According to Paul Johnson, what were George Washington's greatest contributions to the founding of America?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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According to Paul Johnson, George Washington had many important contributions to the United States.  During the Revolutionary War days, he was leader of the army.  Under his leadership, the colonists defeated the British which was considered a huge upset.  Washington also was our first leader.  He helped the new country grow under the new Constitution.  He made decisions which were good for the country, even if people disagreed with him.  He was able to stay above the growing political divide which was developing in our country.  He urged the nation to avoid political parties, fearing they would destroy the country.  He wasn't consumed with power.  He could have run for a third term and won easily.  However, Washington knew that wasn't in the best interests of the country.  He was not consumed with power, either political or military.  Finally, Washington kept us out of war after we became independent.  He knew going to war wasn't the right course of action for our country.  Even though there were people clamoring for us to go to war with European countries, Washington refused to do so because it wasn't in the best interests of country.  George Washington made many contributions to the United States which helped the country to begin to grow and prosper.

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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According to historian Paul Johnson, Washington's greatest contributions to our country were to serve the United States without falling into the trap of needing to have and keep power.  He became Commander In Chief of the army when called upon to do that.  Then, he was able to step away from that role when he no longer needed to do that.  While President, he served with great honor and dignity.  He brought a degree of stability to the new country which was certainly needed as the young country faced many challenges. Yet, he chose not to stay for more than two terms even though he could have served much longer. While there are many other significant contributions made by Washington (keeping the young country out of war and avoiding entangling alliances, to name just two of them), according to Paul Johnson, Washington's lack of need for power and his service to the country were his greatest contributions to our country.

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beateach | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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One of the first places that you can look for this information is the eNotes Study Guide, George Washington: The Founding Father by Paul Johnson.

According to the English historian, Paul Johnson, George Washington contributed to the liberation of the thirteen colonies from the British Empire by implementing his study of military tactics to guide his troops through their military exercises. Some feel that Johnson misses some facts in the book about the guidance Washington needed when choosing his battles during the Revolutionary War.  Washington also participated in the writing and ratification process of the Constitution and its earliest Amendments. In addition, he served as the President of the young country for two terms as it gained strength and became a viable nation.

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