USA Pacific '97 George Washington Mint Sheet of 12 Stamps SC. #3139-40 Mint NH
George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was a political leader, general, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States (1789–1797). He commanded Patriot forces in the new nation's American Revolutionary War and led them to victory over the British. Washington also presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which established the new federal government. For his leadership he has been called the "Father of His Country".
Washington was born to a successful family of planters and slaveholders in colonial Virginia. He had educational opportunities and at age seventeen launched a successful career as a land surveyor. He then became a leader of the Virginia militia in the French and Indian War. During the Revolutionary War he was a delegate to the Continental Congress, was unanimously appointed commander-in-chief of the Army, and led an allied campaign to victory at the Siege of Yorktown which ended the conflict. Once victory was in hand in 1783, he resigned as commander-in-chief.
Washington was unanimously elected President by the Electoral College in the first two national elections. He promoted and oversaw implementation of a strong, well-financed national government, but remained impartial in the fierce rivalry between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. In the French Revolution, Washington proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the controversial Jay Treaty. As President he set enduring precedents for the office, including the title "The President of the United States". His Farewell Address warned against political partisanship and involvement in foreign wars.
Washington owned slaves from the age of 11; he became increasingly troubled by slavery and freed his slaves in his will. He was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, and urged tolerance for all religions in his roles as general and President. Upon his death, he was eulogized as "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen". Washington has been memorialized by monuments, art, places, stamps, and currency, and he has been ranked by scholars among the four greatest American presidents.
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