indian War.
- Washington was able to kill Commander Coulon de Jumonville at Fort Duquesne, but after the French counterattack, Washington surrendered.
- In 1755, Washington joined British General Edward Braddock’s army and was given the honorary rank of colonel. At the age of 23, he became the commander of all Virginia troops.
- Later in 1757, while protecting the frontier, Washington was sent home due to dysentery. A year later, he returned to duty and captured Fort Duquesne. In general, Washington’s experience during the war was frustrating due to unsupportive colonial legislature and poorly trained recruits.
- In December 1758, after his failed application for a commission with the British Army, Washington left the army and returned to Mount Vernon.
- After a month, he married a widow, Martha Dandridge Custis, with whom he adopted two children, John (who died during the Revolution) and Martha (who died before the Revolution). As a result of their marriage, Washington acquired considerable estates, making him one of the wealthiest landowners in Virginia.
- As a civilian, Washington spent much of his time attending the development of his landholdings. He personally managed the rotation of crops, livestock, and even the latest advancements in science. Washington owned over 100 slaves to keep his estates running.
- In 1758, he was elected to Virginia’s House of Burgesses. After the British Proclamation Act of 1763, the Stamp Act of 1765, and the Townshend Act of 1767, Washington introduced the boycott of British goods to Virginia’s House of Burgesses.
- In 1774, after the passage of the Intolerable Acts, he chaired a meeting convening the Continental Congress. By March 1775, he was selected as a delegate to the First Continental Congress.
- The political dispute between Britain and North American colonies resulted in the battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775. After a month, Washington attended the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia wearing his military uniform. On June 15, 1775, he was appointed as the Commander-in-Chief of the colonial forces against the British Army.
- By March 1776, Washington and his small army placed artillery on the Dorchester Heights above Boston. It was their first victory after the British withdrawal. In August of the same year, the British Army took New York and captured 2,800 men from the Continental Army. Washington retreated across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania.
- In the summer of 1777, General Howe’s army captured Philadelphia and defeated Washington at the Battle of Brandywine.
- On the other hand, the British army, led by John Burgoyne, was defeated at the Battle of Saratoga.
- The victory of American generals Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold encouraged the alliance of the French Army.
- During the winter of 1777, Washington and his 11,000 men suffered thousands of deaths due to disease but with the French alliance, Washington was able to attack British General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia.
- On October 19, 1781, Cornwallis surrendered his army. On the other hand, British troops still occupied New York City, Savannah, and Charleston. After a year, the French fleet departed the American colonies.
- After the battles, the Continental Army’s coffers were depleted, leaving soldiers unpaid. In order to avoid mutiny, Washington urged the Continental Congress to grant the soldiers a five-year bonus. Later in November, British troops evacuated the colonial cities and Americans gained their independence.
- On December 23, 1783, Washington resigned as the Commander-in-Chief of the army and returned to his home in Mount Vernon.
George Washington as the First President
- In 1786, because of the struggling young republic, Congress approved a convention to amend the Articles of Confederation. During the Constitutional Convention, George Washington was unanimously chosen as president. He was specifically supported by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton.
- In 1789, Washington became the only president in U.S. history who was unanimously elected by the Electoral College. He took his oath of office at Federal Hall, New York City.
- At first, Washington refused to accept his $25,000 salary as he wanted to portray himself as a selfless public servant. In order to avoid the image of only wealthy people being president, he accepted the salary.
- As the president, he appointed Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of Treasury, and Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State. He regularly consulted his cabinet members for decision-making.
- He was nicknamed American Cincinnatus and Father of the Nation. He was one of the Founding Fathers along with Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Monroe, and Alexander Hamilton.
- In 1789, the Judiciary Act was signed creating the U.S. court system of lower courts and the appeals system.
- On August 2, 1790, a census was conducted in the original 13 colonies plus the territories of Vermont, Maine, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
- In 1791, Washington subdued the Whiskey Rebellion ignited by the levied tax on distilled spirits. Enraged farmers in Carolina and Pennsylvania refused to pay taxes. During the same year, the First Bank of the United States was established in order to manage war debts and create a standard currency. Moreover, the Coinage Act was passed on
- April 2, 1792, enabling circulation of coinage for trade and commerce.
- On February 4, 1793, the Fugitive Slave Act was passed to give slave owners the right to retrieve escaped slaves.
- As a result, bounty hunters came out in force to catch and kidnap escaped slaves for rewards.
- In 1794, Washington sent John Jay to Britain to amend and secure peace. It was later known as the Jay Treaty.
- It was also during Washington’s presidency that agriculture started to become mechanized through inventions such as the cotton gin by Eli Whitney and the cotton mill by Samuel Slater.
- In the last months of his presidency, Washington pardoned the participants in the Whiskey Rebellion.
Retirement, Death, and Legacy
- Washington refused to run for a third term. In the spring of 1797, he returned to his home in Mount Vernon. He devoted his retirement years to managing his farms and landholdings. The largest whiskey distillery was owned by him.
- On December 14, 1799, at the age of 67, George Washington died after he caught a bad cold and throat infection. He was buried at Mount Vernon.
- Funerals and eulogies were conducted across the country. When the news about his death reached Europe, the British Navy lowered their flags to half-mast, while Napoleon offered ten days of mourning.
- In his will, Washington freed all his slaves upon the death of his wife.
- The present capital of the United States (Washington, D.C.) was named after him.
- George Washington holds the record for delivering the shortest inaugural address of any U.S. President. His second inaugural speech consisted of only 135 words.
- On October 31, 1941, Washington was included in the carved sculpture of U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln on Mount Rushmore.
- The third Monday of February is celebrated as Washington’s Day, also known as President’s Day.
This bundle includes 11 ready-to-use George Washington worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about George Washington who was the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He was also the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
This download includes the following worksheets:
- George Washington Facts
- American Cincinnatus
- Founding Fathers
- Virginian Presidents
- Linking Washington
- Mount Rushmore
- In the Name of Washington
- Places to Know
- What Do You Think?
- Call for Leadership
- President’s Day
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