General George Washington - Video

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George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 on his parents estate in Virginia. George's great grandfather, John Washington, immigrated to Virginia in 1657. George's father, Augustine Washington, became moderately wealthy as a slave-owner planter. George had two older and five younger siblings. George was eleven years old when his father died, and was then raised by his older brother Lawrence.

George had inherited some land from his father, which he worked as a planter. George also worked as a surveyor, and at 17 years of age was appointed to his first public office as surveyor of Culpeper County, Virginia. After Lawrence's death in 1752, George acquired Lawrence's estate at Mount Vernon, and took over some of Lawrence's duties as adjutant in the Virginia colony militia. Later in 1752, the Virginia Governor appointed George a district adjutant general in the Virginia militia. This gave George the militia rank of Major Washington. He was put in charge of training the militia.

During the French and Indian War (1754-1763), Washington was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and led an expedition to Fort Duquesne to drive out the French. Washington and his troops were overwhelmed and forced to surrender. After signing a terms of surrender statement, Washington was released by the French and returned to Virginia. In 1755, Washington was an aide to British General Edward Braddock on the Monongahela expedition. Following this, Washington was promoted to Colonel and named commander of all Virginia forces. In 1758, Washington participated as a Brigadier General in the Forbes expedition driving the French from Fort Duquesne. Washington then resigned from active militia service and spent the next sixteen years as a Virginia planter and politician.

On January 6, 1759, Washington married the widow Martha Dandridge Custis. Together they raised her two children from her previous marriage. Martha was a wealthy widow, which greatly increased his property holdings and social standing. He now focused on working his plantation, Mount Vernon, changing the crop from tobacco to wheat, and expanding operations to include flour milling, fishing, horse breeding, spinning, and weaving. However, as a respected military hero and large landowner, he held local office and was elected to the Virginia provincial legislature.

As a business operator, Washington opposed the 1765 Stamp Act, the first direct tax on the colonies. He began to take a more active role in the protests after the Townshend Acts in 1767. He introduced a proposal for Virginia to boycott English goods until the Acts were repealed. British parliament repealed the Townshend Acts in 1770. British passage of the Intolerable Acts in 1774 led to Washington's involvement as a delegate at the First Continental Congress to discuss what to do about the Acts. Continuing escalation led to the start of the revolution. Washington represented Virginia as their delegate at the Second Continental Congress. Washington's military experience and reputation as a strong patriot led to his appointment as Major General and Commander-in-chief of the newly formed Continental Army.

Check out these videos to learn more about General George Washington. Also see our section on President George Washington.







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