Washington, George (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
George Washington was a U.S. military leader, statesperson, and the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. A leader of mythic proportion in U.S. history, Washington's leadership from the American Revolution (WAR OF INDEPENDENCE) to the end of his presidential administrations proved crucial to winning independence from Great Britain and establishing a national union of states based on the U.S. Constitution.
Washington was born on February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Born into the colonial aristocracy, Washington attended local schools and supplemented his formal education by reading widely. As a young man he became a surveyor, and in 1749 he was appointed county surveyor for Culpeper County, Virginia. In 1752, at the age of twenty, Washington inherited the family estate at Mount Vernon and embarked on a military career.
During the French and Indian War, Washington gained his first military experience. The war was fought to determine whether France or Great Britain would rule North America. In 1753 Washington requested and received the assignment of delivering an ultimatum to the French, ordering them to retreat from the Ohio Valley. The French refused, and Washington led troops against them. Although Washington won an initial victory in 1754, the French counterattacked in force and Washington had to surrender his camp at Fort Necessity,...
(The entire section is 1311 words.)
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