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What's in a name? - Washington Early Childhood

Called the "Father of His Country," George Washington (1732-1799) was the first president of the United States (1789-1797). He was the Commander-in-Chief in charge of the Continental Army during the American Revolution.  He presided over the convention that drafted the United States Constitution.  He oversaw the creation of a strong, well-financed national government that maintained neutrality in the wars raging in Europe, suppressed rebellion, and won acceptance among Americans of all types.  Washington established many forms in government still used today, such as the cabinet system and inaugural address.

Chosen by the Second Continental Congress in 1775 to be commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolution, Washington managed to force the British out of Boston in 1776, but was defeated and almost captured later that year when he lost New York City. After crossing the Delaware River in the dead of winter, he defeated the British in two battles, retook New Jersey and restored momentum to the Patriot cause.  Because of his strategy, Revolutionary forces captured two major British armies at Saratoga in 1777 and Yorktown in 1781.

Dissatisfied with the Continental Congress, in 1787 Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention that devised a new federal government for the United States. Elected unanimously as the first President of the United States in 1789, he attempted to bring rival factions together to unify the nation. He supported Alexander Hamilton's programs to pay off all state and national debt, to implement an effective tax system and to create a national bank.

As the leader of the first successful revolution against a colonial empire in world history, Washington became an international icon for liberation and nationalism.  Our nation's capital, Washington, D.C., was named in his honor and the Washington Monument there honors him. He died on December 14, 1799.

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