What was George Washington's social position?

George Washington's social position could be described as upper class. As a wealthy landowner, he was very much a member of Virginia's social elite.

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Although colonial and postcolonial America didn't have a formal aristocracy, it did have a social elite. And George Washington was very much a part of this social elite. A wealthy landowner with an extensive network of social connections, Washington was part of a small but powerful group of people who would shape the political destiny of the United States.

Washington's father, Augustine, was a rich man who'd acquired his wealth through land speculation. His substantial wealth ensured that his children, including George, grew up in an environment of considerable ease and comfort, a privilege afforded to only a tiny number of Americans at that time.

When George inherited the family estate of Mount Vernon at the death of his father, he was all set to become a leading member of colonial Virginia society. His already elevated social position was cemented further when he married Martha Dandridge Custis, a rich, socially prominent widow who brought substantial wealth and land to the marriage, not to mention a large number of slaves.

By the standards of the time, the Washingtons were the crème de la crème of society, the political and economic elite who were almost universally looked up to as society's natural leaders. Even though American society would become more fluid, with greater social mobility, in Virginia and the other Southern states, the ownership of land would continue to be regarded as a mark of high social status for many years to come.

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