George Washington as a Leader of the Nation and the Us First President
There can be an argument made that George Washington is potentially the most influential person in the entire history of the United States. His name is all over our country’s history and in many monuments and museums. No matter how many times Washington lost, he always came back and continued to fight until he eventually won. There are many reasons why he could be considered the most important figure in U.S. history. He led the U.S. against the British during the Revolutionary War and defeated them under insurmountable odds. His determination and bravery is the main reason why the U.S. survived during the terrible winter at Valley Forge. His fighting strategies slowly tore the British apart until the colonists defeated them and became the United States of America. He was there during key events like signing the Declaration of Independence, helping to create the first constitution at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, and becoming the first president of the United States. George Washington was also a very smart and persuasive speaker. Many of the points he made are still prevalent in our society to this day. His persuasive speaking helped him to get a large backing from the colonists which helped spark the beginning of the resistance against the British and the American Revolution. His personality traits also helped to build him into a very good leader. He was brave, tactical, determined, and hardworking. Without George Washington, the United States of America may not exist and we would still be part of Great Britain. All of these reasons show why George Washington was one of the most influential characters in all of U.S. history.
George Washington began his military career as the adjutant for a group of militia in Virginia. His first job as an adjutant was to warn a group of French troops coming up to the Ohio River that they were about to pass into Virginia territory in 1753. Washington came back with the message that the French wanted to take over the part of Virginia. The French didn’t listen to Washington’s message, so Washington went into the wilderness with only a small number of men in 1753 to push the Frenchmen back. On the way, Washington befriended a Native American chieftain in the area named Halfking. This was something that Washington did often, and it helped a lot because Halfking took them on hidden paths to the French fort. Washington returned to Governor Dewiddle of Virginia with a map of the areas that he and his army had traveled with Halfking. Washington had to face a lot of hardships during his trip including icy conditions, almost drowning in an icy river, and hostile Native Americans. Washington did such a good job that Dewiddle actually promoted him to lieutenant colonel. This was the first battle in Washington’s career as a military general and it showed that he was on the road to becoming an expert strategist and a great war general. The message that the colonists got back from the French was alarming because they wanted to take part in Virginia. The governor trusted Washington enough to give him several hundred soldiers to command to keep the French out of Virginia. Throughout the war, Washington defined himself as an outstanding general and strategist that had the potential to do great things for the colonies.
Washington participated in the first battle of the colonial wars. The governor sent Washington to Fort Duquesne with another, more aggressive, message telling the French to leave. When the French said no, Washington brought up a small militia of men and they were defeated by the larger French army. To combat this, Washington built Fort Necessity, which was a few miles away from the French base. As Fort Necessity was being built, the French attacked. The men at the fort had little food and supplies and were not well prepared for the attack. About one-third of the Virginians died that day and Washington had to surrender to the French. Washington thought the main reason why they lost was because of the contrasting fighting styles. The British had on bright red uniforms and marched in lines while they fought. The French and Native Americans fought in more of a guerilla-style of warfare, hiding in the wilderness and never coming out into the open. Washington would later use this tactic in the Revolutionary War against the British army.
Throughout the war, George Washington continued to get promoted. In the Battle of Monongahela, Washington tried to convince Major General Braddock that they should leave behind heavy equipment such as cannons so that they could travel faster as a unit. Braddock didn’t agree because he thought they needed firepower to defeat the French. Washington was proven right when the French ambushed Braddock’s army. When Braddock was wounded, Washington had to command the army. Two of his horses got shot, so he commanded the army on foot and eventually retreated with the army that he had left. After the battle, due to his level-headed command, focus, and bravery, he was promoted to Colonel. These battles helped to shape Washington’s strategies and will to fight for years to come.
Washington began to serve on the House of Burgesses in 1765. Along with the colonists, he protested the high taxes on highly-priced English products that weren’t even well-made. Washington also had a hate for the British because they had treated the colonists in past battles as well as in daily life. This lead to Washington signing the Declaration of Independence and preparing for the war for independence with the British. Throughout this war, Washington and his men lost a lot of battles and went through many hardships. However, Washington’s will to win independence pushed him and his army to continue to come back and fight and eventually win the war for independence.
The first battle that Washington truly participated in during the Revolutionary War was the Battle of Long Island. Britain’s goal was to split the southern and northern colonies so supplies couldn’t be transferred between them. This meant that the British were going to try to take New York Harbor. Washington made a big mistake and split his army into two, with half of his army staying and half of his army moving to Long Island. On August 22, 1776, the British began to bomb Long Island, and Washington and his 9,500 soldiers were stuck with nowhere to go. While this was going on, General William Howe and his 32,000 soldiers were landing in Long Island. Even though they were there, Howe wanted to wait till morning to attack the Americans, so Washington had a risky and desperate plan to escape. Washington was trying to get all 9,500 soldiers to row across the channel so they could get to safety and live to fight another day. They had only gotten about half of the soldiers across by morning, but fog fell over Long Island until the last boat of soldiers had crossed the channel. American soldiers wrote in journals that it was by the “Hand of God” that they all got across the channel safely and escaped from the British. Even though this first battle was a tough loss, but they were able to recover and move forward.
The first couple of years of the war were very tough for the colonists, with the British winning almost every battle and the colonists having to retreat or surrender. A huge threat to the end of the war for independence was the colonial soldiers’ morale. Washington knew that this could end the war very quickly, so he devised a plan to where the colonial soldiers could defeat the British in a battle and give them morale as well as confidence in the war effort. Washington knew that the British had hired German soldiers called Hessians to help defeat the colonists. They had set up their fort in Trenton, New Jersey. Washington’s plan was to launch a surprise invasion of the fort on the day after Christmas while they were sleeping after their Christmas celebrations. On Christmas night, Washington and his soldiers marched over 40 miles to Trenton and attacked the Hessians. The Hessians tried to fight back, but the surprise attack from the Americans was too much for them. The Americans won the battle convincingly, capturing about 900 Hessians. This battle gave the American soldiers a boost in morale, confidence, and determination to continue the war and keep fighting for independence from the British. It also made people who had left the army re-enlist and join in on the war effort. This victory was a huge step towards America’s journey for independence.
After this high point came one of the lowest points in the entire Revolutionary War for the American soldiers, which was the winter at Valley Forge. At first, all they had at Valley Forge were tents, so Washington ordered his soldiers to build cabins so that the winter was a little bit more manageable. The soldiers were losing a lot of morale being in the cold, but Washington kept the soldiers focused on staying alive and getting through the winter so the battle can continue. Even at the darkest points during the winter when they barely had any food, water, and supplies. Washington continued to not give up and push his soldiers to survive and get through the winter. His encouragement got his soldiers through the winter and they continued to fight the war for independence.
After the Americans won a few more battles during the next few years of the war, the French decided to join the revolution and help the colonists. The colonial army also saw a massive increase in recruits because of those few victories as well. The last major battle of the Revolutionary War was one that Washington had a large part in. In the Battle of Yorktown, General Cornwallis of the British army made the mistake of putting himself and 8000 British soldiers in a terrible position. French General Marquis de Lafayette noticed that the British army could be surrounded and taken over relatively easily based on Cornwallis’ position. Washington’s army headed to join Lafayette’s army and they worked together to attack the British army. When Cornwallis and his army tried to retreat with the British navy, they found that the British navy had actually been defeated by the French navy. This is when General Cornwallis surrendered to the Americans and the war for independence had ended.
After the Revolutionary War was over, Washington decided that he was going to return to public service, even though he wanted to live in peace up at his home in Mount Vernon. The first major public service position Washington held after the war was being the president of the Constitutional Convention. In 1780, the first president of the United States was elected. Every state voted for the two candidates they wanted to be elected, and George Washington was on every states’ ballot. This made George Washington the very first president of the United States and John Adams the vice president since he had the second-most votes. Washington knew that his presidency was going to be a very important one since he knew that every decision that he made would be looked at and used by other presidents for many years to come. This fact made Washington’s administration one that had a lot of caution, precision, and judgment before they made any important decisions. They were aware that their decisions carried a lot of prevalence for the future of the United States of America. Washington wanted to stay away from political parties and he made sure of this by touring the Northern states and the Southern states. Washington also showed this by giving both political parties an even footing in his cabinet. He leaned on one person in his cabinet more than the others, and that was Alexander Hamilton. Washington took more of his nationalist view of having a Bank of the United States and favored a stronger federal government. Jefferson thought that the states should have more power than the federal government, so Washington spent his presidency trying to keep peace within his cabinet between the differing views of Hamilton and Jefferson. When it came to foreign affairs, Washington also took Hamilton’s view and said that the United States needs to stay neutral to keep the county’s national identity and stay out of foreign affairs. Jefferson departed in 1793, and they left one good term which was something that Washington thought was very important.
Washington continued to encourage national power with the stopping of the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794 with federal troops. This act was important because it showed that people could not mess with the federal government and people needed to follow the rules of the Constitution in the country. Washington’s neutral approach to foreign policy also helped the United States massively with Jay’s Treaty in August 1795. This treaty let the United States trade with Great Britain only a decade after the Revolutionary War. This helped the United States begin to grow economically as a country.
Washington had done a good job in his two terms as the first president of the United States and many people wanted him to serve a third term as president. However, Washington declined and his decision influenced the decision about presidents only being able to serve two terms in the future. Washinton’s created a Farewell Address that set precedents for the future of the United States and the direction that he thought that the country should be headed after his presidency and for many years to come. Washington talked about how the North and South were under the same laws and were there to help each other. He talked about how the South benefitted from the North economically, and the North benefited from the South economically to unify the country and make sure the country was together before he left office. Washington also emphasized staying out of foreign affairs when he said, “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.” Another thing that Washington emphasized in his Farewell Address was to not have political parties. This is shown when he said, “There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged.” These two points are ones that have been thought about for many generations and still hold prevalence to this day.
Throughout his presidency and his military career, George Washington made an impact that has lasted for centuries in the United States and the entire world. He faced many hardships and challenges throughout his time as a military leader and political leader that shaped how he acted and how our country works to this day. From the Colonial Wars and the Revolutionary War to Washington’s two terms as the first president of the United States, along with his determination, bravery, confidence, and leadership helped the United States win these wars and eventually become the great nation that it is today. The main points that he made in his Inaugural Address about not getting involved in foreign affairs and not having political parties still hold prevalence today because we are running into problems with both of these points as a country. Overall, George Washington helped shape the country and will continue to impact the way it is today and how it will be for many generations to come.
George Washington’s Way to the Us Presidency
“Since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained: And since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” This quote is an excerpt from Washington’s First Inaugural Address on April 30, 1789. In the address, Washington told the people of the new country that he is going to make sure that they have their natural rights and a republican model of government. A republican government is where the powers of sovereignty are entrusted in the people and are exercised by the people. George Washington shaped out the government to be what it is today. In people’s opinions, he is one of, if not the most, important president of the United States. What did he do to get this earnest reputation? This paper will uncover most of the first president’s life and accomplishments.
Not a lot is known about Washington’s early life. George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland Country, Virginia to Augustine and Mary Washington. He had five blood-related siblings and four half-siblings. George’s dad died when he was only 11 and he inherited property in Fredericksburg. “George was required to take on the responsibility of running the family farm after his father’s death. This responsibility was thrust upon George largely by the will of his mother”. Since he was so young, his mother helped him until he was old enough.
Washington was scorned for his lack of education by the other Founding Fathers. He did not have the formal education that his elder brothers acquired, but he did learn surveying, mathematics, and trigonometry. His mom would not let him get a formal education because she wanted him to take care of the land. Later in life, Washington’s writings revealed that he was upset about his lack of education but his experience in the army helped him develop his confidence. “These experiences fostered leadership skills that offset his lack of classical education, enabling him to interact successfully with men of greater education and worldly experience’.
George Washington’s step-brother, Lawrence, made military his new passion. He would watch Lawrence train with the British Navy with excitement. Washington studied fencing and military science with the help of his brother. Washington’s official career in the military began in 1752 when Governor Dinwiddie appointed him as a district adjutant of the militia with the rank of major. The governor acknowledged that George Washington was successful, loyal, and brave. Around this time, the English and French were both adamant about gaining the Mississippi River Valley. The governor sent Major Washington with a letter to the French commander in an attempt to avoid military conflict. After his success, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on March 15, 1754. Washington was now in charge of over one hundred soldiers and was sent back to keep the French out of their colonies.
Washington fought for four years against the French and the Indians. He was promoted once more and captured Fort Duquesne. Washington grew to dislike the actions of British officers during his years of service in the British militia. He didn’t like their arrogant attitudes and ignorant thinking. Washington resigned his militia commission at the end of the war and came back to Mount Vernon.
Over the next few years, Washington started opposing British laws like the 1765 Stamp Act. He even organized a boycott because of the Townshend Acts. “With the introduction of the Intolerable Acts following the 1774 Boston Tea Party, Washington commented that the legislation was an invasion of our rights and privileges”. To come up with a plan for these problems, the colonies decided to hold the First Continental Congress. Washington was elected as a delegate for Virginia. With the Battles of Lexington and Concord taking place in 1775, the American Revolution was starting to take place.
In the Second Continental Congress meetings, the delegates were planning for the Revolutionary War. They agreed to create the Continental Army. The delegates appointed Washington as the supreme commander. George Washington’s many qualities made him a great general and commander-in-chief. Washington was a great planner, he took care of the specifics, and made his soldiers discipline him. He was also ready to support his army by standing at the front lines. The first task he had was to go to Cambridge, Massachusetts where he found a disorganized army with little to no supplies. He worked to organize the men and to improve the fort in Boston.
Recognizing that the next British objective would likely be New York, in 1776 Washington moved south. Washington was flanked and forced from the city at Long Island. After the loss, to raise spirits, Washington conducted a risky attack on Trenton on Christmas night. His gambit paid off because he succeeded and started reconstructing the army. After he finished building the army up, he lost the Battle of Brandywine and ended up in a draw at the Battle of Monmouth. The commander was slowly moving to victory and this proved correct. “Joined by French forces in 1781, Washington moved south and besieged Lieutenant General Lord Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown. Receiving the British surrender on October 19, the battle effectively ended the war”. The document that confirmed the end of the war was the Treaty of Paris. The treaty was signed on September 3, 1783, and stated that Great Britain has to recognize the Thirteen Colonies to be sovereign, free, and independent states. Another important document George Washington was a part of is the Constitution.
Washington was interested not only in military matters but also in government issues. As the newly independent colonies began making progress toward becoming a self-governing nation, the Continental Congress organized a Continental Convention to meet in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in order to draft a permanent constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation. When Washington was chosen as a delegate to the Convention by the Virginia legislature, he declined. Only several prominent individuals ‘ constant pressure convinced him that his presence was essential. At the Convention, Washington was expected to be elected as the convention president and he was. During the debates, Washington was usually really quiet. While federalists were inclined to use the image of Washington as assistance for ratification of the Constitution, the public wanted to know what he thought of the Philadelphia proceedings. True to himself, he didn’t say a lot. Furthermore, once the final draft of the new Constitution was completed, many of the votes cast for it were due to Washington’s lobbying on behalf of the governing document. Finally, the new Constitution was ratified not only by the majority of the members of the Constitutional Convention but also by all thirteen States supported it.
There is no question that the crucial role of George Washington in the Constitutional Convention resulted in his unanimous election as the first president of the newly formed United States of America.
George Washington: My Favorite Public Figure and President
George Washington is my favorite historical figure because he is larger than life and almost mythical in many ways. He is well-known for many different stories about his character, strength, and perseverance. These stories speak about how he was viewed during his lifetime and even after his death. He is regarded as the “father
of our country” because of his statesmanship and leadership ability. Our country is not a monarchy because of his beliefs and stands. He addressed the issue of slavery in his own home, Mount Vernon, in a unique and caring way. At the time of his death, abolition was not highly regarded by many politicians and although Washington did not profess to be an abolitionist, his actions and statements about slavery show his desire to end the practice of slavery.
George Washington was famous for many different feats in his lifetime. One story is told that as a boy, he chopped down a cherry tree with his hatchet (Weems 1965). The author used this story to talk about the character of Washington. Washington was a very honest man. Another story that he is renowned for is throwing a silver dollar across the Potomac River (Weems 1965). The author used this story to show how strong Washington was. The Potomac River is more than three miles across so this story is probably a myth. The third story that he is famous for is his wooden teeth (Weems 1965). Although it is possible to make wooden teeth, the medical community actually used different things to make teeth. Teeth were made of animal teeth or other materials such as ivory.
Another reason that Washington is my favorite historical figure is that he is considered “the father of our country”. He was the commander in chief of the Continental Army. Washington was the person responsible for many battles that resulted in our country being formed. He helped fight the Revolutionary War that resulted in the United States becoming a nation. He was the first president of the United States. People in the United States wanted a president who was well known. As a result, he was unanimously elected twice.
In history, presidents are judged by what they accomplish in the first hundred days of their presidency. He was a great statesman based on what he accomplished during the first hundred days of his presidency. Washington consulted Congress about different issues and gave legitimacy to the office of the president. Washington wrote many letters to different branches of the government and also to the Cherokee people (Mount Vernon, 2017).
George Washington saw slavery as something that needed to be ended and did his part to free the slaves. He inherited the slaves that were housed in Mount Vernon. His father left him ten slaves in his will when Washington was only eleven years old. He purchased at least eight more slaves during his lifetime. He changed his mind about slavery and wanted to end the slave trade and free the people who were enslaved. Some sources cited that he used harsh punishment against his slaves (Mount Vernon, 2017). Other sources cited that he was more humane than the common slaveholder in Virginia. He freed all the slaves that he owned in his will ( Mount Vernon, 2017). He could only free the slaves that he owned outright, 118 individuals. He was unable to free the slaves that Martha Washington owned from her previous marriage because he did not own them outright; however, in his will, he stipulated that elderly enslaved people and children without parents were to be supported by his estate for the rest of their lives.
George Washington is truly an amazing man. There are many stories that relegate his status to heroic and mythical. These stories were told to show how outstanding his character was. He was “the father of our country”. He served our country as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, as the first president of The United States, and as a statesman. This wonderful man found a way to help the slaves that he inherited and used the abilities that he had to bring about the slave trade. Inmany ways, George Washington was a great statesman, a man of integrity, and a man of compassion. He is by far my favorite historical figure.
Political Parties & Political Climate in America
Releasing the Elephant and the Donkey
“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” – George Washington, Farewell Address.
Partisanship within the United States has created a visor of biased allegiance to two political parties: The liberal Democrat, or the conservative Republican. Because of the differences in values and policies these groups hold, be it not allowing people of different sexual orientation to marry, or deciding what to do about an unborn child, the United States has always been at war with itself ever since. The political climate in America is only a breeding ground for hatred of difference and absence of camaraderie in deciding the future of its own people.
With the tension so present, it has become easier for politicians and the like to become increasingly astute in manipulating this nationwide division to assist in determining elections, whether a policy gets enforced, those that determine the leader of the free world, and ultimately, our political freedom; A fear even the father of the country had expressed. Since political parties have become these detrimental devices that are ever so closer in producing a black and white society, it is necessary to jettison the nation of them as a whole.
Political parties have existed within the United States as early as a year after the nation claimed its independence. Many historical and political pundits typically identify six eras of party systems within the United States (Horger.) Initially, the two groups were the Federalists, and the Jeffersonian Republicans, and had both emerged as the core economic values of the Washington administration, providing methods of chartering the first national bank, which had created opposition in the South and mid-Atlantic (Horger.) Despite implicit bias, the Jeffersonians at the time did not consider themselves a party and saw their own as political servants who saw Jeffersonians as an obstruction faction (Horger.).
Jeffersonians had expressed their own contempt towards the Federalists, reducing them as cynical aristocrats and figures who only wanted to destroy American Liberty (Horger.) The two sides held the belief that the Republican American experiment was threatened by the fact that an opposing faction even existed, regardless of their differences, much like in modern politics now. Another strong factor is that these new identities were nothing more than embodiments of labels, in which those who voted saw economic beliefs overlap significantly with their own biases, an occurrence that would repeat itself to the present day.
The Second party system consisted of the Jacksonian Democrats, and the Whigs, again both groups were created out of national disagreement in regard to a strong executive (Horger.) However in this political era there were two significant differences than the first. Around the 1830s most states had gotten rid of economic voting tests, which in turn allowed more citizens to vote and so the voter turnout had increased exponentially (Horger.) Because women still could not vote, the nation’s politics were very much literally defined as being a white adult man, in which partisanship became strongly linked to masculinity (Horger.).
It is evident that the two-party system in the U.S. has shifted from what it originally was in 1792, yet the binary conflict remained and became deeply embedded in the nation. It was not until 1932 that the nation would move closer to its current era political system. The fifth party system, in which the Democrats had been saved by the great depression, was distinguished by Franklin Roosevelt’s unprecedented interventions as a response to the economic crisis (Horger.) It is unknown by many historians when the sixth political party system was initially conceived, but the shift was most prominent in 1964 when the Democrats committed to civil rights (Horger.)
Many had supported this legislation in the region than the party itself, as many northern republicans had supported it (Horger.) However, after arch-conservative Barry Goldwater, a Senator from Arizona, had voted against the Civil rights act and captured the Republican Presidential nomination, the southern conservative whites had started to move out of the Democratic party (Horger.) Goldwater lost horribly but had gained significant traction in the south. African-Americans had voted for Lyndon Johnson 9 to 1, and had voted Democratic ever since (Horger.) The political shift in the United States was obviously not an instantaneous one, however after the 1960s, the nation had inevitably remodeled itself and its parties into the current Conservative Republican and Liberal Democrat.
Since party systems were constantly established and assessed throughout the nation’s history, it became more apparent that party identification was a core factor in electoral behavior. Author and Political Scientist, Russell Dalton, reports that “Party Identification is an early-socialized, enduring, affective, psychological identification with a specific political party.” Political parties are typically inherited and passed on by previous generations who have previously formed an allegiance to any one party due to the prior generation believing a particular party would appropriately encompass their families’ values. Dalton also reports that “Children often receive a consistent string of partisan cues as their parents openly discuss the news of the day or the events in an election.”
With this obvious influence, it does not take long for a child to eventually decide where their own beliefs and biases would fall on the political spectrum and thus a party loyalty is formed by association. The Bipartisan system in the U.S. has always proven to be its own meter of stability, being few factors are more important for national elections than citizen’s individual party identities (Dalton.) These party identities establish critical divisions in electoral strength where the competition of a campaign occurs. These allegiances are a significant factor in ensuring stability of the party system itself (Dalton.) The motives of party identity are of main importance in accounting for behavior within the political climate. It is imperative to bring to attention the close relation our bipartisan system shares with the Electoral College System.
- “Weak Structures, Strong Parties.” The Party Decides: Presidential Nominations before and after Reform, by Marty Cohen, University of Chicago Press, 2008, pp. 81–100.
- Dalton, Russell J. “Party Identification and Its Implications.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, 16 May 2017, politics.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228637-e-72.
- Gripp, Andrew, and Georgetown University. “Why We Need Political Parties, and More of Them.” IVN.us, 18 Mar. 2015, ivn.us/2015/03/18/we-need-political-parties/.
- Fields, Jessie, et al. “The Case for Abolishing Political Parties in the U.S.” IVN.us, 2 Oct. 2016, ivn.us/2016/09/26/abolish-political-parties/.
- “What Is The Electoral College?”National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html.
- Horger, Marc. “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: America’s Love Affair with the Two-Party System | Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective.”
- Top Ten Origins: White Supremacist Violence | Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, 10 July 2013, origins.osu.edu/article/breaking-hard-do-americas-love-affair-two-party-system.
- “Political Action Committees (PAC).” FEC.gov, transition.fec.gov/rad/pacs/FederalElectionCommission-RAD-PACs.shtml.
General George Washington. Life of the Commander in Chief Research Paper
Background information of Commander George Washington
The life of George Washington before assuming presidency started like every other American’s at that age and era. Born to a planter family in Virginia in 1732, he possessed total manners, knowledge and morals necessary to become a gentleman in his community just like thousands of other young men in Virginia.
His life took a unique direction when he pursued western expansion studies and military arts during his education. His career in the Military started taking shape in 1754, when he was appointed a lieutenant colonel. He participated in the French and Indian wars where he was General Edward Braddock’s aide.
Historical sources from the government indicate that Washington was in the line of fire twice during the war. His closest escape was when a series of four bullets tore through his military jacket. In another encounter, (nps 4) indicates that two horses were shot from under him. Despite the close encounters, George Washington clearly gained valuable skills in the war that would help him later during America’s fight for independence.
In addition to the French-Indian war George Washington also participated in the revolution movement between 1774 and 1775. Before the onset of the revolution, (nps 5) notes that Washington had served as a Virginia Burgess for 16 years. As a burgess, Washington was part of a team that oversaw the governance of colonies in Virginia.
In 1774 however, Washington was among other burgesses who opposed excessive taxes imposed on residents by the British colonialists. According to the (nps 5), George Washington had settled back to an ordinary lifestyle as a planter, but was incensed by the exploitation that Americans suffered under the British merchants. He also loathed the restrictive British regulations and become a firm voice of resistance to the restrictions (The White House 42).
The onset of the revolutionary wars saw Washington take the battle front line once again. (The White House 42) notes that Washington was voted the Commander-in-Chief of America’s Continental Army during the second continental congress held in Philadelphia.
Barely two months into his election on July 1775, had Washington led his poorly trained troops to the battle fields. Noting the weakness of his troop, Washington’s strategy was to use brains to strategize rather than brawn, since the British army was stronger (Lengel 13). According to (nps 56), Washington also used the “element of surprise” to his advantage.
A point in case was the 1776 attack of the Hessian Troops. This attack occurred in Trenton, New Jersey and succeeded pushing the British troops out of New Jersey into New York. Although this was a brief success, (The White House 42) is of the opinion that Washington’s skills and boldness managed to move the American troops across the icy Delaware River and into the subsequent actions that helped them recapture New Jersey.
Their success made the Americans more confident about their abilities to win the Independence war against the Britons. Ever strategic, Washington was quick to support fellow commanders of the American troops as seen in some of his letters to Major General Greene and other (Sparks 16)
George Washington’s leadership skills came to the fore once again in 1977 when he re-organized the military departments in the troop that he lead for purposes of improving services provided to the soldiers. It was apparent to Washington that the already weary troops needed rejuvenation from whatever quotas. Earlier, the troops had lived in a log-hut city, where they had taken expert training for purposes of improving their skills in the battle fields.
In June 1778, Washington led the Continental Army to a successful battle against the Britons in New Jersey (nps 2). This however was not the end of the way. Washington led the American troops for another five years, until they finally defeated the better-equipped and larger British troops led by General Cornwallis. This happened in October 1781 at Yorktown, where the major, but last revolutionary war battle occurred.
Commander of Forces
After the revolutionary war in 1783 to 1879, Washington went back to Mount Vernon and concentrated on restoring the farm which has considerably deteriorated in his absence. The American historical revolution war files notes that he traveled near the Ohio River to inspect his land.
Having become a popular figure in the national circles, it is noted that Washington recorded an increased number of visitors to Mount Vernon in his diary. During the constitutional Convention held in May 1787, Washington was unanimously elected to the presiding officer post. Although he did not make significant direct contributions to the convention, his mere presence is said to have given the proceeding some prestige (Lengel 36). Notably, Washington had become a respected war hero in America by then.
During the convention, Washington supported the idea of having a powerful central government. This time in Washington’s life has been subject to much discussion. While some political analysts see Washington as a War hero who was “simply brought into the constitution convention to act and speak in his honorary capacity”, some see him as a pro-active leader who took the lead in reforming the union (Ray 2007).
Although one can only deduct Washington’s role in reforming the confederation from his actions, earlier in 1780 he has expressed his fears that the states in the confederation would at some point separate into 13 individual entities. He also feared that congress powers would decline thus loosing the respect of a grand American representative body (Ray 207). The constitution was later submitted to individual states for ratification, after which Washington was unanimously elected the United States president in 1789 (Lengel 45)
George Washington took office of the presidency in April 1789. During his term, he laid the foundations of the presidency in America by ensuring that the executive structure that thrived during his presidency would accommodate other presidents in the future (The White House 46). He did this by establishing the judicial and executive branches of the government.
Having fought in the American Revolution War and knowing the pains of working under colonial masters, Washington was quick to guarantee the survival of the US as an independent nation and sovereign power free from any outside influence. As suggested in the thesis of this research paper, Washington drew quite some lessons from his experiences in the battle fields during his two terms in the presidency.
When he first established the functioning of the federal government, Washington surrounded himself with consultants and supported who he vetted for knowledge and skill. Much like a commander and his lieutenants, Washington delegated most of the responsibilities of running the government to these people. After all, he trusted them to do a good job, and they did. He valued people’s opinion, but the decisions would be solely made by him. This was the case with his cabinet, where he would hold cabinet meetings to discuss issues.
Based on opinions raised in such meetings, Washington would then make the final decisions. Just in military camps, solarnavigator.net defines Washington as a systematic, energetic and orderly president. He is further defines as decisive, an enthusiast of consistency and intent on achieving the general goals.
Having learnt the powers of togetherness and consolidating people during his days in the military, he toured the southern states in and New England states in an attempt to reconcile these two geographical regions.
Unfortunately, Washington did not succeed in mending the widening rivalry between leaders Thomas Jefferson from New England states and Alexander Hamilton from the Southern state. His support of fiscal policies proposed by Hamilton, who was also the secretary of Treasury, earned him attacks from Jefferson’s camp (The White House 42).
The rivalry between Hamilton and Jefferson followed Washington into his second term. Having been re-elected president in 1792, the war between France and England become a real test for Washington. France was an official ally to the United States, while Britain was the leading trading partner with the country.
Since he did not want to support either party, Washington maintained that America would remain neutral about the war. The Jefferson camp, was however pro-French, while the Hamilton camp supported Britain’s cause. Just to reinforce his country’s position, Washington issued a public statement on April 1793 declaring America’s impartiality in the war. He further discouraged American citizens against sending any war materials or aid to the warring parties.
According to (nps 56), the president strongly believed that the right foreign policy was vital for the young nation that America was at the time. (nps 12) further suggests that George Washington reasons for pleading America’s neutrality during the British-French war, was out of concern that taking sides in the war would shatter America’s new government right in the middle with some people supporting Jefferson while others supported Hamilton.
It’s noteworthy that during his presidency, Washington would spend huge amounts of effort trying to reconcile the two factions. An observer can conclusively state that Washington was of the belief that people serving in the same government could not afford to be divided because governance would suffer. The differences between Jefferson and Hamilton led to the birth of political parties in America.
Although reluctant at first to side with either Hamilton or Jefferson, Washington at some point had to throw caution to the wind and support Hamilton’s fiscal policies, which promised to free America from a looming economic crises and a large external debt incurred during the war (Lengel 47).
By following Hamilton’s proposal, Washington’s government established a central bank for purposes of funding the national debt and put in place a strong, but effective tax system. The tax system assured the government of continuous revenue, which would be pumped back to the society through services.
Even in presidency, Washington’s days in the war field still had a grip on him. When Pennsylvania rebels defied federal power on taxes, Washington took his position at the head of the Military and managed to effectively use his presidential authority to quell the Whiskey rebellion (Archiving early America 42)
His restrain for war was evident when he started peace negotiations with Britain in order to avoid a recurrence of war between the two. The culmination of the exercise was the Jay Treaty that was signed in 1975. Although the Jefferson faction was opposed to the treaties ratification, Washington was able to use the immense prestige he had in Congress to have the treaty ratified.
At a time when the house requested that Washington releases all pertinent correspondence and documents for consideration before they could approve the funds necessary to enforce the treaty, Washington was resolute about the powers of the executive and their separation from the House of Representatives.
Being part of the Constitution convention that came up with the American constitution, Washington retaliated the mandate of the house of representatives and stated categorically that agreeing to their request for the documents and correspondence on the treaty would be tantamount to allowing the house overstep its mandate (nps 12). In his message to the House of Representatives, George Washington made it clear to representatives there in that their approval or lack of it would have no lasting consequence on the Jay treaty.
Washington further stated that the treaty had been submitted to Senate for advice and consideration, and therefore the request by the house was be of no immediate or necessary consequence. In his conclusion, Washington called for the need for every government sector to stick to the boundaries as set forth in the constitution (nps 13).
In his non-compliance statement, it is evident that George Washington had a clear understanding of the constitution and its mandate to different arms of the government. Having been a delegate in the constitutional conventional before going to the American revolutionary war, it is logical why he had such a grip on the constitution.
Washington left the presidency in March 1797, and although there were calls by his supporters to run for a third term, he honorably retired into his Vernon estate. By the time of his retirement, it is noteworthy that America’s financial system was well on a success course.
More to this, the Indian threat that had existed to the east of Mississippi was almost resolved and the controversial Jay treaty with the 1795 Pinckney’s treat with Spain had succeeded in enlarging America’s territory, while resolving diplomatic difficulties that had existed between America and the respective countries.
This was not only an advice to uphold political integrity, but a stern warning to Americans to keep off foreign interference. A nationalist to the core, Washington would accept the post of Army commander a year after his retirement albeit reluctantly. During this time, the war with France looked imminent. He however did not take an active role in his post.
The life experiences of General George Washington in the Military forces had no doubt laid a firm foundation for him and fellow Americans. His days started as an inexperienced young American, who regardless of the power and stature of the opposing troops, mobilized his troops to soldier on. This gave him invaluable leadership skills, which he would later use in his days as president.
He also learnt negotiations skills as commander in the military. Even when his troops did not impress congress with their performance in the war, Washington had to plead his case for the troops to get more training, supplies and government support (Sparks 3). Over the years, his negotiation skills improved tremendously and he would convince congress that giving up or substituting him was no option. Such skills later helped him in his days as president.
Crossing the icy waters of the Delaware River to ambush the British troops and force them to retreat into New York was among the strategic highlights of George Washington in the Military. Although this success would closely followed by a failed attempt to capture New York, George Washington’s acts have been revered as not only courageous, but giving hope to already despairing troops.
As one person eulogized him, George Washington lived the war, lived the peace and ensured that America’s politics was set on the right foundation. His discipline and dedication to his country, the right institutions, separation of powers, sovereignty and political responsibility was no doubt a result of his life experiences, most of which were gained from his days in the Military.
Archiving Early America. “George Washington’s Proclamation Calling out Millitia to Occupy the Western Countries of Pennsylvania.” 2002. Web.
Lengel, Edward. General George Washington; a Military Life. New York: Random House, 2005. Print.
Nps,Web “George Washington; Commander-in-Chief.” 2005. Web.
Ray, John. “George Washington’s Pre-presidential Statesmanship, 1783-1789” Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 27. No 2, (1997): 207-220. Print.
Sparks, Bowen. The Writings of George Washington Being His Correspondence Addresses Messages and Other Papers. New York: BiblioBazaar LLC, 2009. Print.
The White House. “George Washington, A U.S. President.” 1998. Web.
George Washington: Biography and Achievements Essay
American history saw a lot of truly inspirational people who not only influenced the lives of American citizens but also changed the way we think about fundamental political values. George Washington is the perfect example of the person whose contribution to the history of America is hard to overestimate, as scholars note that “Washington was critical for “making” America” (Fagal 552). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the life of George Washington, his political views, and the way his work affected society.
George Washington was born to father, Augustine Washington and his second wife, Mary Washington, and was one of seven children from his father’s two marriages. When George was 11 years old, his father died, and he was brought up in Virginia by Lawrence Washington, his half-brother. As researchers note, unlike his elder brothers, George Washington did not receive any formal education (Little 9). However, he was a well-rounded person, being able to write by early adulthood while also studying mathematics, surveying, and map-making. Lawrence Washington encouraged George to join the British navy, but George’s mother did not allow him to do so. Instead, George Washington became a land surveyor, which was considered a respectable profession at that time.
Washington’s surveying career provided him with a useful experience as he developed wilderness survival skills, learned self-dependence, studied the frontier region, as well as he established a good reputation. Besides, he received considerable fees for surveying, which allowed him to buy land in the Shenandoah Valley. Moreover, his job as a survey man helped George in his pursuit of success in his military career, teaching him some vital skills a soldier needs on the battlefield. His role in the French and Indian War was significant, as he was a commander of the Virginia Regiment, raised to oppose the French in the Ohio Valley. Furthermore, Washington served to British General Edward Braddock, who led an expedition to dislodge the French from Fort Duquesne. Washington learned much from Braddock while also earning a military reputation for courage and efficient administrating.
On January 6, 1759, Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis, and the marriage made him one of the wealthiest men of Virginia, which significantly increased his social status (Little 45). Considering that he was also a prominent military hero, Washington had enough achievements to be elected to the Virginia provincial legislature. Washington soon was considered as a member of the political elite in Virginia, which allowed him to become one of the central figures of the American Revolution. He was one of the delegates of the Continental Congress, during which the delegates discussed the ways to respond to the British government’s enforcement power. Soon, Washington acknowledged that attempts to overcome controversies are pointless and offered the services of a military commander.
In 1775, George Washington was selected to be the first commander in chief of the Continental Army. From 1775 to 1778, Washington was in the middle of the action. He successfully directed his army during the Siege of Boston, but he failed his next battle as he lost the city of New York. However, he managed to take his revenge as he won decisive victories at Trenton and Princeton at the end of 1776. From 1778 to 1780, Washington was focused on more diplomatic activities. Washington somehow was able to complete the enormous task as the army had constant problems with training and supply. He increased the combat capability and the level of discipline among soldiers, which helped significantly in winning battles. The army was dismissed after peace in 1783, and Washington resigned as commander-in-chief.
The next chapter of Washington’s life began when he became the first President of the United States under the new federal Constitution (Weems 7). There was no doubt that George Washington would win that election as he gained substantial support after being a successful commander-in-chief during the American Revolutionary War. His election was unanimous after all 69 electors voted for Washington, and he was inaugurated in New York City in April 1789.
One of the main goals of Washington’s political course was to continue democratic changes in the country and foster respect for the Constitution among people. He visioned the country as a democratic one; therefore, he made political changes that are consistent with democratic values. Washington improved the functioning of the three branches of government, which are the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. He also addressed the issue of amending the Constitution, supporting the ratification of the United States Bill of Rights. As for the international policy, George Washington wanted it “to be shaped by interest-driven, flexible neutrality—an approach not to be motivated by love or hatred for any other nation” (Estes 750). Such an attitude towards other nations further consolidates the fact that Washington was the man of true democratic values.
George Washington did everything he could to develop the civil consciousness of American people, as well as a sense of unity. By expressing respect for the Constitution, he promoted the development of democratic ideas among Americans. Another thing worth mentioning is that it was Washington who made November 26 to be the day of Thanksgiving, encouraging national unity. Washington’s vision was summarized in his final presidential letter, The Farewell Address. Washington emphasized that national identity was fundamental for safeguarding freedom and prosperity. He also motivated American people for the future progress of the country by stating that all his achievements during his presidency were due to Americans’ efforts to help the country develop.
George Washington made many contributions to American society. Among the most important ones, he provided firm leadership by his committed work at a crucial period of American history. He became the first President of the United States and also set a precedent, according to which there should be a maximum of two terms for one person. In this regard, Weems states, “Washington would never seek power as an end in itself, nor would he abuse power delegated to him” (10). Besides, George Washington was one of the authors of the Constitution of the United States, fostering respect to it after becoming a President. Another contribution that one should keep in mind is that he was the one to lead the American nation to the independency, while also cultivating democratic values.
All things considered, George Washington played a key role in the history of American society. During his life, he showed his devotion to the development of the country, and his work influenced American society in many different ways. Regarding this, he guided the country to independence, and afterward, as the first President, he was leading it during the hard times of instability, providing a solid base for future development. The most important thing to mention is that, with his democratic vision, Washington cultivated the right values among American people.
Estes, Todd. “Addressing America: George Washington’s Farewell and the Making of National Culture, Politics, and Diplomacy, 1796–1852.” Journal of American History, vol. 103, no. 3, 2016, pp. 750–751.
Fagal, Andrew JB. “George Washington and the Making of America.” Reviews in American History, vol. 44, no. 4, 2016, pp. 551-560.
Little, Shelby. George Washington. Pickle Partners Publishing, 2018.
Weems, Mason L. The Life of Washington. Routledge, 2015.
George Washington Carver, His Life and Research Research Paper
The personality of the brilliant African American chemist and botanist George Washington Carver seems to be reduced nowadays to “the man who worked with peanuts”. This remarkable person has made a revolution in farming, enlightened the Tuskegee Institute, and has reached the fame that was hard to achieve being an African American in the 19-20th century US. For historians and human right activists he has served as a living rebuttal of ethnocentric and racist theories. For farmers, he was the savior of Southern agriculture. For religious people, he was an epitome of faith and humility. What is left of this person is “the Peanut Man” image and a monument in Diamond, Missouri, where George Washington Carter was born. Mistakenly believed to have invented peanut butter – which he has not – George Washington Carver is a complex and ambiguous personality, which seems to be somewhat mistreated by history and public recognition.
George Washington Carver comes from Diamond Grove, Missouri. The exact date of his birth is unknown, but it is estimated to be in the mid-1860s. Carver had never excelled in health, which is why, coming from a slave family, he has never been sent to work in the fields. Instead, the boy did gardening. He also developed a passion for watching Nature in its ways and was very talented with plants (Kremer 3-4). At the age of 12, George Washington Carver stepped out on the platform in Iowa on his geas to get educated. The Simpson College has shown the young man the beauty of art, in which he also proved to be gifted. Nevertheless, having set and reset his priorities, Carter chose the path of agriculture and went to the Iowa State University in the beginning of 1890s. He turned out to be the first African American youth to ever make an attempt to enter the Iowa State. Also, he was the first ever African American to work at an educational institution. He was invited to teach at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, in 1886. Working as a professor, George Washington Carver got the chance to begin his research (Hersey 14-16).
Having arrived at Tuskegee, however, George Washington Carver had to face the shortage of funds, which forced him to personally construct the laboratory and equipment he needed. With the help of his students, Carver did it literally out of trash: they made things out of garbage they encountered. We are fully aware of the concept of recycling, but at the end of the 19th century, these trash raids were ahead of the time. Nevertheless, the lab was built – and the results of the research have brought George Washington Carver fame and recognition, at least back then. He has conducted a phenomenal research featuring sweet potatoes, which could be used for producing wood fillers, sweets, flours, and more (Hersey 135-137). In 1916, his well-known research bulletin “How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it For Human Consumption” was brought out (Hersey 258). The bulletin proved very helpful for farmers who had to face the mass destructions of cotton caused by the swarms of boll weevil in Alabama. Peanuts were cheap and multifunctional and have quickly become popular. There was the peanut oil and peanut plants for cattle, and multiple ways of cooking with peanuts. Apart from food, George Washington Carver discovered 300 ways of using peanuts in various products for everyday use, e.g., dyes, plastic, gasoline, shaving cream, hand lotion, etc. (Hersey 259-230). The actual peanut butter was never on the list; the product has been developer long before Carver.
George Washington Carver has never regarded his research as purely scientific. What he wanted was to help people; this stance and his Christianity made him a figure of respect. Another factor of Carver’s popularity was that he did not only talk about helping each other but actually did it. He was very well aware that his research might help people of color dwelling in the South and being choked by poverty. What was still more drastic, the South was rapidly running out of resources. Carver’s main contribution was with regard to low price of peanuts and sweet potatoes, and he devoted his entire life to saving other people’s lives – although he never acknowledged that being a person devoid of vanity. George Washington Carter has experienced much difficulty in his way due to ethnocentric and racist inclinations of the society he lived in. However, he made frequent travels during which he taught agriculture to anyone who would listen. On his travels, he had to use the “colored” train carriages and hotels – but he never stopped (Kremer 47-50).
After his death in 1943, George Washington Carver’s fortune, in which he had shown very little personal interest, was donated to Tuskegee Research Institute. Perseverance and faithfulness, as well as his utmost devotion to research for the sake of common good characterizes Carver much better than the common image of “the Peanut Man” that we are so used to, today.
Hersey, Mark D. My Work Is That of Conservation: An Environmental Biography of George Washington Carver. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2011. Print.
Kremer, Gary R. George Washington Carver: In His Own Words. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2013. Print.
George Washington Truett Biographical Sketch Term Paper
Baptist church is one of the most prominent Christian denominations. It has a long history, which goes as far back as the 17th century, in the United States. The church has had many preachers who have made significant contributions to the church’s history. One of the most influential pastors in Baptist history is George Washington Truett. This illustrious individual was able to leave a lasting legacy through his work in the church for over four decades. This paper will provide a biographical sketch of his life, highlighting the most noteworthy contribution that Truett made to Baptist history.
George W. Truett was born to a rural farming family on May 6, 1867. His parents, Charles and Mary Truett, built a home for their family in Hayesville, North Carolina. While Charles and Mary had only attained minimal formal education for themselves, they wanted their children to have a good education in order to increase their chances of succeeding in life. They therefore sent their son to Hayesville Academy where Truett proved to be an exceptional student. He graduated in 1885 and was given the responsibility of becoming the superintendent and teacher at the Crooked Creek School.
Truett had been raised in a devoutly Christian home and he was introduced to the bible at an early age. However, he was not converted until 1886. In this monumental year in his life, he attended a Methodist revival in Hayesville. Following a preaching by J.D. Pulliam, Truett surrendered his life to Christ and therefore became a Christian (Durso 19). However, Truett did not begin his ministry immediately after his conversion. Instead, he came up with an idea for a private school.
He managed to gather enough resources to implement this idea in 1887 where he established the Hiawassee Academy. Within a short time, Truett was forced to leave his newly founded school since his parents decided to move the family to a bigger farm in Texas. The family settled in Whitewright, Texas and became a part of the local community. While in Texas, Truett had the ambition to become a lawyer and to this end he attended Grayson College. Truett was initially opposed to becoming a preacher. He therefore objected to initial attempts by the Church in Whitewright to ordain him. However, the members of the Whitewright Baptist Church were convinced that Truett was meant to be a pastor. Due to the strong conviction of the church leadership and its congregation, he was persuaded to become a minister in 1890.
This marked the beginning of Truett’s long and illustrious ministry in the Baptist Church. Following his ordaining, Truett started preaching in Sherman but he also got a job at the Baylor University as a financial agent. He joined the University as a student in 1893 and he graduated in June 1897 (Caner and Mehmet 64).
After graduation, Truett decided not to pursue a professional life using his degree and instead turned to preaching. In the East Baptist Church where Truatt served, he established himself as a great preacher who was able to deliver powerful sermons to his congregation. Truatts Stint at the Waco based church was brief as he was soon asked to transfer to Dallas. He took up the position of pastor in the First Baptist Church and he continued to hold this position until 1944. Under his stewardship, the church experienced immediate growth and this expansion continued until his death.
Truett engaged in numerous church related activities in the early 20th century. He travelled to West Texas to preach to cowboys who were on cattle drives and also preached to soldiers during the First World War. He made his famous “Baptists and Religious Liberty” address in 1920 at the request of the Baptist leader J.B. Gambrell. Smith documents that Truett ministered not only in the US, but also in the world centers in London, Stockholm, Paris, and Berlin (60). Over the course of his 47 year old ministry, George W. Truett managed to give numerous sermons that have been compiled into ten books.
George W. Truett is credited with making a number of notable contributions to Baptist history. The most significant contribution is that he championed for religious liberty in the US. Through his Religious Liberty address, made on May 16, 1920, Truett presented the most compelling argument for religious liberty in America (Durso 268). This speech was made at a time when the government was working towards infringing the religious liberties of the Church. Truett declared that the government should respect the constitutionally guaranteed right of the church to enjoy freedom without government interference. His advocacy contributed to the increased protection of the church from attempts by the government to infringe on its freedom. Due to his contribution in this area, the religious liberties enjoyed by American Christians today are regarded as a Baptist innovation.
Many statements were made about George Truett both during his lifetime and after his death. Speaking of Truett’s ability to deliver sermons in a forceful and compelling manner, Dr. J.B. Hawthorne acknowledged that “I have heard many of the world’s famous speakers, but never in all my life has my soul been more deeply stirred by any speaker than it was the day at Marietta by the boy out of the mountains” (Caner and Mehmet 61).
Truett was able to attract the attraction of clergymen outside of his denomination. Following his death, the Temple Emanu-El Rabbi David Lefkowitz stated “He was a great churchman, and above all, a great man. He, above all others, purified the soul of Dallas and lifted it to the heights” (Durso 262). There is common agreement that Truett left a lasting legacy on the Christian Church landscape in the US. The historian Douglas Southall Freeman declared that “It would be difficult to exaggerate the influence of Dr. Truett’s positive preaching on American ministers in a critical age” (Larsen 740). For all his greatness as a speaker, Truett was criticized for his lack of ability in expository preaching and coming up with original interpretations of the bible. The historian Powhattan James noted that Truett would not be credited for “profundity of thought, or brilliance of rhetoric, or originality of exegesis, nor cleverness of homiletics” (Larsen 741).
The United States has numerous famous preachers in its history. This paper set out to provide a biographical sketch of the life of George Truett, who is one of the greatest preachers the country has ever had. To this end, it has discussed his life, conversion, and ministry. The paper has singled out his advocacy for religious liberty in the US as Truett’s most noteworthy contribution. It has then reviewed some of the things that were said about Truett by his contemporaries and historians. From this paper, it is evident that Truett was a great man and a spectacular preacher of the Gospel.
Caner, Emir, and Ergun Mehmet. The Sacred Trust: Sketches of the Southern Baptist Convention Presidents. Tennessee : B& H Publishing Group, 2003. Print.
Durso, Keith. Thy Will be Done: A Biography of George W. Truett. Georgia: Mercer University Press, 2009. Print.
Larsen, David. The Company of the Preachers. Michigan: Kregel Publications, 2001. Print.
Smith, Shelton. Great Preaching on Revival. Tennessee: Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1997. Print.
George Washington: Servant Leadership and Communication Coursework
The socio-economic and political success of the United States is directly attributed to effective leadership that has been experienced in the country since independence in 1776. The forefathers of this country had a great vision for this country, and they did everything within their powers to ensure that it was realized. They were never concerned with self-gains, and neither were they after fame. They served Americans diligently, always trying to unite the country for a common course.
They ignored their personal needs in order to realize the societal success. They embraced servant leadership as a way of delivering the best service to the people of this nation. George Washington was one such servant leader who was committed to free Americans from colonial rule, and to unite all Americans in order to achieve a common course. In this research, the focus will be to analyze the servant leadership strategies that were employed by George Washington as one of the greatest American heroes of a lifetime.
George Washington was the first president of an independent United States of America. Born in April, 1789, Washington joined the military at a tender age to help liberate the United States from the British rule. His military skills and leadership qualities saw him rise to become the Continental Army’s commander-in-chief in 1775. This meant that he had to lead the American Revolution that was gaining momentum against the oppressive rule from the colonial masters. This was one of the most dangerous tasks because the colonial army was ruthless and well equipped. However, Washington was willing to face death for the sake of his country.
He led the Continental Army against the British in Boston, and successfully liberated it from the British government. In New York, he was almost killed when his camp was attacked by the British forces as they were advancing to liberate it. This did not deter him from advancing to other states. He captured New Jersey, the fact that earned him massive admiration among the Americans. He went ahead to help in liberating many other states from the colonial rule. This saw him become the first president of the independent United States elected unanimously in 1789. He served the country diligently before retiring in 1797.
Servant Leadership of George Washington
George Washington has been referred as a hero and servant leader who served Americans without any self-interest clouding his thoughts. He was the general who liberated Americans from the chains of the colonial rule till it gained its freedom. However, Miller (2012) says that after liberating the United States, Washington resigned as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in order to promote democracy within the country.
This was a noble act because he denounced the power he had as the army general to capture power after driving the colonial forces away. However, he preferred to let Americans decide who they wanted as their leader. This is a clear indication that Washington saw himself as a servant. To him, the Americans were the master in this new country, and they had the power of choosing the person they wanted to serve them as their president.
According to Matha and Boehm (2008), George Washington is responsible for the current tradition where American presidents only serve for two terms. Even after being unanimously elected as the United States’ president, Washington felt that power should not be a preserve for a select few. After serving two terms, he never sought to extend his leadership in this country.
He handed over power to the second president of this nation who was elected in a free and fair election. This was strange because in this period, many countries in the world were ruled by dictators. Some of the democratic leaders would cling to power using all means, but Washington felt that the United States needed to embrace constitutionalism and democracy in the country.
According to Miller (2012), Communication is one of the most important characteristics in servant leadership. A leader should be able to communicate freely with the followers in a clear manner in order to influence others to act in a given manner. Flint (2012) says that George Washington was able to win many battles against the British forces because of his ability to communicate properly with his generals. He was always open to discussions, considering the views of everyone important in the fight for liberation of the country.
This motivated his troops who felt that their leader was interested in protecting their interest at all cost. When he became the president, George Washington remained accessible to many, always preferring to communicate directly other than using intermediaries. It is important for a leader to eliminate bureaucracies in communication in order to eliminate distortion of the message (Ferch & Spears, 2011). When systems are created that subject pieces of messages into various systems, the message always get diluted, and by the time it reaches the targeted audience, it may not have the intended information.
This is what Washington was keen to avoid. He would always pass his message directly to the intended audience whenever this was necessary. He also maintained a cordial relationship with other senior government officials and liberators of this country, including those who opposed his leadership. He always maintained that the opposition had a role to play in the country, and that it was necessary for them to be listened to as the alternative government in the country.
Theory X and Theory Y
McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y have become very popular theories when analyzing servant leadership in the society. According to McGregor’s Theory X, people are always lazy and tend to dodge their tasks whenever they have an opportunity. For this reason, a leader must ensure that he or she maintains a close check on such lazy leaders to ensure that they undertake their duties. Most leaders always embrace this principle when leading people, always preferring a hands-on leadership style.
On the other hand, Theory Y holds that with the right motivation, people can always achieve a lot with minimal or no supervision at all in their various workplaces. This is a principle that Washington held so dearly. As an army general, he always insisted on self-motivation among the military officers. He was always in the battle front, the fact that challenged his officers to act positively in their various tasks.
He believed in delegating duties as a way of creating a sense of responsibility among his officers. As the president of the country, he always trusted his staff and the entire cabinet to do what is right without having to be subjected to any strict supervision. It is important to note that this does not mean that he never followed up to ensure that the officers were doing what was expected of them. He was very keen to ensure that they acted as it was expected.
Added value of a servant leader
According to Schuttler and Burdick (2010), a servant leader is a person who is willing to sacrifice the personal benefits for the sake of his or her people. It is a leader who is always willing to do everything in order to create peace and make his or people lead a better life. George Washington was such a leader. He led a successful fight against the colonial rulers and was finally elected to become the first president of the United States. When he became the president, he forgave the colonial masters and considered forming an economic alliance with them for the sake of improving the economy of the United States.
He did not hold grudge against the people who were interested in taking away his life because he knew that such acts would only bring down the economy of this country. This was a unique value that helped him serve Americans as a servant leader. Washington was also a champion of people’s rights. During his lifetime, slavery in the United States was still in existence. Born in a rich family, he too had his own slaves who served in various capacities. However, deep in his heart he believed that slavery was not good. He believed that every American should enjoy the freedom that the country had gained.
He believed that Blacks and Whites, Hispanics and any other Americans of different demographic groups deserved to lead a life free from slavery. That is why in his last will, he freed all the slaves who had been serving his family. This was a gesture to all Americans that slavery was not a good practice in a country that had just been liberated from the colonial rulers. As a servant leader, he gave an example by releasing his slaves. He acted upon the issue, and left the Americans to make their own independent decisions about slavery.
Servant leadership in the current society
As a servant leader, George Washington was able to transform the United States from a middle economy country to one of the fastest growing economies in the world. He saw himself as a servant to his people and was always keen to act in the best interest of the entire country. This is lacking in the current leadership where people are interested in self-gains.
Servant leadership is needed in the current society in order to steer the country towards the path of success as the forefathers did. An organization full of servant leaders would be very successful in the current society (Sipe & Frick, 2009). The employees would remain motivated when they see their leaders taking responsibilities as a way of showing them how to undertake some duties. The servant leaders will always be willing to be at the service of the junior employees and this would improve service delivery.
Servant leadership is very important in the current society. President George Washington was able to achieve a lot as a servant leader. It is true that significant contingencies like rebellion may lean against servant leadership. However, it is important to remember that unity and success is always easily achievable through servant leadership.
Ferch, S. R., & Spears, L. C. (2011). The spirit of servant-leadership. New York: Paulist Press.
Flint, B. B. (2012). The journey to competitive advantage through servant leadership: Building the company every person dreams of working for and every president has a vision of leading. Bloomington, Ind: West Bow Press.
Matha, B., & Boehm, M. (2008). Beyond the babble: Leadership communication that drives results. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Miller, K. (2012). Organizational communication: Approaches and processes. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Schuttler, R., & Burdick, J. (2010). Laws of communication: The intersection where leadership meets employee performance. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Sipe, J. W., & Frick, D. M. (2009). Seven pillars of servant leadership: Practicing the wisdom of leading by serving. New York: Paulist Press.
Alexander Hamilton vs Thomas Jefferson
Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson had very different political views, which is why our first president, George Washington, had them both in his cabinet. Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury, while Jefferson was the first Secretary of State.
These differences begin with who they thought should govern and what type of government was the best. Hamilton thought we should have a strong central government in the interests of commerce and industry, while having the national government in charge. However, Jefferson felt that the people should rule with a decentralized, agrian government in the terms of freedom and the people should rule themselves.
They also had conflicting ideas for what economy suited us best, Hamilton believing it to be industrial and Jefferson believing the best was agricultural.
Along with those conflicts, they didn’t agree with how the constitution was to be interpreted. Hamilton was a loose constructionist, wanting to stick closer to the thought of the central government ruling.
Jefferson was a strict constructionist, believing that the constitution was to be followed closely.
Lastly, their difference in ideas helped formed political factions. They became two sides, the Federalists and the Antifederalists – or Republicans. Alexander Hamilton’s side was the Federalists, they stood for the urban mercantile interests of the seaports. Thomas Jefferson’s was the Republicans who represented the southern and rural interests. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson had very different political views, which is why our first president, George Washington, had them both in his cabinet. Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury, while Jefferson was the first Secretary of State.
These differences begin with who they thought should govern and what type of government was the best. Hamilton thought we should have a strong central government in the interests of commerce and industry, while having the national government in charge. However, Jefferson felt that the people should rule with a decentralized, agrian government in the terms of freedom and the people should rule themselves. They also had conflicting ideas for what economy suited us best, Hamilton believing it to be industrial and Jefferson believing the best was agricultural.
Along with those conflicts, they didn’t agree with how the constitution was to be interpreted. Hamilton was a loose constructionist, wanting to stick closer to the thought of the central government ruling. Jefferson was a strict constructionist, believing that the constitution was to be followed closely.
Lastly, their difference in ideas helped formed political factions. They became two sides, the Federalists and the Antifederalists – or Republicans. Alexander Hamilton’s side was the Federalists, they stood for the urban mercantile interests of the seaports. Thomas Jefferson’s was the Republicans who represented the southern and rural interests.