Born in 1732 in Varginian planter family, he learned the morals, manners and the body of knowledge of an 18th century Virginian gentleman. He was educated at home and grew up in a society of tobacco farmers, many of whom were bonded Africans and African Americans. George Washington, was the first President of USA who served for two terms between 1789 and 1797.
From 1759 to the outbreak of the American Revolution, he like his fellow planters, felt himself exploited by British merchants and hampered by British regulations. As the quarrel with the mother country grew acute, he moderately but firmly voiced his resistance to the restrictions. In 1775, he took command of his ill-trained troops and embarked upon a war that lasted six grueling years. However, he was instrumental in forcing the British forces out of USA as commander-in-chief of the revolutionary forces. He successfully negotiated with the French and by the end of the war in 1983, he was able to save USA from disintegration and defeat.
He was aptly called the father of the USA for his important role in the formation of the country and his key role in drafting the Constitution of the US in 1787 (We the People – Life, Liberty, Freedom and Prosperity). After the new constitution being ratified by all the states, George Washington was elected by the electoral college in 1789 and 1792, both with 100% votes. The only president to enjoy this privilege. He preferred the prefix ‘Mr. President’ to all other titles that were suggested. As president, he set up protocols in the new government’s executive department. The Proclamation of Neutrality under his leadership in 1793 clearly spelt out the country’s stand of non-involvement in conflicts of foreign nations. Though the severe opposition, he avoided war with Britain and maintained peace for over a decade with the Jay Treaty that was put together in 1795. Other reforms by him included the support to set up an effective tax collection system, creation of a national bank, and reduction of the nation’s debt to build an economically strong country. In the history of the USA, he has been consistently ranked as one of the greatest US presidents and was the recipient of the very first Congressional Gold medal.
Washington encouraged debates before taking any major political decision and was known to be efficient administrator. To his disappointment, two parties were developing by the end of his first term. Wearied of politics, feeling old, he retired at the end of his second. In his Farewell Address, he urged his countrymen to forswear excessive party spirit and geographical distinctions. In foreign affairs, he warned against long-term alliances. He refused to take up a third term. The two terms for a president later became a customary policy and subsequently a law. He returned to farming after his tenure as a president.
By these attributes and his challenges to put USA on the track of global success as based on justice, values, neutrality and peace what would George Washington say if he was to be with us today?