The Presidents of the United States of America

Hello and welcome to our website that was made in honor of our past presidents of the United States. Throughout this website, you will find information about the lives of each of our past presidents.

On April 30, 1789, George Washington, standing on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York, took his oath of office as the first President of the United States. "As the first of every thing, in our situation will serve to establish a Precedent," he wrote James Madison, "it is devoutly wished on my part, that these precedents may be fixed on true principles."

Born in 1732 into a Virginia planter family, he learned the morals, manners, and body of knowledge requisite for an 18th century Virginia gentleman.

He pursued two intertwined interests: military arts and western expansion. At 16 he helped survey Shenandoah lands for Thomas, Lord Fairfax. Commissioned a lieutenant colonel in 1754, he fought the first skirmishes of what grew into the French and Indian War.

The next year, as an aide to Gen. Edward Braddock, he escaped injury although four bullets ripped his coat and two horses were shot from under him.

From 1759 to the outbreak of the American Revolution, Washington managed his lands around Mount Vernon and served in the Virginia House of Burgesses. Married to a widow, Martha Dandridge Custis, he devoted himself to a busy and happy life. But like his fellow planters, Washington felt himself exploited by British merchants and hampered by British regulations. As the quarrel with the mother country grew acute, he moderately but firmly voiced his resistance to the restrictions.

When the Second Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia in May 1775, Washington, one of the Virginia delegates, was elected Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. On July 3, 1775, at Cambridge, Massachusetts, he took command of his ill-trained troops and embarked upon a war that was to last six grueling years.

He realized early that the best strategy was to harass the British. He reported to Congress, "we should on all Occasions avoid a general Action, or put anything to the Risque, unless compelled by a necessity, into which we ought never to be drawn." Ensuing battles saw him fall back slowly, then strike unexpectedly. Finally in 1781 with the aid of French allies--he forced the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

Washington longed to retire to his fields at Mount Vernon. But he soon realized that the Nation under its Articles of Confederation was not functioning well, so he became a prime mover in the steps leading to the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia in 1787. When the new Constitution was ratified, the Electoral College unanimously elected Washington President.

He did not infringe upon the policy making powers that he felt the Constitution gave Congress. But the determination of foreign policy became preponderantly a Presidential concern. When the French Revolution led to a major war between France and England, Washington refused to accept entirely the recommendations of either his Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who was pro-French, or his Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, who was pro-British. Rather, he insisted upon a neutral course until the United States could grow stronger.

To his disappointment, two parties were developing by the end of his first term. Wearied of politics, feeling old, he retired at the end of his second. In his Farewell Address, he urged his countrymen to forswear excessive party spirit and geographical distinctions. In foreign affairs, he warned against long-term alliances.

Washington enjoyed less than three years of retirement at Mount Vernon, for he died of a throat infection December 14, 1799. For months the Nation mourned him.

George Washington monument is located in Washington, DC located between 15th and 17th streets, it is part of the National Capital Parks Central Region. The idea for a monument or memorial to pay tribute to George Washington as the first president can be traced back to the early days of the republic. While he was alive, however, Washington managed to ward off attempts to have a monument erected in his honor. Following his death in 1799, Congress failed on several occasions to fund a monument and it wasn't until 1833 that a group of citizens founded the Washington National Monument Society, a private organization dedicated to building a monument to the United States' first president.

In 1845, Robert Mills' neoclassical design was selected. It featured a 500-foot obelisk, a 110-foot Greek temple with colonnades, and statuary of Washington driving a chariot of Arabian horses. Due to the high cost involved, this design was eventually discarded, except for the obelisk. The monument has been renewed since then and currently there is no obelisk surrounding the monument.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John AdamsThomas JeffersonJames Madison
James MonroeJohn Quincy AdamsMartin Van Buren
Andrew JacksonWilliam Henry HarrisonJohn Tyler
James K. PolkZachary TaylorMillard Filmore
Franklin PierceJames BuchananAbraham Lincoln
Andrew JohnsonUlysses S. GrantRutherford B. Hayes
James A. GarfieldChester A. ArthurGrover Cleveland
Benjamin HarrisonWilliam McKinleyTheodore Roosevelt
William Howard TaftWoodrow WilsonWarren Harding
Calvin CoolidgeHerbert HooverFranklin D. Roosevelt
Harry TrumanDwight EisenhowerJohn F. Kennedy
Lyndon JohnsonRichard NixonGerald Ford
Jimmy CarterRonald ReaganGeorge H.W. Bush
William ClintonGeorge W. Bush

 



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