Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The American President: #1 George Washington

I am reading The American President: A Complete History (By Kathryn Moore) which gives details of each President and their lives as well as their complete inaugural address.

This WILL take a long time... but I am going to make a post after reading each section with stats and thoughts, starting with #1 George Washington. I am trying to be objective without personal political injections. I don’t know much about Presidential history so I’ll just put down what I find informative and interesting, spending more or less time on each one as I see fit.

Please feel free to add anything you want about George Washington!

-1st President of the USA: Born Feb 22, 1732 (Westmoreland County, VA; died December 14, 1799 (Mount Vernon, VA)

-2 term President; Vice-President: John Adams (1789-1797)
-Religion: Episcopalian
-No political party (opposed formation of political parties)
-Lieutenant Colonel in the French and Indian War
-Led Continental Army to victory against the British in Revolutionary War
-(Only person ever to be elected unanimously by the Electoral College) – newly formed
-1789 and 1792 elected
-No popular vote

Thoughts on his address of April 30th, 1789:

After his initial remarks to everyone, about 1/3 of his address discusses an ‘Almighty Being who rules over the universe” -and as times change so do the tones of the addresses… it will take a long time before I reach present day, but I am going to go out on a limb and assume that almost all of these speeches bring up a higher power.

Second term – March 4th, 1793

Just 2 paragraphs and 135 words in length, Washington quickly sums up the notion that he is to be held to a standard in accordance with the great power he is being bestowed, and if any find that he is in the wrong they can bring that against him.

He is known for his thoughts on his newly formed post: “I walk upon untrodden ground” and for his precedent in serving two terms (until FDR) as well as his adherence to the title of “President of the United States” or “Mister President”, believing that “His Excellency” was too monarchial sounding.

Final thoughts: Everything written about Washington tells of his love for the Constitution and his want for the people of the USA to be happy in their pursuits. He is not known for ‘wanting’ the powerful position but is known for accepting the responsibility bestowed upon him.

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