- First president
of the US
Washington was military leader of the American War of Independence and
the first president of the United States.
The son of a Virginia tobacco planter, he fought for the British in
the French and Indian War and retired with the rank of brigadier general
After leaving the military, Washington managed his family's plantation
and became active in prerevolutionary politics when he fought British
laws enforcing unjust terms on American farmers.
He was a Virginia representative to the Continental Congress in 1775,
and when fighting broke out against the British he was appointed
commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.
His ability to inspire loyalty and to maintain the unity of his disparate
troops in terrible conditions proved decisive. He won several battles,
culminating in victory at Yorktown in 1781.Having presided over the
convention of delegates that drew up the US Constitution in 1787, Washington
was unanimously voted president in 1789. After serving two terms as
president, he retired to his home in Virginia, where he died two years