Whether you are simply curious about George Washington, researching for a school paper, planning a family trip to visit historical sites, or looking to impress your father-in-law with your knowledge of American history. This site is for you.
I am passionate about American History and particularly Presidential Histories. I read presidential biographies as a way to better understand history. My family and I love visiting National Historical Sites, whether as a destination trip, or simply a diversion between kids hockey and baseball games. The more I read and the more I visit historical sites, the better appreciation I have for the issues, events, and people that shaped the United States and the more I can connect these historical experiences to my own life and experiences today.
I became passionate about reading Presidential Biographies to learn about American History shortly after I finished my MBA. Business school requires seemingly endless case studies and analysis. Desperate for a break from that material, I borrowed my Father-in-Laws copy of John Adams by David McCullough. I was amazed at how little I knew about American History….Wait…the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, George Washington wasn't inaugurated until 1789? What took so long? Simple questions like these (which I am sure someone mentioned in my 22 years of education) somehow seemed new to me.
I decided that a great way to get a better understanding of the United States was through reading Presidential Biographies. After John Adams, I went back to the beginning and read Thomas James Flexner's book on George Washington. I have now read through Teddy Roosevelt.
The interest in Presidential Biographies fueled an interest in visiting (or revisiting in some cases) historical sites. Growing up and living in the Boston area provides ample opportunities to experience history from the Revolutionary War. The Freedom Trail, Lexington Green, Bunker Hill Monument, the Boston Tea Party, Old South Meeting House, North Church, Paul Revere's House are all only a short trip away. All provide a unique experience and a way for you to develop an understanding of the past and bring that experience into the present. I have visited all of these and will share my experiences with you. The experience I had at the Springfield Armory is a better example of how visits to historical sites can help make a connection from the past to the present.
The Springfield Armory National Historical Site maintains history of the Armory that was originally an arms storage depot for the Continental Army. It was commissioned to manufacture arms by Congress. Once commissioned as an armory it served the United States and the Connecticut River Valley area as a source of arms manufacturing and technological innovation. Innovations like the assembly line trace their roots back to the Springfield Armory. Companies like Pratt & Witney, Sikorsky, and Smith & Wesson had founders or Chief Engineers that were trained at the Armory. Being educated and working as an Engineer in the Greater Boston area gave me an appreciation of the connection between the decision to locate an armory at Springfield and how the region around it developed.
George Washington is arguably the most important person in the history of the United States. From leading the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War to presiding over the nation as our first president he was instrumental in founding of the United States. In a time of many great men, he was the one that the others looked to for leadership. Of all his accomplishments the one action that sets him apart is the way in which he resigned from the presidency. At a time when transitions of power were determined on the battlefield, the most powerful man in the United States followed the rules defined in the Constitution and allowed John Adams to take over. While today this doesn't seem like a big deal at the time it was a complete game changer.
It is amazing to me that Washington has not always been held in high regard. He was revered when he lived. The nation mourned and memorialized him like no other when he died. However, over time different generations of historians have questioned his accomplishments as a president or derided him for owning slaves. Obviously my opinion of him is quite high, but you will be able to decide for yourself as you build your experience.
Researching and writing about George Washington is a passion of mine. However, it is secondary to many things in my life like being a father, husband, and employee…I intend for this site to be the one stop shop for all things George Washington, but like many things this is a journey…
Here is what I have for you now…
George Washington's childhood from birth to age 20…read about his life and upbringing…understand that he wasn't rich and explore the events that shaped his adult life. Learn about the national parks and historical sites that have been preserved from his childhood.
George Washington's role in the French and Indian war…his time serving in the British Army…the international incident he caused. Learn how his childhood experiences helped him in his first military campaign and see how the experiences in the French and Indian War prepare him for the the Revolutionary War. Learn about the sites preserved to remember the French and Indian War and Washington's role.
Read about his role in the Revolutionary War…his leadership..his mistakes…victories…defeats…historical sites…
Learn how the desire for a canal that ended in the Potomac River and economic issues that led Shay's Rebellion forced the founding fathers to look for a stronger central government and eventually to develop the Constitution...understand how George Washington set many of the precedents for operation of the United States government...see how Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton came to lead their respective ideologies that paved the way for modern political parties.
See how the French Revolution and the Jay Treaty further divide the political ideologies...learn how Washington insists on a peaceful transition of power as the true hallmark of self governance.
That's all for now...check back soon to see what has been added...
February 4, 1789 George Washington elected first President of the United States
February 13, 1783 George Washington elected to second term
February 22, 1732 George Washington born