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washington"George Washington lived sixty-seven years and during his last twenty-four years--more than a third of his life--he was the foremost man in America, the man on whom the fate of his country depended more than on any other man. From 1775 to 1783-the years of the American War of Independence-Washington was Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army upon whose victory the thirteen colonies depended to secure their separate and equal station among the powers of the earth. In the summer of 1787, he presided over America's Constitutional Convention. His presence lent decisive significance to the document drafted there. From 1789-1796, he held the highest office in the land as the first president of the United States of America under the Constitution. In each of these capacities, and as a private citizen between and after his several public offices, Washington, more than any American contemporary, was the necessary condition, the sine qua non, of the independence and enduring union of the American states. It was in mere honest recognition of this that time bestowed upon him the epithet, "Father of our Country," and that upon his death, the memorial address presented on behalf of the Congress of the United States named him "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." From PBS' George Washington Online (Dedicated to the life and lessons of George Washington, this excellent web site teaches Washington not merely as a historical figure, but more importantly as a man of great character -- illustrating the indissoluble union between civic virtue and self government. Rich in original source materials, as well as commentary from some of today's foremost scholars on the American Founding).

George Washington: Inaugural Address

Delivered before the First Constitutional Congress in New York City on April 30, 1789.

The Writings of George Washington

The University of Virginia collection of the Papers of George Washington

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