Often referred to as the father of the United States, George Washington, is well renowned for the great role he played in the founding of the United States. This being the case, history has it that his effects on the world are not only limitless but also immeasurable, hence making him the most influential United States' president to ever grace the pages of history. In particular, George Washington served as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, was a military leader, and through his political leadership, the United States gained its independence from Great Britain in 1783.
To begin with, during the American Revolutionary War, George Washington, served as the commander in chief of the army despite the fact that he had minimal experience in commanding the armed forces. In those years, many generals and politicians surrendered, but through his fortitude and strong leadership experience, he always insisted on the ideal and the leading command of the battle. This, in essence, helped hold the American military together, long enough to secure their victory both at Yorktown and independence for his new nation. Through his political and military leadership, it can be said that Washington, is the spiritual pillar of the U.S. military. Besides, one of his most impactful influences on the modern day America was exemplified through his great triumph during the American Revolutionary War, against the Hessian forces at Trenton in 1776.
Immediately after his renowned crossing of river Delaware, to the north of Trenton, New Jersey, as the Commander in chief of the armed forces, Washington led the primary body of the continental army against the Hessian soldiers who were garrisoned at Trenton. With an army force that stretched for nearly one mile, Washington is remembered for riding up and down the column despite the poor and harsh weather and this pressed his men to carry on. Therefore, the epitome of this battle was marked when Washington and his troop triumphed against the formidable garrison of Hessian mercenaries' right before the army could withdraw.
Following a series of defeats in the summer and fall of 1776 during the Battle of New York, Washington, and the Continental Army soldiers that he led, won a battle against the British troops near Princeton. According to studies, this particular action was as part of a larger campaign that would help Washington and his team regain momentum after the numerous defeats in New York City. Therefore, after Washington and his troop's success in threatening the main British supply lines after the Princeton battle, this was followed by a pullback by the Crown forces to what was deemed as positions that were more defensible near the Hudson River. This, in essence, helped free the larger part of New Jersey from both the British rule and occupation.
In a similar regard, after Delaware and Princeton victory, the U.S. military gradually mastered the initiative. After the war in France, Washington's personal charm even gave way to the French generals. Besides, one of the most significant victories was the 1781 American victory in Virginia during the Battle of Yorktown. This, in essence, forced the Great Britain troops to surrender, giving full freedom for the United States.
Additionally, Washington is said to have significantly impacted the United States through serving as the president of the Constitutional Convention, better known as the Federal Convention, which was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from May to September 1787. Despite the fact that delegates had gathered at this meeting with the aim of correcting the various problems that had arisen while the United States, newly independent, was operating under the articles of confederation, one of the significant reasons why Washington's great roles is remembered to date, is the fact that the historical results of this Constitutional Convection was to craft the United States' Constitution.
As the newly elected president of the Constitutional Convention, Washington held considerable criticism of the confederation articles that were used by the thirteen colonies. Therefore, following his thoughts and criticism, Washington worked to bring about a consensus among the delegates who were in attendance and eventually came up with the conclusion to not just revise the articles of confederation but to scrap them altogether, forming the United States Constitution.
Besides, the constitutional thought of Washington has played an indelible role in the popularization and progress of the American people's democratic political thought, as well as the increase in strength of the United States ' comprehensive national power. In his book, George Washington and American Constitutionalism (American Political Thought), Glenn Phelps contends that "Washington's political thought significantly influenced the principles informing the political thought, then, and now" (Phelps, 1993). Thus, based on this context, it is evident that Washington developed both as consistent and a coherent view of the republican government and also that his political thought had significant impacts on the formation of the federal government.
Being the first president of the United States, Washington's role and significance are felt in the United States up to the modern day today. For instance, as president, Washington believed in leading through his own actions and for this reason, he was well aware that everything that he did set a precedent. Based on this contextual base, in the functions of his presidency, Washington established many precedents such as the cabinet form of government and messages to Congress and hence proved to be an able administrator.
Through his renowned presidential authority, Washington served as the first president of the United States with a lot of wisdom and the highest integrity and also exercised power with a lot of honesty and restraint. In so doing, Washington is up to the modern day today, remembered as the president who set high standards which, although were rarely met by his successors, served as an ideal through which the people of the United States, judged him.
Finally, George Washington legitimized the United States presidency and also set all the precedents that remain to the modern day today. Some of these precedents are such as the presidential veto and the two-term presidential limits which eventually became law. In a similar regard, Washington significantly impacted the contemporary American presidency by rejecting the idea of monarchy in his time and pushed for the formation of a democratic republic.
In conclusion, it is with no doubt that George Washington's history has the most impact on the United States. Ranging from his leadership as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution to his two terms presidency as the first president of the United States, George Washington's legacy lives on. Besides, his leadership style and his role in both founding and governing the young nation, the United States, are some of the most significant American History commemorations.
Phelps, G. A. (1993). George Washington and American Constitutionalism (American Political Thought) (2nd ed.). University Press of Kansas.
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