George Washington during the American Revolution

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Research Paper: George Washington’s Leadership

George Washington remains the most significant leader in the founding of the United States of America since his quality and effective leadership styles continue to offer a reference point for contemporary leaders during decision-making. Leaders learn from their predecessors; thus, they borrow from both their shortcomings and achievements to guide the process of designing and implementing their leadership styles (Wasike 812). George Washington became the United States of America president when the country faced socio-economic and political challenges that threatened its potential existence and survival. Ascending to the presidency meant that George Washington faced one of his most significant challenges as an individual and the free world leader. Still, George Washington emerged as one of the most gifted leaders in the history of America’s presidency (Wasike 812). The analysis of George Washington’s early life, leadership, strengths, and weaknesses facilitate a more profound understanding of the roles he played as the Father of the United States of America.

Early Life

George Washington was born to Augustine Washington and Mary Ball Washington on February 22, 1732, at the British Colony of Virginia’s Pope’s Creek in Westmoreland County. George Washington’s father died when he was 11; thus, he faced the challenge of modeling his life to support his family (Wasike 812). As the eldest of the six children, George Washington helped his mother perform tasks and manage operations in Ferry Farm – a plantation near Virginia’s Fredericksburg where he spent most of his childhood (Wasike 813). The experience at Pope’s Creek in the management of farm activities had a significant influence on the life of George Washington and his presidency.

The education system had not fully developed during the time of the upbringing of George Washington since there lacked the necessary techniques to support systematic education. Still, able families organized for personalized education of their children. Research does not reveal adequate information about George’s early education (Wasike 813). However, the studies also provide that children from wealthy backgrounds such as George’s received homeschooling from private tutors. The studies father provide that George Washington finished schooling at about 15 years; thus, he used his mathematical prowess to become a successful surveyor (Wasike 813). The lack of a well-structured education prompted able families to organize private homeschooling for their children.

Life as an Officer and a Farmer

The socio-economic and political atmosphere influence the decision-making process because they determine the prevailing circumstances in the environment and their related outcomes. George Washington had not served as an army in his life. However, in December 1752, he rose to the commander of the Virginia militia commander because he saw the French-Indian war’s action (Wasike 814). His stay in the military service remained short-lived since Washington resigned his position in 1759 and moved back to Mount Vernon. In the same year, George was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses, a position he retained until 1774 (Wasike 814). The prevailing socio-economic and political atmosphere prompted both individual and societal decision-making processes and their related outcomes.

The decision to move from his military position created an avenue for George Washington to commit and fulfill his next stage in life. He tried farming skills and engaged in land conservation. After he resigned from the military position, George Washington married a wealthy lady with two children – Martha Dandridge Custis (Wasike 815). George Washington’s commitment to family and wealth creation saw him expand Mount Vernon from its previous 2000 acres to 8000 acres with about five farms. He proved a skilled farmer since he grew various crops such as bread, mules, and corn. Additionally, his success occurred in fishery fruit orchard maintenance (Wasike 815). His interest in farming prompted numerous trials and experimentation with new crops, farming methods, and land conservation.

George Washington during the American Revolution

George Washington took a deep interest in socio-political and economic affairs because he saw the direct and indirect relationship with individual and communal liberty. His firsthand experience of the effects of the rising tax on the colonists prompted him to believe and push for the declaration of colonists’ independence from the British (Pacholl 90). He made for the recognition of the impacts of rising tax through his position as a delegate in Philadelphia’s First Continental Congress held in 1774. The congress paved the way for the organization of the American Revolution, which took active shape during the second Continental Congress in 1775 that saw George Washington rose to the position of Continental Army’s commander in chief (Pacholl 90). Interaction with the impacts of high taxation of the people prompted George Washinton to take a deep interest in society’s socio-political and economic affairs.

The ability to win during wars relies on the ability of the leaders to show both management and military prowess during the war since it determines the effectiveness of decision-making. During his service period, George Washington relied on his tactics to guide his decision-making process (Pacholl 90). He offered his essential services as an available; thus, he contributed to keeping the soldiers together during the turbulent times. While the troops suffered from inadequate training and the lack of the necessary machinery to support their war missions, George Washington used his managerial skills to motivate and guide them during military operations (Pacholl 91). Colonists’ war commanders showed leadership prowess in guiding the troops through effective decision-making.

Life as First President

The colonists pushed for emancipation from the British because it promised freedom to decide the individual fate of the citizens. After the signing of the Treaty of Paris between Great Britain and the United States of America in 1783, George Washington opted to resign from his military position and move to Mount Vernon, where he would resume his life as a gentleman farmer and family man (Wasike 816). However, his previous service during the first and second congress prompted his calling to attend the Constitutional Convention to draft the new constitution in 1787. Impressed by his leadership qualities, the delegates decided that he remained the most qualified candidate to assume the presidency position (Wasike 816). The quest for the freedom of citizens prompted the push for emancipation by the colonists from the British.

The conviction to pursue a peaceful life and let other individuals take the new leadership positions and roles pushed George Washington to decline the call to take the newly created position. However, public opinion played a crucial role in convincing George Washinton that he belonged in the decision-making tables (Wasike 817). Therefore, when the country held its first presidential election on January 7, 1789, George Washinton emerged victoriously. The election results also led to the bequeathing of the vice president’s position to John Adams, who came second in the presidential election. The inauguration of the 57-year old newly president-elect came on April 30, 1789, in New York (Wasike 817). George Washington attempted to decline the call to take the newly created president’s position since he wanted a peaceful life.


George Washington’s Accomplishments

George Washington played a crucial role in founding the new nation since he paved the way for the next crop of leaders to follow. With 11 states and approximately four million people, the tiny country offered a challenge to the new president, who operated with the understanding that his leadership style would impact America’s next generation of leadership (Wasike 818). Therefore, George Washington opted to work with fairness, prudence, and integrity to positively influence the administration of the leaders who came after him. Again, the new president chose neutrality to deal with foreign policy issues and conflicts (Wasike 819). George Washington helped develop quality leadership by setting an example for the new leaders to follow.

George Washington influenced effective leadership by opting to appoint strongly opinionated individuals who made immense contributions to the leadership of the United States of America. For example, George Washington appointed Thoma Jefferson as his State Secretary and Alexander Hamilton as his Treasury Secretary (Wasike 820). The two men held diverse opinions on the model of leadership that could propel the country to achieve socio-economic and political development. George Washington saw an opportunity to push for discussions and develop views on leadership and the social issues that impacted American society (Wasike 820). George Washington encouraged leadership discussions by appointing individuals with diverse opinions into the cabinet.

George Washington’s Strengths

George Washington used his early life and family background to prove his worth as a general by commanding a large army that enabled the United States of America to win many wars. While he lacked the prowess to develop and implement military strategies, George Washington proved worthy as general because he managed to motivate his troops and guide them to victory despite working in a poorly structured and equipped military force (Wasike 821). His early life on the farm and the managerial duties he performed to help his mother after the passing of his Father enabled George Washington to effectively work with his fellow servicemen to secure military victory for the United States of America.

The success in military expeditions relies not only on the effectiveness of quality leadership but also on the army leader’s ability to delegate authority wisely. The United States’ servicemen faced numerous challenges because they received inadequate personnel and equipment support from the government (Wasike 822). It became the responsibility of the military commanders to formulate effective strategies that would ensure that the servicemen survived and secured victory during the war. George Washington once again proved his leadership by wisely delegating authority during the war; thus, it helped save soldiers and secured many victories for the state (Wasike 823). The ability of the military leader to delegate duties enhances the potential for military success during wars wisely.

George Washington’s Weaknesses

The effectiveness of a military leader lies in the ability to deploy and engage enemies through tactics to create the chance for advancing by troops. Tactical engagement creates practical grounding that ensures the military personnel avoids traps that could lead to unprecedented casualties (Wasike 824). George Washington served as one of the greatest military commanders of the United States of America. He propelled the servicemen to win numerous victories for the unrestricted nation. However, his leadership in the army was marred by poor tactical decisions that led to mistakes and the risking of soldiers’ lives. For example, he put himself at risk by opting to stay at the front lines during battles (Wasike 824). The ability to employ tactics ensures military leaders secure victory for their troops and country.

The military leader plays a crucial role in ensuring that the country attains victory by guiding and directing the troops during combat. Military expeditions fail when troop leaders fail to take charge and direct soldiers during the war (Wasike 824). George Washington did not show his good military prowess when he could not control his forces and provide the essential guide to victory—suffering from inadequate training and the lack of proper equipment to support the soldiers during military expeditions (Wasike 825). Poor planning limits the potential of effectively guiding military troops to exploit the current opportunities due to the enemy troops’ poor operating strategies.

Retirement and Death

The exemplary performance of George Washington during his tenure as the first president of the United States of America prompted citizens to request him to lead the new nation for the second term. When the era of the second term came to an end in 1796, George Washington opted to retire despite the push by sections of the country’s opinion-makers to continue with the presidency for the third term (Wasike 826). In his final address, George Washington urged the citizens to limit involvement with foreign powers. Instead, he urged the citizens to focus on maintaining the high standard of domestic affairs. He developed cold after inspecting his plantation in the rain, and eventually, on the night of December 14, 1799, George Washington died at the age of 67 (Wasike 826). The exemplary leadership of George Washington motivated citizens to extend his term of service as the president of the United States.

George Washington’s early life and the role he played on his family’s plantation farm helped him develop practical qualities and guide the United States as its first president. George Washington rose in ranks as a military leader to become one the most celebrated leaders of the free world. The role he played as the United States of America president urged citizens to call him the Father of the Nation. He relied on his positive qualities as a leader – the delegation of authority and the confidence to forge an effective administration that helped the country develop during strife. The exemplary leadership qualities sowed by President George Washington served to guide the next crop of leaders to push the United States of America to unprecedented growth levels.
























Works Cited

Pacholl, Keith. “Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence. By Joseph J. Ellis. (New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013. Pp. x, 219. $26.95.).” The Historian, vol. 78, no. 1, 2016, pp. 90-91.

Wasike, Ben. “Charismatic rhetoric, integrative complexity, and the U.S. Presidency: An analysis of the State of the Union Address (SOTU) from George Washington to Barack Obama.” The Leadership Quarterly, vol. 28, no. 6, 2017, pp. 812-826.




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