George Washington

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George Washington
Gilbert Stuart Williamstown Retrato de George Washington.jpg
Primero Presidente de los Estados Unidos
En la oficina
30 de abril 1789 [nb] - 04 de marzo 1797
Vice Presidente John Adams
Precedido por Posición establecido
Sucesor: John Adams
Oficial Superior del Ejército
En la oficina
13 julio 1798 a 14 diciembre 1799
Nombrado por John Adams
Precedido por James Wilkinson
Sucesor: Alexander Hamilton
Comandante en Jefe del Ejército Continental
En la oficina
15 junio 1775 a 23 diciembre 1783
Nombrado por Congreso Continental
Precedido por Posición establecido
Sucesor: Henry Knox ( Oficial Superior del Ejército )
Delegar en el Segundo Congreso Continental
de Virginia
En la oficina
Mayo 10, 1775 hasta junio 15, 1775
Precedido por Posición establecido
Sucesor: Thomas Jefferson
Delegar en el Primer Congreso Continental
de Virginia
En la oficina
5 septiembre 1774 a 26 octubre 1774
Precedido por Posición establecido
Sucesor: Posición abolido
Datos personales
Nacido (22/02/1732) 22 de febrero 1732
Westmoreland , Virginia , América británica
Murió 14 de diciembre 1799 (14/12/1799) (67 años)
Mount Vernon , Virginia , EE.UU.
Lugar de descanso Washington Tumba de la familia
Mount Vernon , Virginia
Partido político Independiente
Casamiento (s) Martha Dandridge Custis
Religión Deísmo [1]
Episcopal [2]
Firma Cursive firma en tinta
Servicio militar
Lealtad Unido de Gran Bretaña Gran Bretaña
Estados Unidos Estados Unidos
Servicio / rama Virginia milicia provincial
Continental Army
Ejército de Estados Unidos
Años de servicio Milicia: 1752-1758
Ejército Continental: 1775-1783
Ejército de EE.UU.: 1798-1799
Posición US-O9 insignia.svg Teniente general
US-O12 insignia.svg General de los Ejércitos (póstuma: 1976)
Comandos Virginia Colony 's regimiento
Continental Army
Ejército de Estados Unidos
Batallas / guerras Guerra francés y el indio
Batalla de Jumonville Glen
Batalla de necesidad de la fortaleza
Expedición Braddock
Batalla del Monongahela
Expedición Forbes
Guerra Revolucionaria Americana
campaña de Boston
Campaña de Nueva Jersey Nueva York y
campaña de Philadelphia
campaña de Yorktown
Awards Medalla de Oro del Congreso
Gracias del Congreso
^ 04 de marzo es el inicio oficial del primer período presidencial. 06 de abril es cuando el Congreso contó los votos del Colegio Electoral y certificado un presidente. 30 de abril es cuando Washington fue juramentado .

George Washington (22 de febrero 1732 [ OS 11 de febrero 1731] [Nota 1] [Nota 2] - 14 de diciembre de 1799) fue el primer Presidente de los Estados Unidos (1789-1797), el comandante en jefe de la Ejército Continental durante la Guerra de Independencia , y uno de los Padres Fundadores de los Estados Unidos . Él presidió la convención que redactó la Constitución , que sustituyó a los Artículos de la Confederación y se estableció el cargo de Presidente.

Washington fue elegido presidente como la elección unánime de los 69 electores en 1788, y sirvió dos períodos en el cargo. Él supervisó la creación de un gobierno nacional fuerte y bien financiada que mantiene la neutralidad en las guerras que azotan a Europa, suprimió la rebelión, y ganó la aceptación entre los estadounidenses de todo tipo. Su estilo de dirección establecido muchas formas y rituales de gobierno que se han utilizado desde, como el uso de un sistema de gabinete y la entrega de un discurso inaugural . Además, la transición pacífica de su presidencia a la presidencia de John Adams estableció una tradición que continúa en el siglo 21. Históricamente, Washington ha sido ampliamente considerado como el " padre de la patria ". [3]

Washington nació en el seno de la nobleza provincial de la Virginia colonial , su familia rico hacendado dueño de plantaciones de tabaco y esclavos. Después de su padre y su hermano mayor murieron cuando él era joven, Washington se convirtió en personal como profesionalmente unido a la poderosa William Fairfax , quien promovió su carrera como topógrafo y soldado. Washington rápidamente se convirtió en un oficial de alto rango en las fuerzas coloniales durante las primeras etapas de la Guerra Francesa e India . Elegido por el Segundo Congreso Continental en 1775 para ser comandante en jefe del Ejército Continental durante la Revolución Americana, Washington logró forzar a los británicos de Boston en 1776, pero fue derrotado y casi capturado ese mismo año cuando perdió New York Ciudad . Después de cruzar el río Delaware , en pleno invierno, que derrotó a los ingleses en dos batallas, retomó New Jersey y el impulso renovado a la causa patriota.

Debido a su estrategia, las fuerzas revolucionarias capturaron a dos grandes ejércitos británicos en Saratoga en 1777 y Yorktown en 1781 . Los historiadores alaban Washington para su selección y supervisión de sus generales, el fomento de la moral y la capacidad de mantener unido el ejército, la coordinación con los gobernadores de los estados y las unidades de la milicia del estado, las relaciones con el Congreso y la atención a los suministros, logística y capacitación. En la batalla, sin embargo, Washington fue superado en varias ocasiones por los generales británicos con ejércitos más grandes. Después de la victoria se había finalizado en 1783, Washington renunció como comandante en jefe en lugar de tomar el poder, lo que demuestra su oposición a la dictadura y su compromiso con el republicanismo americano .

Insatisfecho con las debilidades de los Artículos de la Confederación , en 1787 Washington presidió la Convención Constituyente que redactó la Constitución de los Estados Unidos . Elegido por unanimidad como el primer Presidente de los Estados Unidos en 1789, él intentó traer las facciones rivales juntos para unificar la nación. Apoyó Alexander Hamilton programas 's para pagar toda la deuda estatal y nacional, para implementar un sistema fiscal eficaz y la creación de un banco nacional (a pesar de la oposición de Thomas Jefferson ).

Washington proclamó el neutral Estados Unidos en las guerras que azotan a Europa después de 1793. Él evitó la guerra con Gran Bretaña y garantizó una década de paz y comercio rentable asegurando el tratado de Jay en 1795, a pesar de la intensa oposición de la jeffersonianos . Aunque nunca oficialmente se unió al partido federalista , él apoyó sus programas. De Washington "discurso de despedida" fue un influyente cartilla en virtud republicana y una advertencia contra el partidismo, sectarismo, y la participación en guerras en el extranjero. Se retiró de la presidencia en 1797 y regresó a su casa, Mount Vernon , y su vida doméstica, donde dirigió una variedad de empresas. Él liberó a todos los esclavos de su voluntad final.

Washington tuvo una visión de una nación grande y poderosa que se construiría en las líneas republicanas con el poder federal. Él trató de utilizar el gobierno nacional para preservar la libertad, mejorar la infraestructura, abrir las tierras occidentales, promover el comercio, que se encuentra un capital permanente, reducir las tensiones regionales y promover un espíritu de nacionalismo estadounidense. [4] A su muerte, Washington fue aclamado como " primero en guerra, primero en paz, y primero en los corazones de sus compatriotas ". [5]

Los federalistas él el símbolo de su partido hizo, pero durante muchos años, los jeffersonianos continuaron desconfiar de su influencia y retrasaron la construcción del monumento a Washington . Como el líder de la primera revolución victoriosa contra un imperio colonial en la historia del mundo, Washington se convirtió en un icono internacional por la liberación y el nacionalismo, sobre todo en Francia y América Latina. [6] Él se alinea constantemente entre los tres primeros presidentes de los Estados Unidos, según las encuestas de ambos estudiosos y el público en general.

Contenido

Primeros años (1732-1753)

El primer hijo de Augustine Washington (1694-1743) y su segunda esposa, Mary Ball Washington (1708-1789), George Washington nació en su Creek Estate del Papa cerca de la actual Colonial Beach en el condado de Westmoreland, Virginia . De acuerdo con el calendario juliano y Estilo Anunciación del año enumerando, a continuación, en uso en el Imperio Británico, Washington nació el 11 de febrero 1731, cuando el calendario gregoriano fue implementado en el Imperio Británico en 1752, de conformidad con lo dispuesto en el Calendario (New Style) Ley de 1750 , su fecha de nacimiento fue 22 de febrero 1732. [7] [Nota 1] [Nota 2]

Los antepasados ​​de Washington eran de Sulgrave , Inglaterra, y su bisabuelo, John Washington , había emigrado a Virginia en 1657. [8] padre Agustín de George era un plantador de tabaco esclavista que más tarde probó suerte en empresas de minas de hierro. [9] En la juventud de George, los Washington fueron miembros moderadamente prósperos de la Virginia nobleza , de "rango medio pelo" en lugar de una de las familias más importantes plantador. [10] En este momento, Virginia y otras colonias del sur se habían convertido en una sociedad esclavista, en la que los dueños de esclavos formado la clase dominante y la economía se basó en el trabajo esclavo. [11]

Seis de los hermanos de George llegó a la madurez, incluyendo dos medio-hermanos, Lawrence y Agustín, del primer matrimonio de su padre con Jane Butler, Washington, y cuatro hermanos de padre, Samuel, Elizabeth (Betty), Juan Agustín y Carlos. Tres hermanos murieron antes de convertirse en adultos: su hermana Mildred murió cuando ella tenía alrededor de una, [12] su medio hermano mayordomo murió un bebé, [13] y su media hermana Jane murió a la edad de 12, cuando George era alrededor de 2. [12] El padre de George murió cuando George tenía 11 años, después de los cuales la mitad-hermano de George Lawrence se convirtió en un padre sustituto y ejemplo a seguir. William Fairfax , suegro, yerno y primo del mayor terrateniente de Virginia de Lawrence, Thomas, Señor Fairfax , también fue una influencia formativa.

Washington pasó gran parte de su niñez en Ferry Farm , en el condado de Stafford cerca de Fredericksburg . Lawrence Washington heredó otra propiedad de la familia de su padre, una plantación en el río Potomac que llamó Mount Vernon , en honor a su comandante en jefe, el almirante Edward Vernon . George heredó Ferry Farm después de la muerte de su padre y con el tiempo adquirió Mount Vernon después de la muerte de Lawrence. [14]

La muerte de su padre impidió a Washington de cruzar el Atlántico para recibir el resto de su educación en Appleby School de Inglaterra, ya que sus hermanos mayores habían hecho. Él recibió el equivalente de una educación primaria de una variedad de tutores, [15] y también una escuela dirigida por un clérigo anglicano en o cerca de Fredericksburg. [16] Hablar de conseguir una cita en la Royal Navy para él cuando tenía 15 años fue abandonado cuando su madre viuda se opuso. [17] Gracias a la conexión de Lawrence a la familia Fairfax poderosa, a los 17 años en 1749, Washington fue nombrado inspector oficial del condado de Culpeper , una posición bien remunerada que le permitió comprar tierra en el Shenandoah Valley , la primera de sus muchas adquisiciones de tierra en el oeste de Virginia. Gracias también a la participación de Lawrence en la Ohio Company , una compañía de inversión de la tierra financiado por Virginia inversores, y la posición de Lawrence como comandante de la milicia de Virginia, Washington llegó a la atención de la nueva teniente gobernador de Virginia, Robert Dinwiddie . Washington era difícil pasar por alto:. Exactamente a seis pies, mucho más alto que la mayoría de sus contemporáneos [18]

En 1751, Washington viajó a Barbados con Lawrence, quien sufría de tuberculosis , con la esperanza de que el clima sería beneficioso para la salud de Lawrence. Washington contrajo la viruela durante el viaje, lo que dejó a su cara un poco marcado, sino que lo inmuniza contra futuras exposiciones a la temida enfermedad. [19] La salud de Lawrence no mejoró;. regresó a Mount Vernon, donde murió en 1752 [20] Lawrence posición como ayudante general (líder de la milicia) de Virginia se divide en cuatro oficinas después de su muerte. Washington fue nombrado por el Gobernador Dinwiddie como uno de los cuatro ayudantes de distrito en febrero de 1753, con el rango de mayor en la milicia de Virginia. [21] Washington también se unió a la masonería asociación fraternal en Fredericksburg en este momento. [22]

Francés y el indio guerra (o "Guerra de los Siete Años, 1754-1758)

El mapa de Washington, acompañando a su Diario de la Ohio (1753-1754).

En 1753, los franceses comenzaron a expandir su control militar en el " país de Ohio ", un territorio también reclamado por las colonias británicas de Virginia y Pennsylvania. Estas demandas en competencia condujo a una guerra en las colonias llaman la Guerra Francesa e India (1754-1762), y ha contribuido al inicio de los mundiales Guerra de los Siete Años (1756-1763). Washington estaba en el centro de su comienzo. La Compañía de Ohio era un vehículo a través del cual los inversores británicos planean expandirse en el territorio, la apertura de nuevos asentamientos y la creación de puestos de comercio para el comercio de la India. [23]

Gobernador Dinwiddie recibió órdenes del gobierno británico para advertir a los franceses de las reclamaciones británicas, y envió Major Washington a finales de 1753 para entregar una carta informando a los franceses de esas reclamaciones y pedir que se vayan. [23] Washington también se reunió con Tanacharison (también llamado "Half-rey") y otros líderes iroqueses se aliaron a Virginia en Logstown para asegurar su apoyo en caso de conflicto con los franceses, Washington y Tanacharison hicieron amigos y aliados. Washington entregó la carta al comandante francés local, que cortésmente se negó a salir. [24]

Gobernador Dinwiddie Washington envió de vuelta al país de Ohio para proteger a un grupo de Ohio Company construir un fuerte en la actual Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania, pero antes de llegar a la zona, una fuerza francesa expulsó a la tripulación de la compañía y comenzó la construcción de Fort Duquesne . Un pequeño destacamento de soldados franceses dirigido por Joseph Coulon de Jumonville , fue descubierto por Tanacharison y algunos guerreros del este de la actual Uniontown, Pennsylvania . Junto con sus Mingo aliados, Washington y parte de su unidad de la milicia y luego emboscaron a los franceses . ¿Qué ocurrió exactamente durante y después de la batalla es una cuestión de una cierta controversia, pero el resultado inmediato fue que Jumonville resultó herido en el ataque inicial y luego fue asesinado - si tomahawked por Tanacharison a sangre fría o de alguna manera baleado por otro espectador con un mosquete como el hombre herido sentado con Washington no es del todo clara. [25] [26]

Los franceses respondieron atacando y capturando Washington en necesidad de la fortaleza , en julio de 1754. [27] Sin embargo, se le permitió regresar con sus tropas a Virginia. El historiador Joseph Ellis concluye que el episodio demostró la valentía de Washington, la iniciativa, la inexperiencia y la impetuosidad. [28] Estos acontecimientos tuvieron consecuencias internacionales. los franceses acusaron a Washington de asesinar Jumonville, que según ellos estaba en una misión diplomática [28] Tanto Francia como Gran Gran Bretaña estaban dispuestos a luchar por el control de la región y las dos tropas enviadas a América del Norte en 1755;. guerra fue declarada oficialmente en 1756 [29]

Braddock desastres 1755

En 1755, Washington fue el principal asesor estadounidense en general británico Edward Braddock en la expedición Braddock malograda. Esta fue la mayor expedición británica a las colonias, y tenía la intención de expulsar a los franceses del país de Ohio. La sus aliados indios francés y emboscaron Braddock, quien fue mortalmente herido en la batalla del Monongahela . Después de sufrir bajas devastadoras, los británicos se retiraron en desorden, sin embargo, Washington montó un lado a otro del campo de batalla, reuniendo los restos de las fuerzas británicas y Virginian a un retiro organizado. [30]

Comandante del regimiento de Virginia

Gobernador Dinwiddie recompensado Washington en 1755 con una comisión como "coronel del regimiento de Virginia y Comandante en Jefe de todas las fuerzas que ahora se plantean en la defensa de la colonia de Su Majestad" y le dio la tarea de defender la frontera de Virginia. El regimiento de Virginia fue la primera unidad militar estadounidense a tiempo completo en las colonias (en oposición a las milicias a tiempo parcial y las unidades regulares británicas). Washington recibió la orden de "actuar a la defensiva oa la ofensiva", como mejor le pareciera. [31]

Al mando de un millar de soldados, Washington era una disciplina que hizo hincapié en la formación. Él llevó a sus hombres en las campañas brutales contra los indios en el oeste, en 10 meses unidades de su regimiento luchó 20 batallas y perdió un tercio de sus hombres. Denodados esfuerzos de Washington hicieron que la población de la frontera de Virginia sufrió menos que la de otras colonias;. Ellis concluye "que era su único éxito rotundo" en la guerra [32] [33]

En 1758, Washington participó en la expedición de Forbes para capturar Fort Duquesne. Estaba avergonzado por un episodio de fuego amigo en el que su unidad y otra unidad británica cree que el otro era el enemigo francés y abrieron fuego, con 14 muertos y 26 heridos en el accidente. Washington no ha participado en ninguna otra lucha importante en la expedición, y los británicos anotó una importante victoria estratégica, hacerse con el control del valle de Ohio, cuando los franceses abandonaron la fortaleza. Después de la expedición, Washington se retiró de su regimiento comisión Virginia en diciembre de 1758. No regresó a la vida militar hasta el estallido de la revolución en 1775. [34]

Lecciones aprendidas

Aunque Washington nunca ganó la comisión en el ejército británico que anheló, en estos años el joven obtuvo valiosas habilidades militares, políticas y liderazgo. [35] [36] Él observó de cerca las tácticas militares británicos, adquiriendo un gran conocimiento de sus fortalezas y las deficiencias que resultaron invaluables durante la Revolución. Él demostró su tenacidad y valentía en las situaciones más difíciles, como los desastres y retiros. Él desarrolló un comando presencia-dado su tamaño, fuerza, resistencia y valentía en la batalla, se apareció a los soldados para ser un líder natural y lo siguió sin rechistar. [37] [38]

Washington aprendió a organizar, entrenar, taladro, y disciplinar a sus compañías y regimientos. A partir de sus observaciones, lecturas y conversaciones con funcionarios profesionales, aprendió los fundamentos de la táctica del campo de batalla, así como una buena comprensión de los problemas de organización y logística. [39] Él ganó una comprensión de la estrategia global, sobre todo en la localización de puntos geográficos estratégicos. [40]

El historiador Ron Chernow es de la opinión de que sus frustraciones en el trato con los funcionarios del gobierno durante este conflicto lo llevaron a defender las ventajas de un gobierno nacional fuerte y una agencia ejecutiva enérgica que podría obtener resultados; [35] otros historiadores tienden a atribuir la posición de Washington en Gobierno para su posterior Guerra Revolucionaria Americana servicio. [Nota 3] Él desarrolló una idea muy negativa del valor de la milicia, que parecía demasiado poco fiable, demasiado indisciplinados, y demasiado a corto plazo en comparación con clientes habituales. [41] Por otro lado, su experiencia se limitaba a ordenar de un máximo de 1.000 hombres, y entró solo en condiciones fronterizas remotas que fueron alejados de las situaciones urbanas que enfrentó durante la revolución en Boston, Nueva York, Filadelfia y Trenton. [42]

Entre las dos guerras: Mount Vernon (1759-1774)

Una manera negra de Martha Washington , sobre la base de un retrato 1757 por Wollaston

El 6 de enero 1759, Washington se casó con la rica viuda Martha Dandridge Custis , luego de 28 años. Cartas que sobrevivieron sugieren que pudo haber sido en el amor en el tiempo con a Sally Fairfax , la esposa de un amigo. [43] Sin embargo, George y Martha hizo un matrimonio compatible, ya que Martha era inteligente, amable y con experiencia en la gestión de la propiedad de una sembradora . [44]

Juntos, los dos levantaron sus dos hijos de su anterior matrimonio, John Parke Custis y Martha Parke Custis, y más tarde los Washington plantearon dos de los nietos de la señora Washington, Eleanor Parke Custis y George Washington Parke Custis . George y Martha nunca tuvieron hijos juntos - su pelea anterior con la viruela en 1751 puede haber hecho lo estéril . [45] [46] La pareja de recién casados ​​se mudó a Mount Vernon , cerca de Alejandría , en donde tomó la vida de un macetero y política la figura.

El matrimonio de Washington a Martha aumentó considerablemente sus tenencias de propiedad y posición social, y lo convirtió en uno de los hombres más ricos de Virginia hizo. Adquirió un tercio de los 18.000 acres (73 km 2) inmuebles Custis sobre su matrimonio, por un valor aproximado de $ 100,000, y logró que el resto, en nombre de los niños de Marta, para quien sinceramente le importaba. [47]

En 1754, el Teniente Gobernador Dinwiddie había prometido recompensas de tierras a los soldados y oficiales que se ofrecieron como voluntarios para servir en la Guerra Francesa e India. [48] Gobernador Norborne Berkeley finalmente cumplió la promesa de Dinwiddie en 1769-1770, [48] [49] con Washington posteriormente recibiendo el título de 23.200 acres (94 km 2) cerca de donde el río Kanawha desemboca en el río Ohio , en lo que hoy es el oeste de Virginia Occidental . [50] Además, con frecuencia compró más tierras en su propio nombre. En 1775, Washington había duplicado el tamaño de Mount Vernon a 6.500 acres (26 km 2), y ha aumentado su población de esclavos a más de 100. Como un héroe militar respetado y gran terrateniente, ocupó la oficina local y fue elegido para la legislatura provincial Virginia, la casa de los ciudadanos , a partir de 1758. [51]

Washington vivió un estilo de vida aristocrática caza del zorro era una actividad de ocio favorita. [52] También disfrutaba yendo a bailes y fiestas, además del teatro, carreras y peleas de gallos . Washington también era conocido por jugar a las cartas, backgammon y billar . [53] Como la mayoría de los plantadores de Virginia, se importaron lujo y otros bienes de Inglaterra y pagó por ellos, exportando su cosecha de tabaco. [54]

Washington amplió la casa en Mount Vernon después de su matrimonio.

Washington empezó a tirar de él fuera de la deuda a mediados de la década de 1760, mediante la diversificación de sus previamente los intereses comerciales del tabaco centradas en otras empresas [54] , y prestar más atención a sus asuntos. [55] En 1766, él comenzó a cambiar principal cultivo comercial de Mount Vernon alejado del tabaco al trigo, un cultivo que podrían ser procesados ​​y luego se venden en diversas formas en las colonias, y las operaciones de diversificación para incluir la molienda de harina, la pesca, la cría de caballos, el hilado, el tejido y (en 1790) la producción de whisky. [54 ] la muerte de Patsy Custis en 1773 de la epilepsia activa Washington para pagar a sus acreedores británicos, ya que la mitad de su herencia pasó a él. [56]

Un plantador de éxito, él era un líder en la élite social en Virginia. De 1768 a 1775, invitó a unos 2.000 invitados a su finca Mount Vernon, sobre todo aquellos a los que considera "gente de rango". En cuanto a las personas que no sean de un alto estatus social, su consejo era "tratarlos civil", sino "mantenerlos a una distancia adecuada, para que crezcan en conocimiento, en la medida en que se hunden en la autoridad". [57] En 1769, él se volvieron más activos políticamente, presentando la Asamblea de Virginia con la legislación para prohibir la importación de mercancías procedentes de Gran Bretaña . [58]

Revolución Americana (1775-1783)

Washington se opuso a la Ley de 1765 sello , el primer impuesto directo sobre las colonias, y comenzó a tomar un papel protagónico en la resistencia colonial crecer cuando las protestas contra las Leyes de Townshend (adoptadas en 1767) se generalizó. En mayo de 1769, Washington presentó una propuesta, elaborada por su amigo George Mason , llamando a Virginia a boicotear las mercancías inglesas hasta que se deroguen las leyes. [59] Parlamento derogó las Leyes de Townshend en 1770. Sin embargo, Washington consideró que la aprobación de las Leyes Intolerables en 1774 como "una invasión de nuestros derechos y privilegios". [60]

En julio de 1774, presidió la reunión en la que la " Fairfax Resuelve "fueron adoptadas, que aboga por la celebración de un Congreso Continental , entre otras cosas. En agosto, Washington asistió a la Primera Convención de Virginia , donde fue elegido como delegado al Primer Congreso Continental . [61]

Comandante en jefe

El general George Washington en Trenton por John Trumbull , Yale University Art Gallery (1792).

Después de las batallas de Lexington y Concord , cerca de Boston en abril de 1775, las colonias fueron a la guerra. Washington apareció en el Segundo Congreso Continental en uniforme militar, señalando que estaba preparado para la guerra. [62] Washington tenía el prestigio, experiencia militar, carisma y porte militar de un líder militar y era conocido como un patriota fuerte. Virginia, la colonia más grande, merece reconocimiento, y Nueva Inglaterra, donde comenzaron los combates-se dio cuenta de que necesitaba el apoyo del sur. Washington no buscó explícitamente la oficina del comandante y dijo que no era igual a ella, pero no había una seria competencia. [63] El Congreso creó el Ejército Continental el 14 de junio de 1775. Nominado por John Adams de Massachusetts, Washington fue entonces nombrado general y comandante en jefe . [64]

Washington tenía tres funciones durante la guerra. De 1775 a 1777, y nuevamente en 1781, condujo a sus hombres contra las principales fuerzas británicas. Aunque perdió muchas de sus batallas, nunca entregó a su ejército durante la guerra, y él siguió luchando sin descanso a los británicos hasta el final de la guerra. Él trazó la estrategia general de la guerra, en cooperación con el Congreso. [65]

En segundo lugar, se le acusó de organizar y entrenar al ejército. Reclutó habituales y asigna Baron y el general Friedrich von Steuben , un veterano del Estado Mayor prusiano, para entrenarlos. El esfuerzo de la guerra y conseguir suministros para las tropas estaban bajo la supervisión del Congreso, [66] pero Washington presionó al Congreso para proporcionar los elementos esenciales. [67]

En junio de 1776, el primer intento del Congreso para correr la guerra se estableció con el Comité denominado "Consejo de guerra y artillería", sucedido por el Consejo de Guerra en julio de 1777, un comité que incluyó finalmente a los militares. [66 ] La estructura de mando de las fuerzas armadas era una mezcolanza de nombramientos del Congreso (y el Congreso hace a veces esas citas sin la participación de Washington) con el estado de las citas de llenar los rangos inferiores y de todas las milicias-oficiales. Los resultados de su estado mayor se mezclaron, como algunos de sus favoritos (como John Sullivan ) nunca dominar el arte de la orden. [65]

Finalmente, se encontró con funcionarios capaces, como el general Nathanael Greene y su jefe de Estado Mayor Alexander Hamilton . Los oficiales norteamericanos nunca igualaron a sus oponentes en las tácticas y maniobras, y en consecuencia perdieron la mayor parte de las batallas campales. Los grandes éxitos, en Boston (1776), Saratoga (1777) y Yorktown (1781), vinieron de atrapar a los británicos lejos de la base con un número mucho mayor de soldados. [65]

Tercero, y más importante, Washington era la encarnación de la resistencia armada a la Corona, el hombre representativo de la Revolución. Su enorme estatura y habilidades políticas mantienen Congreso, el ejército, los franceses, las milicias y los estados todas apuntando hacia un objetivo común. Al entrar voluntariamente hacia abajo y disolver su ejército, cuando se ganó la guerra, se estableció definitivamente el principio de la supremacía civil en los asuntos militares. Y sin embargo, su constante reiteración del punto en que los soldados profesionales bien disciplinados contados como dos veces más que los aficionados erráticos ayudó a superar la desconfianza ideológica de un ejército permanente. [68]

Victoria en Boston

Washington toma de control del Ejército Continental de 1775.

Mando del Ejército Continental en el campo de Washington asumió en Cambridge, Massachusetts , en julio de 1775, durante el curso asedio de Boston . Al darse cuenta de la escasez desesperada de su ejército de la pólvora, Washington pidió nuevas fuentes. Las tropas estadounidenses asaltaron arsenales ingleses, incluyendo algunos en el Caribe , y algunos de fabricación se intentó. Obtuvieron un suministro apenas suficiente (alrededor de 2,5 millones de dólares) a finales de 1776, en su mayoría de Francia. [69]

Washington reorganizó el ejército durante la larga disputa, y obligó a los británicos a retirarse poniendo la artillería en Dorchester Heights con vistas a la ciudad. Los británicos evacuaron Boston marzo 1776 y Washington trasladó su ejército a la ciudad de Nueva York. [70]

Aunque muy despectivos hacia la mayoría de los Patriots, los periódicos británicos elogiaron rutinariamente carácter y cualidades como jefe militar personal de Washington. Estos artículos eran audaces, como Washington era un general enemigo que comandaba un ejército en una causa que muchos británicos creían arruinarían el imperio . [71]

Derrota en la ciudad de Nueva York y Fabian tácticas

Washington cruzando el Delaware , 25 de diciembre de 1776, por Emanuel Leutze , 1851

En agosto de 1776, el general británico William Howe lanzó una masiva campaña naval y terrestre diseñada para aprovechar Nueva York. El Ejército Continental bajo Washington contrató al enemigo por primera vez como un ejército de los recién independizados Estados Unidos en la batalla de Long Island , la mayor batalla de toda la guerra. Los estadounidenses fueron muy superados en número, muchos hombres abandonaron, y Washington fue gravemente golpeado. Posteriormente, Washington se vio obligado a retirarse a través del East River en la noche. Lo hizo sin la pérdida de la vida o material. [72]

Washington retiró al norte de la ciudad para evitar el cerco, lo que Howe para tomar la ofensiva y capturar Fort Washington el 16 de noviembre con numerosas víctimas de Continental. Washington se retiró a través de Nueva Jersey , el futuro del Ejército Continental estaba en duda debido a que expiran alistamientos y la cadena de pérdidas. [73] En la noche del 25 de diciembre de 1776, Washington protagonizó una remontada con un ataque por sorpresa contra un puesto de avanzada de Hesse en el oeste de Nueva Jersey . Él llevó a su ejército a través del río Delaware para capturar casi 1.000 arpilleras en Trenton, Nueva Jersey . Washington siguió su victoria en Trenton con otra más asiduos británicos en Princeton a principios de enero. Los británicos se retiraron de nuevo a la ciudad de Nueva York y sus alrededores, que se mantienen hasta el tratado de paz de 1783. Las victorias de Washington arruinaron la estrategia de la zanahoria y el palo británico de mostrar la fuerza abrumadora luego ofrecer términos generosos. Los estadounidenses no negociaría para cualquier cosa menos que la independencia. [74] solo Estas victorias no fueron suficientes para asegurar la victoria patriota final, sin embargo, ya que muchos soldados no reengancharse o desertaron durante el duro invierno. Washington and Congress reorganized the army with increased rewards for staying and punishment for desertion, which raised troop numbers effectively for subsequent battles. [ 75 ]

Historians debate whether or not Washington preferred a Fabian strategy [ Note 4 ] to harass the British with quick, sharp attacks followed by a retreat so the larger British army could not catch him, or whether he preferred to fight major battles. [ Note 5 ] While his southern commander Greene in 1780–81 did use Fabian tactics, Washington did so only in fall 1776 to spring 1777, after losing New York City and seeing much of his army melt away. Trenton and Princeton were Fabian examples. By summer 1777, however, Washington had rebuilt his strength and his confidence; he stopped using raids and went for large-scale confrontations, as at Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth and Yorktown. [ 76 ]

1777 campaigns

In the late summer of 1777, the British under John Burgoyne sent a major invasion army south from Quebec , with the intention of splitting off rebellious New England. General Howe in New York took his army south to Philadelphia instead of going up the Hudson River to join with Burgoyne near Albany. It was a major strategic mistake for the British, and Washington rushed to Philadelphia to engage Howe, while closely following the action in upstate New York. In pitched battles that were too complex for his relatively inexperienced men, Washington was defeated. At the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, Howe outmaneuvered Washington, and marched into the American capital at Philadelphia unopposed on September 26. Washington's army unsuccessfully attacked the British garrison at Germantown in early October. Meanwhile, Burgoyne, out of reach from help from Howe, was trapped and forced to surrender his entire army at Saratoga, New York . [ 77 ] It was a major turning point militarily and diplomatically. France responded to Burgoyne's defeat by entering the war, openly allying with America and turning the Revolutionary War into a major worldwide war. Washington's loss of Philadelphia prompted some members of Congress to discuss removing Washington from command. This attempt failed after Washington's supporters rallied behind him. [ 78 ]

Valley Forge

General Washington and Lafayette look over the troops at Valley Forge .

Washington's army of 11,000 [ 79 ] went into winter quarters at Valley Forge north of Philadelphia in December 1777. Over the next six months, the deaths in camp numbered in the thousands (the majority being from disease), [ 80 ] with historians' death toll estimates ranging from 2000 [ 80 ] to 2500, [ 81 ] [ 82 ] to over 3000 men. [ 83 ] The next spring, however, the army emerged from Valley Forge in good order, thanks in part to a full-scale training program supervised by General von Steuben. [ 84 ] The British evacuated Philadelphia to New York in 1778, [ 85 ] shadowed by Washington. Washington attacked them at Monmouth , fighting to an effective draw in one of the war's largest battles. [ 86 ] Afterwards, the British continued to head towards New York, and Washington moved his army outside of New York. [ 85 ]

Victory at Yorktown

General Washington and the Comte de Rochambeau at Yorktown , Virginia, 1781.
General George Washington Resigning His Commission by John Trumbull , Capitol Rotunda (commissioned 1817)

In the summer of 1779 at Washington's direction, General John Sullivan carried out a scorched earth campaign that destroyed at least 40 Iroquois villages in central and upstate New York; the Indians were British allies who had been raiding American settlements on the frontier. [ 87 ] In July 1780, 5,000 veteran French troops led by General Comte Donatien de Rochambeau arrived at Newport, Rhode Island to aid in the war effort. [ 88 ] The Continental Army having been funded by $20,000 in French gold, Washington delivered the final blow to the British in 1781, after a French naval victory allowed American and French forces to trap a British army in Virginia. The surrender at Yorktown on October 17, 1781, marked the end of major fighting in continental North America. [ 89 ]

Demobilization

Washington could not know that after Yorktown, the British would not reopen hostilities. They still had 26,000 troops occupying New York City, Charleston and Savannah, together with a powerful fleet. The French army and navy departed, so the Americans were on their own in 1782–83. The treasury was empty, and the unpaid soldiers were growing restive, almost to the point of mutiny or possible coup d'état. Washington dispelled unrest among officers by suppressing the Newburgh Conspiracy in March 1783, and Congress came up with the promise of a five-year bonus. [ 90 ]

With the initial peace treaty articles ratified in April, a recently formed Congressional committee under Hamilton , was considering needs and plans for a peacetime army. On May 2, 1783, the Commander in Chief submitted his Sentiments on a Peace Establishment [ 91 ] to the Committee, essentially providing an official Continental Army position. The original proposal was defeated in Congress in two votes (May 1783, October 1783) with a truncated version also being rejected in April of 1784. [ 92 ]

By the Treaty of Paris (signed that September), Great Britain recognized the independence of the United States. Washington disbanded his army and, on November 2, gave an eloquent farewell address to his soldiers. [ 93 ]

On November 25, the British evacuated New York City , and Washington and the governor took possession. At Fraunces Tavern on December 4, Washington formally bade his officers farewell and on December 23, 1783, he resigned his commission as commander-in-chief. Historian Gordon Wood concludes that the greatest act in his life was his resignation as commander of the armies—an act that stunned aristocratic Europe. [ 94 ] King George III called Washington "the greatest character of the age" because of this. [ 95 ]

Historian John Shy says that by 1783 Washington was, “a mediocre military strategist but had become a master political tactician with an almost perfect sense of timing and a developed capacity to exploit his charismatic reputation, using people who thought they were using him.” [ 96 ]

United States Constitution

Washington's retirement to Mount Vernon was short-lived. He made an exploratory trip to the western frontier in 1784, [ 64 ] was persuaded to attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, and was unanimously elected president of the Convention. He participated little in the debates (though he did vote for or against the various articles), but his high prestige maintained collegiality and kept the delegates at their labors. The delegates designed the presidency with Washington in mind, and allowed him to define the office once elected. [ 97 ] After the Convention, his support convinced many to vote for ratification; the new Constitution was ratified by all thirteen states. [ 98 ]

Presidency (1789–1797)

Lansdowne portrait
of George Washington
painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796

The Electoral College elected Washington unanimously as the first president in 1789 , [ Note 6 ] and again in the 1792 election ; he remains the only president to have received 100 percent of the electoral votes. [ Note 7 ] John Adams , who received the next highest vote total, was elected Vice President. At his inauguration , Washington took the oath of office as the first President of the United States of America on April 30, 1789, on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City. [ 100 ]

The 1st United States Congress voted to pay Washington a salary of $25,000 a year—a large sum in 1789. Washington, already wealthy, declined the salary, since he valued his image as a selfless public servant. At the urging of Congress, however, he ultimately accepted the payment, to avoid setting a precedent whereby the presidency would be perceived as limited only to independently wealthy individuals who could serve without any salary. [ 101 ] The president, aware that everything he did set a precedent, attended carefully to the pomp and ceremony of office, making sure that the titles and trappings were suitably republican and never emulated European royal courts. To that end, he preferred the title "Mr. President" to the more majestic names suggested. [ 102 ]

Washington proved an able administrator. An excellent delegator and judge of talent and character, he talked regularly with department heads and listened to their advice before making a final decision. [ 103 ] In handling routine tasks, he was "systematic, orderly, energetic, solicitous of the opinion of others ... but decisive, intent upon general goals and the consistency of particular actions with them." [ 104 ]

Washington reluctantly served a second term. He refused to run for a third, establishing the customary policy of a maximum of two terms for a president. [ 105 ]

Domestic issues

George Washington by Rembrandt Peale , De Young Museum (ca. 1850)

Washington was not a member of any political party and hoped that they would not be formed, fearing conflict that would undermine republicanism. [ 106 ] His closest advisors formed two factions, setting the framework for the future First Party System . Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton had bold plans to establish the national credit and build a financially powerful nation, and formed the basis of the Federalist Party . Secretary of the State Thomas Jefferson , founder of the Jeffersonian Republicans , strenuously opposed Hamilton's agenda, but Washington typically favored Hamilton over Jefferson, and it was Hamilton's agenda that went into effect. Jefferson's political actions, his support of Philip Freneau 's National Gazette , [ 107 ] and his attempt to undermine Hamilton, nearly led George Washington to dismiss Jefferson from his cabinet. [ 108 ] Though Jefferson left the cabinet voluntarily, Washington never forgave him, and never spoke to him again. [ 108 ]

The Residence Act of 1790 , which Washington signed, authorized the President to select the specific location of the permanent seat of the government, which would be located along the Potomac River. The Act authorized the President to appoint three commissioners to survey and acquire property for this seat. Washington personally oversaw this effort throughout his term in office. In 1791, the commissioners named the permanent seat of government "The City of Washington in the Territory of Columbia" to honor Washington. In 1800, the Territory of Columbia became the District of Columbia when the federal government moved to the site according to the provisions of the Residence Act. [ 109 ]

In 1791 partly as a result of the Copper Panic of 1789 , Congress imposed an excise tax on distilled spirits, which led to protests in frontier districts, especially Pennsylvania. By 1794, after Washington ordered the protesters to appear in US district court , the protests turned into full-scale defiance of federal authority known as the Whiskey Rebellion . The federal army was too small to be used, so Washington invoked the Militia Act of 1792 to summon militias from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. [ 110 ] The governors sent the troops and Washington took command, marching into the rebellious districts. The rebels dispersed and there was no fighting, as Washington's forceful action proved the new government could protect itself. These events marked the first time under the new constitution that the federal government used strong military force to exert authority over the states and citizens. [ 111 ]

Foreign affairs

Miniature Portrait of Washington by Robert Field (1800)

In February 1793 a major war broke out between conservative Great Britain and its allies and revolutionary France, launching an era of large-scale warfare that engulfed Europe until 1815. Washington, with cabinet approval, proclaimed American neutrality. The revolutionary government of France sent diplomat Edmond-Charles Genêt , called "Citizen Genêt," to America. Genêt was welcomed with great enthusiasm and propagandized the case for France in the French war against Great Britain, and for this purpose promoted a network of new Democratic Societies in major cities. He issued French letters of marque and reprisal to French ships manned by American sailors so they could capture British merchant ships. Washington, warning and mistrustful of the influence of Illuminism that had been so strong in the French Revolution (as recounted by John Robison and Abbé Augustin Barruel ) and its Reign of Terror , demanded the French government recall Genêt, and denounced the societies. [ 112 ]

Hamilton and Washington designed the Jay Treaty to normalize trade relations with Great Britain, remove them from western forts, and resolve financial debts left over from the Revolution. [ 113 ] John Jay negotiated and signed the treaty on November 19, 1794. The Jeffersonians supported France and strongly attacked the treaty. Washington's strong support mobilized public opinion and proved decisive in securing ratification in the Senate by the necessary two-thirds majority. [ 114 ] The British agreed to depart from their forts around the Great Lakes , subsequently the United States-Canadian boundary had to be re-adjusted, numerous pre-Revolutionary debts were liquidated, and the British opened their West Indies colonies to American trade. Most importantly, the treaty delayed war with Great Britain and instead brought a decade of prosperous trade with Great Britain. The treaty angered the French and became a central issue in many political debates. [ 115 ] Relations with France deteriorated after the treaty was signed, leaving his successor, John Adams , with the prospect of war. [ 116 ] [ 117 ]

Farewell Address

Washington's Farewell Address (September 19, 1796)

Washington's Farewell Address (issued as a public letter in 1796) was one of the most influential statements of republicanism. Drafted primarily by Washington himself, with help from Hamilton, it gives advice on the necessity and importance of national union, the value of the Constitution and the rule of law, the evils of political parties, and the proper virtues of a republican people. He called morality "a necessary spring of popular government". He said, "Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." [ 118 ]

Washington's public political address warned against foreign influence in domestic affairs and American meddling in European affairs. He warned against bitter partisanship in domestic politics and called for men to move beyond partisanship and serve the common good. He warned against "permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world", [ 119 ] saying the United States must concentrate primarily on American interests. He counseled friendship and commerce with all nations, but warned against involvement in European wars and entering into long-term "entangling" alliances. The address quickly set American values regarding foreign affairs. [ 120 ]

Retirement (1797–1799)

After retiring from the presidency in March 1797, Washington returned to Mount Vernon with a profound sense of relief. He devoted much time to his plantations and other business interests, including his distillery which produced its first batch of spirits in February 1797. [ 121 ] As Chernow (2010 ) explains, his plantation operations were at best marginally profitable. The lands out west yielded little income because they were under attack by Indians and the squatters living there refused to pay him rent. Most Americans assumed he was rich because of the well-known "glorified façade of wealth and grandeur" at Mount Vernon. [ 122 ] Historians estimate his estate was worth about $1 million in 1799 dollars, equivalent to about $18 million in 2009 purchasing power. [ 123 ]

By 1798, relations with France had deteriorated to the point that war seemed imminent, and on July 4, 1798, President Adams offered Washington a commission as lieutenant general and Commander-in-chief of the armies raised or to be raised for service in a prospective war . He reluctantly accepted, and served as the senior officer of the United States Army between July 13, 1798, and December 14, 1799. He participated in the planning for a Provisional Army to meet any emergency that might arise, but avoided involvement in details as much as possible; he delegated most of the work, including leadership of the army, to Hamilton. [ 124 ] [ 125 ]

Muerte

Washington's tomb at Mount Vernon , Virginia

On Thursday, December 12, 1799, Washington spent several hours inspecting his plantation on horseback, in snow, hail, and freezing rain—later that evening eating his supper without changing from his wet clothes. That Friday he awoke with a severe sore throat (either quinsy or acute epiglottitis ) and became increasingly hoarse as the day progressed. Sometime around 3 am that Saturday, he awoke his wife and said he felt ill. Following common medical practice at the time, he was bled —initially by an employee and later again by physicians.

"A vein was opened, but no relief afforded. Couriers were dispatched to Dr. Craik, the family, and Drs. Dick and Brown, the consulting physicians, all of whom came with speed. The proper remedies were administered, but without producing their healing effects; while the patient, yielding to the anxious looks of all around him, waived his usual objections to medicines, and took those which were prescribed without hesitation or remark." [ 126 ]

Washington died at home around 10 pm on Saturday, December 14, 1799, aged 67. The last words in his diary were "'Tis well." [ Note 8 ]

Throughout the world, men and women were saddened by Washington's death. Napoleon ordered 10 days of mourning throughout France; in the United States, thousands wore mourning clothes for months. [ 127 ] To protect their privacy, Martha Washington burned the correspondence between her husband and her following his death. Only a total of five letters between the couple are known to have survived, two letters from Martha to George and three from him to Martha. [ 128 ] [ 129 ]

On December 18, 1799, a funeral was held at Mount Vernon, where his body was interred. [ 130 ] Congress passed a joint resolution to construct a marble monument in the United States Capitol for his body, supported by Martha. In December 1800, the United States House passed an appropriations bill for $200,000 to build the mausoleum, which was to be a pyramid that had a base 100 feet (30 m) square. Southern opposition to the plan defeated the measure because they felt it was best to have his body remain at Mount Vernon. [ 131 ]

In 1831, for the centennial of his birth, a new tomb was constructed to receive his remains. That year, an unsuccessful attempt was made to steal the body of Washington. [ 132 ] Despite this, a joint Congressional committee in early 1832 debated the removal of Washington's body from Mount Vernon to a crypt in the Capitol, built by Charles Bulfinch in the 1820s. Southern opposition was intense, antagonized by an ever-growing rift between North and South. Congressman Wiley Thompson of Georgia expressed the fear of Southerners when he said:

Remove the remains of our venerated Washington from their association with the remains of his consort and his ancestors, from Mount Vernon and from his native State, and deposit them in this capitol, and then let a severance of the Union occur, and behold the remains of Washington on a shore foreign to his native soil. [ 131 ]

His remains were moved on October 7, 1837 to the new tomb constructed at Mount Vernon, presented by John Struthers of Philadelphia . [ 133 ] After the ceremony, the inner vault's door was closed and the key was thrown into the Potomac . [ 134 ]

Legado

The Constable-Hamilton Portrait by Gilbert Stuart , Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art , Bentonville, Arkansas (1797)

As Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, hero of the revolution and the first president of the United States, George Washington's legacy remains among the greatest in American history. Congressman Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee , a Revolutionary War comrade, famously eulogized Washington: [ 135 ]

First in war—first in peace—and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and enduring scenes of private life; pious, just, humane, temperate, and sincere; uniform, dignified, and commanding, his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting. To his equals he was condescending, to his inferiors kind, and to the dear object of his affections exemplarily tender; correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence, and virtue always felt his fostering hand; the purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues. His last scene comported with the whole tenor of his life—although in extreme pain, not a sigh, not a groan escaped him; and with undisturbed serenity he closed his well-spent life. Such was the man America has lost—such was the man for whom our nation mourns.

Lee's words set the standard by which Washington's overwhelming reputation was impressed upon the American memory. Washington set many precedents for the national government, and the presidency in particular, and was called the " Father of His Country " as early as 1778. [ Note 9 ] [ 136 ] [ 137 ] [ 138 ] Washington's Birthday (celebrated on Presidents' Day), is a federal holiday in the United States. [ 139 ]

During the United States Bicentennial year, George Washington was posthumously appointed to the grade of General of the Armies of the United States by the congressional joint resolution Public Law 94-479 passed on January 19, 1976, with an effective appointment date of July 4, 1976. [ 64 ] This restored Washington's position as the highest-ranking military officer in US history . [ Note 10 ]

Cherry tree

Apocryphal stories about Washington's childhood include a claim that he skipped a silver dollar across the Potomac River at Mount Vernon, and that he chopped down his father's cherry tree and admitted the deed when questioned: "I can't tell a lie, Pa." The anecdote was first reported by biographer Parson Weems , who after Washington's death interviewed people who knew him as a child. The Weems version was very widely reprinted throughout the 19th century, for example in McGuffey Readers. Moralistic adults wanted children to learn moral lessons from the past from history, especially as taught by great national heroes like Washington. After 1890 however, historians insisted on scientific research methods to validate every story, and there was no evidence for this anecdote apart from Weems' report. Joseph Rodman in 1904 noted that Weems plagiarized other Washington tales from published fiction set in England. No one has found an alternative source for the cherry tree story, thus Weems' credibility is questioned. [ 140 ] [ 141 ]

Monuments and memorials

Washington Monument

Starting with victory in their Revolution, there were many proposals to build a monument to Washington. After his death, Congress authorized a suitable memorial in the national capital, but the decision was reversed when the Republicans took control of Congress in 1801. The Republicans were dismayed that Washington had become the symbol of the Federalist Party; furthermore, the values of Republicanism seemed hostile to the idea of building monuments to powerful men. [ 142 ] Further political squabbling, along with the North-South division on the Civil War, blocked the completion of the Washington Monument until the late 19th century. By that time, Washington had the image of a national hero who could be celebrated by both North and South, and memorials to him were no longer controversial. [ 143 ] Predating the obelisk on the National Mall by several decades, the first public memorial to Washington was built by the citizens of Boonsboro, Maryland , in 1827. [ 144 ]

George Washington's likeness under construction on Mount Rushmore

Today, Washington's face and image are often used as national symbols of the United States. [ 145 ] He appears on contemporary currency, including the one-dollar bill and the quarter coin , and on US postage stamps . Along with appearing on the first postage stamps issued by the US Post Office in 1847, [ 146 ] Washington, together with Theodore Roosevelt , Thomas Jefferson, and Lincoln, is depicted in stone at the Mount Rushmore Memorial . The Washington Monument , one of the best known American landmarks, was built in his honor. The George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia, was constructed between 1922 and 1932 with voluntary contributions from all 52 local governing bodies of the Freemasons in the United States. [ 147 ] [ 148 ]

Many places and entities have been named in honor of Washington . Washington's name became that of the nation's capital, Washington, DC, one of two national capitals across the globe to be named after an American president (the other is Monrovia , Liberia). The state of Washington is the only state to be named after a United States President. [ 149 ] George Washington University and Washington University in St. Louis were named for him, as was Washington and Lee University (once Washington Academy), which was renamed due to Washington's large endowment in 1796. Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland (established by Maryland state charter in 1782) was supported by Washington during his lifetime with a 50 guineas pledge, [ 150 ] and with service on the college's Board of Visitors and Governors until 1789 (when Washington was elected President). [ 151 ] According to the US Census Bureau's 1993 geographic data, Washington is the 17th most common street name in the United States, [ 152 ] and the only person's name so honored. [ Note 11 ]

There are many "Washington Monuments" in the United States, including two well-known equestrian statues, one in Manhattan and one in Richmond, Virginia. The first statue to show Washington on horseback was dedicated in 1856 and is located in Manhattan's Union Square. [ 153 ] The second statue is known as either the Virginia Washington Monument or as the George Washington Equestrian Statue [ 154 ] and was unveiled in 1858. [ 154 ] [ 155 ] It was the second American statue of Washington on horseback [ 155 ] but figures prominently in the official seal of the Confederate States of America. [ 154 ] [ 156 ]

A marble statue of Washington was made from life by sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon , and now sits in the Rotunda of the State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia. A duplicate, one of 22 bronze exact replicas, [ 157 ] was given to the British in 1921 by the Commonwealth of Virginia and now stands in front of the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square . [ 158 ]

In 1917, the 886 Washingtonia asteroid was named in his honor.

Papers

The serious collection and publication of Washington's documentary record began with the pioneer work of Jared Sparks in the 1830s, Life and Writings of George Washington (12 vols., 1834–1837). The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799 (1931–44) is a 37 volume set edited by John C. Fitzpatrick. It contains over 17,000 letters and documents and is available online from the University of Virginia . [ 159 ]

The definitive letterpress edition of his writings was begun by the University of Virginia in 1968, and today comprises 52 published volumes, with more to come. It contains everything written by Washington, or signed by him, together with most of his incoming letters. Part of the collection is available online from the University of Virginia. [ 160 ]

Personal property auction record

On June 22, 2012, George Washington's personal annotated copy of the “Acts Passed at a Congress of the United States of America” from 1789, which includes The Constitution of the United States and a draft of the Bill of Rights , was sold at Christie's for a record $9,826,500, with fees the final cost, to The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association . This was the record for a document sold at auction. [ 161 ]

Vida personal

The Washington Family by Edward Savage , painted between 1789 and 1796, shows (from left to right): George Washington Parke Custis , George Washington, Eleanor Parke Custis , Martha Washington , and an enslaved servant: probably William Lee or Christopher Sheels .

Along with Martha's biological family, George Washington had a close relationship with his nephew and heir, Bushrod Washington , son of George's younger brother, John Augustine Washington . After his uncle's death, Bushrod became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States . George, however, apparently did not get along well with his mother, Mary Ball Washington (Augustine's second wife), who was a very demanding and difficult person. [ 162 ]

As a young man, Washington had red hair. [ 163 ] A popular myth is that he wore a wig, as was the fashion among some at the time. However, Washington did not wear a wig; instead, he powdered his hair, [ 164 ] as is represented in several portraits, including the well-known, unfinished Gilbert Stuart depiction, The Athenaeum portrait . [ 165 ]

Washington had unusually great physical strength that amazed younger men. Jefferson called Washington "the best horseman of his age", and both American and European observers praised his riding; the horsemanship benefited his hunting, a favorite hobby. Washington was an excellent dancer and frequently attended the theater, often referencing Shakespeare in letters. [ 166 ] He drank in moderation and precisely recorded gambling wins and losses, but Washington disliked the excessive drinking, gambling, smoking, and profanity that was common in colonial Virginia. Although he grew tobacco, he eventually stopped smoking, and considered drunkenness a man's worst vice; Washington was glad that post-Revolutionary Virginia society was less likely to "force [guests] to drink and to make it an honor to send them home drunk." [ 167 ]

Washington suffered from problems with his teeth throughout his life. He lost his first adult tooth when he was twenty-two and had only one left by the time he became President. [ 168 ] John Adams claims he lost them because he used them to crack Brazil nuts but modern historians suggest the mercury oxide , which he was given to treat illnesses such as smallpox and malaria , probably contributed to the loss. He had several sets of false teeth made, four of them by a dentist named John Greenwood. [ 168 ] Contrary to popular belief , none of the sets were made from wood. The set made when he became President was carved from hippopotamus and elephant ivory, held together with gold springs. [ 169 ] Dental problems left Washington in constant pain, for which he took laudanum . [ 170 ] This distress may be apparent in many of the portraits painted while he was still in office, [ 170 ] including the one still used on the $1 bill. [ 165 ] [ Note 12 ]

Slavery

Washington was the only prominent Founding Father to arrange in his will for the manumission of all his slaves following his death. [ 171 ] He privately opposed slavery as an institution which he viewed as economically unsound and morally indefensible. He also regarded the divisiveness of his countrymen's feelings about slavery as a potentially mortal threat to the unity of the nation. [ 172 ] Yet, as general of the army, president of the Constitutional Convention, and the first president of the United States, he never publicly challenged the institution of slavery, [ 173 ] possibly because he wanted to avoid provoking a split in the new republic over so inflammatory an issue. [ 174 ]

Washington had owned slaves since the death of his father in 1743, when at the age of eleven, he inherited 10 slaves. At the time of his marriage to Martha Custis in 1759, he personally owned at least 36 slaves, which meant he had achieved the status of a major planter (historians defined this in the Upper South as owning 20 or more slaves). The wealthy widow Martha brought at least 85 " dower slaves" to Mount Vernon by inheriting a third of her late husband's estate. Using his wife's great wealth, Washington bought more land, tripling the size of the plantation at Mount Vernon, and purchased the additional slaves needed to work it. By 1774, he paid taxes on 135 slaves (this figure does not include the "dowers"). The last record of a slave purchase by him was in 1772, although he later received some slaves in repayment of debts. [ 175 ] Washington also used some hired staff [ 121 ] and white indentured servants ; in April 1775, he offered a reward for the return of two runaway white servants. [ 176 ]

Washington came to oppose slavery on both moral and economic grounds. Before the American Revolution, he had expressed no moral reservations about slavery. But by 1779, he would tell his manager at Mount Vernon that he wished to sell his slaves when the war ended, if the Americans were victorious. [ 177 ] He concluded that maintaining a large, and increasingly elderly, slave population at Mount Vernon was no longer economically profitable, and that people who were compelled to work would never work hard. [ 178 ] Washington could not legally sell the "dower slaves", and because they had long intermarried with his own slaves, he could not sell his slaves without breaking up families, which he wanted to avoid. [ 179 ] In 1786, Washington wrote to Robert Morris , saying, "There is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery." [ 180 ] Still, according to historian John Ferling, Washington also wanted the material benefits of owning slaves and wanted to leave his wife's family a large inheritance. [ 181 ]

As president, following the transfer of the national capital to Pennsylvania in 1790, Washington brought eight enslaved people to work for him in the President's House in Philadelphia, where state law would have automatically granted freedom to any slaves who had resided in the state for more than 6 months. He circumvented that provision of the law by maintaining that he was not a Pennsylvania resident and ensuring that neither he nor any of his slaves stayed in the state for more than six months at a time. [ 182 ] When one of the slaves, Oney Judge , a personal attendant to Martha, escaped, Washington complained that the slave had fled "without the least provocation," and he secretly sent agents to hunt her down. Martha urged Washington to advertise a reward for her capture, and the ad was placed in the Pennsylvania Gazette on May 24, 1796. When the escaped former slave was spotted in New Hampshire, she said that she would agree to return out of affection for the Washington family, but only if they would guarantee her freedom, a proposal the Washingtons refused. They were still trying, surreptitiously, to recapture her two years later. [ 183 ] [ 184 ] Another slave, Hercules who served as Washington's chef in the Presidential House in Philadelphia, managed to escape from Mount Vernon despite Washington's suspicions that he had been planning it. [ 185 ] [ 186 ] Washington would eventually replace the slaves at the President's House with immigrant German indentured servants.

By 1794, as he contemplated retirement, Washington began organizing his affairs so that in his will he could free all the slaves whom he owned outright. [ 187 ] As historian Gordon S. Wood writes in his review of Joseph Ellis ' biography of Washington, "He did this in the teeth of opposition from his relatives, his neighbors, and perhaps even Martha. It was a courageous act, and one of his greatest legacies." [ 178 ] At the time of Washington's death in 1799, 317 slaves lived at Mount Vernon: 123 were owned by Washington himself, 154 were held by his wife as "dower slaves", and 40 others were rented from a neighbor. [ 188 ] Washington's will provided for all of his slaves to be freed upon the death of his widow, but she chose to free them about 12 months after his death. The will also provided for the training of the younger former-slaves in useful skills and for the creation of an old-age pension fund for the older ones. [ 189 ]

Religión

Stained glass window of Washington kneeling in prayer, Capitol Prayer Room, US Capitol , Washington, DC

The exact nature of Washington's religious beliefs has been debated by historians and biographers for over two hundred years. Although he visited several denominations in his public life, he was primarily affiliated with the Anglican and, later, Episcopal church. He served as a Vestryman and as Church Warden for both Fairfax Parish in Alexandria and Truro Parish, [ 190 ] administrative positions that, like all positions in Virginia while it had an official religion, required one to swear they would not speak or act in a way that did not conform to the tenets of the Church.

Like the deists Washington avoided the word "God" and instead used the term "Providence." [ 1 ] He never talked about Jesus Christ, though he did refer to Christianity as the religion of Christ.

Eyewitness accounts exist of Washington engaging in private devotions. [ 191 ]

Washington frequently accompanied his wife to church services. Although third-hand reports say he took communion , [ 192 ] he is usually characterized as never or rarely participating in the rite. [ 193 ] [ 194 ] He would regularly leave services before communion with the other non-communicants (as was the custom of the day), until, after being admonished by a rector , he ceased attending at all on communion Sundays. [ 195 ]

Chernow, in a 2010 podcast, summed up Washington's religious views:

There has been a huge controversy, to put it mildly, about Washington's religious beliefs. Before the Revolutionary War he was Anglican – Church of England – which meant after the war, he was Episcopalian. So, he was clearly Christian ... He was quite intensely religious, because even though he uses the word Providence, he constantly sees Providence as an active force in life, particularly in American life. I mean, every single victory in war he credits to Providence. The miracle of the Constitutional Convention he credits to Providence. The creation of the federal government and the prosperity of the early republic, he credits to Providence ... I was struck at how frequently in his letters he's referring to Providence, and it's Providence where there's a sense of design and purpose, which sounds to me very much like religion ... Unfortunately, this particular issue has become very very politicized. [ 2 ]

Masonería

Washington was initiated into Freemasonry in 1752. [ 196 ] He had a high regard for the Masonic Order and often praised it, but he seldom attended lodge meetings. He was attracted by the movement's dedication to the Enlightenment principles of rationality, reason and fraternalism; the American lodges did not share the anti-clerical perspective that made the European lodges so controversial. [ 197 ] In 1777, a convention of Virginia lodges recommended Washington to be the Grand Master of the newly established Grand Lodge of Virginia ; however, Washington declined, due to his necessity to lead the Continental Army at a critical stage, and because he had never been installed as Master or Warden of a lodge, he did not consider it Masonically legal to serve as Grand Master. [ 198 ] In 1788, Washington, with his personal consent, was named Master in the Virginia charter of Alexandria Lodge No. 22 . [ 199 ]

Postage and currency

Since 1847, one of the defining hallmarks of a US President is his appearance on US currency and postage. George Washington appears on contemporary US currency, including the one-dollar bill and the US quarter dollar . On US postage stamps Washington, along with Benjamin Franklin , appeared on the nation's first postage stamps in 1847. Throughout US postal history Washington appears on many postage issues, more than all other presidents combined. [ 146 ]

Washington,
issue of 1862, 24c
Washington,
issue of 1895, 2c
Washington-Franklin Issues
of 1908 - 1923, 5c
Washington at Prayer, Valley Forge ,
issue of 1928, 2c

Véase también

Notas

  1. ^ a b Contemporary records, which used the Julian calendar and the Annunciation Style of enumerating years, recorded his birth as February 11, 1731. The provisions of the British Calendar (New Style) Act 1750 , implemented in 1752, altered the official British dating method to the Gregorian calendar with the start of the year on January 1 (it had been March 25). These changes resulted in dates being moved forward 11 days, and for those between January 1 and March 25, an advance of one year. For a further explanation, see: Old Style and New Style dates .
  2. ^ a b Engber, Daniel (January 18, 2006). "What's Benjamin Franklin's Birthday?" . Slate . Retrieved 2011-05-21 .   (Both Franklin's and Washington's confusing birth dates are clearly explained.)
  3. ^ Ellis and Ferling, for example, do not discuss this stance in reference to Washington's French and Indian War service, and cast it almost exclusively in terms of his negative experiences dealing with the Continental Congress during the Revolution. See Ellis (2004 , p. 218); Ferling (2009 , pp. 32–33, 200, 258–272, 316). Don Higginbotham places Washington's first formal advocacy of a strong central government in 1783. Higginbotham (2002 , p. 37).
  4. ^ The term comes from the Roman strategy used by General Fabius against Hannibal's invasion in the Second Punic War .
  5. ^ Ferling and Ellis argue that Washington favored Fabian tactics and Higginbotham denies it. Ferling (2010 , pp. 212, 264); Ellis (2004 , p. 11); Higginbotham (1971 , p. 211).
  6. ^ Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress called its presiding officer "President of the United States in Congress Assembled". That person had no executive powers, but the similarity of titles has confused some into thinking there were other presidents before Washington. [ 99 ]
  7. ^ Under the system in place at the time, each elector cast two votes, with the winner becoming president and the runner-up vice president. All electors in the elections of 1789 and 1792 cast one of their votes for Washington; thus it may be said that he was elected president unanimously.
  8. ^ At least three modern medical authors ( Wallenborn (1997 ), Shapiro 1975, Scheidemandel 1976) have concluded that Washington most probably died from acute bacterial epiglottitis complicated by the treatments given (all of which were accepted medical practice of that era). See Vadakan (2005 , Footnotes) for these references, also his article's quotation of Doctors James Craik and Elisha C. Dick 's account in the Times of Alexandria (newspaper) of what happened during their treatment of Washington. These treatments included administering multiple doses of calomel (a cathartic or purgative ), plus extensive bloodletting (with a result of 3.75 liters of blood taken). The massive deliberate blood-loss contributed to the additional serious complication of shock .
  9. ^ The earliest known image in which Washington is identified as the Father of (His/Our/the) Country is in the frontispiece of a 1779 German-language almanac. With calculations by David Rittenhouse and published by Francis Bailey in Lancaster County Pennsylvania, Der Gantz Neue Nord-Americanishe Calendar has Fame appearing with an image of Washington, holding a trumpet to her lips from which the words " Der Landes Vater " (translated as "the father of the country" or "the father of the land") comes forth.
  10. ^ In Bell (2005 ), William Gardner Bell states that when Washington was recalled back into military service from his retirement in 1798, "Congress passed legislation that would have made him General of the Armies of the United States, but his services were not required in the field and the appointment was not made until the Bicentennial in 1976, when it was bestowed posthumously as a commemorative honor." How many US Army five-star generals have there been and who were they? states that with Public Law 94-479 , President Ford specified that Washington would "rank first among all officers of the Army, past and present. "General of the Armies of the United States" is only associated with two people...one being Washington and the other being John J. Pershing.
  11. ^ The rest of the Top 20 street names are all descriptive (Hill, View and so on), arboreal (Pine, Maple, etc.) or numeric (Second, Third, etc.).
  12. ^ The Smithsonian Institution states in "The Portrait—George Washington: A National Treasure" that:
    Stuart admired the sculpture of Washington by French artist Jean-Antoine Houdon, probably because it was based on a life mask and therefore extremely accurate. Stuart explained, "When I painted him, he had just had a set of false teeth inserted, which accounts for the constrained expression so noticeable about the mouth and lower part of the face. Houdon's bust does not suffer from this defect. I wanted him as he looked at that time." Stuart preferred the Athenaeum pose and, except for the gaze, used the same pose for the Lansdowne painting. [ 170 ]

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