George Washington The Legacy

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Ellis’ book is in reality a psychological study of George Washington. In your opinion, what did the
author consider to be Washington’s three strongest character traits? How did these characteristics affect
Washington’s career, both military and political?
George Washington The Legacy
In the book, His Excellency George Washington, I think The author Joseph Ellis
highlighted some of George Washington’s major characteristic traits: like ‘his leadership
qualities’, his ‘Self-control and self- restraint’, his constant ‘hard work’, and wisdom throughout
his career and life.( J. Ellis, His Excellency George Washington) these characteristics not only
helped him throughout his career, but also greatly affected his life by also giving him an
opportunity to pursue a career in leading the military as well as in the political part of his life.
George Washington from a young age, was hard working, he had education which was
equivalent to grade school. Over the years, he worked hard for his career among the colonies
statemen. Like many others, he did not get a chance to go to college, for the lack of the amount
of colleges, because in 1754 he was summoned to go to war, as a soldier in the French and
Indian war.
George Washington was also known to be the “first to war”, “the first to peace”, “first to help
his country”, he was the first to be appointed as general of Virginia regiment of the army, partly
because of his enthusiastic attitude toward his training tactics and his war strategies example
guerrilla warfare, and for his previous experience. First to war because he lead the army into the
revolutionary war against the British. General Washington lead the colonial army to victory in
the revolutionary war. He was also the “first president” under the new constitution in 1789. For
his work and major part in helping with the colonies constitution to get accepted in congress, this
is where his wisdom came into use in helping his country for the better. Part of the reason he was
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unanimously elected for high positions throughout his life, mainly because of how people looked
at him for guidance and took him as a leader. Lieutenant colonial for Virginia regiment,
Commander in chief leading the continental army, and lieutenant general from over American
armies then part of congress, and president.
His leadership skills gave him great advantage in many places within his life, in the military
and politically. Spring 1754 he was appointed to become second in command-lieutenant colonial
by the American congress. Through his persistence and his training tactics he turned countrymen
into soldiers for his militia in Virginia. He would intervene and successfully defuse any conflict
between groups of his soldiers within the regiment and army. A year later in June 1775 congress
gave Washington the position of second in command over all in the colonies. (His Excellency
George Washington, Joseph J Ellis)
When the American congress got tired of answering and granting him his requests for his
army and for the war. He took it upon himself using his intellect and wisdom as well as his
diplomatic skills, he was determined get support and help from the French. With the French’s
assistance, they eventually won the revolutionary war against the British, with half the
continental army near total loss due to disease, hunger, lack of being paid, and battles like the
revolutionary war battles and French & Indian war. (His Excellency George Washington, Joseph
J Ellis) However, with Washington there to help keep hope in the soldiers that they would gain
overall victory, and with his strategies and tactics in battle, he lead them to victory from the
British that he dreamed of. In the end, all general Washington’s hard work paid off and his
dream fulfilled.
In his political career, due to his hard work, his knowledge from being a former politician,
intelligence and his leadership skills, and his ranks of general within the army also his high-end
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military experience, he was elected to become the first chief in congress. After a while of helping
congress with unifying the nation, and helping to improve the articles of confederation.
A while after general George Washington became president of the colonies under the new
constitution. He used his presidency to empower the people to make their own choices but within
the constitution and to unify all the people as well as the colonies as one. He collaborated with
congress to help improve the constitution. Also a few years later made a peace treaty with the
British to help relations and standing between them to be at peace. Also, George Washington
found ways to keep peace and stay neutral with other countries, and making such decisions
which would help the new emerging nation to stand firm upon its own feet or government in the
future to come, through the amendments and constitution
George Washington, throughout all his roles in his life, from a plantation owner to a general,
all the way to presidency he has displayed a verity of characteristics, the third one of his
characteristics which in my opinion Ellis portrays strongly within his book. George
Washington’s characteristic of self-control and self-restraint. This was achieved through is many
years of service to his country. This trait has been shown and displayed many times within his
military career, for example; many a times through battles, planning and meetings with other
commanders above himself in rank, also his life as a plantation owner, and politically as
congress man all the through his presidency. For example: when he opted to stay quiet when the
congress was making decisions on various topics he didn’t agree with. Or deciding to leave
presidency after two terms, also freeing all his slaves upon his and his wife’s death. Also, selfcontrol as in not letting power give him greed, or think that he was the most powerful person
with total control to do as he pleased. This is because he had the interest of the country before his
personal interests.
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Overall altogether George Washington had numerous characteristic and traits, that people
looked up to, respected, and admired him for. He was a leader who made countless sacrifices for
his country and had a great deal of experiences, and trying times which showed his real
character, dreams, and ambitions for himself and his country.
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