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George Washington
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Washington, George 1732-99, commander in chief of the Continental army during the American Revolution, and later the first president of the United States. He symbolized qualities of discipline, aristocratic duty, military orthodoxy, and persistence in adversity that his contemporaries particularly valued as marks of mature political leadership. Washington was born on February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia, the eldest son of Augustine Washington, a Virginia planter, and Mary Ball Washington. Although Washington had little or no formal schooling, his early notebooks indicate that he read in geography, military history, agriculture, deportment, and composition and that he showed some aptitude...
American personages in the 1920s included a multivolume denigration of Washington by American author Rupert Hughes, which helped to distort Americans" understanding of their national origins. Both the hero worship and the debunking miss the essential point that his leadership abilities and his personal principles were exactly the ones that met the needs of his own generation. As later historians have examined closely the ideas of the Founding Fathers and the nature of warfare in the Revolution, they have come to the conclusion that Washington"s specific contributions to the new nation were, if anything, somewhat underestimated by earlier scholarship.
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