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George Washington was born on Feb 22 1732 Feb 11 17312 old style in Westmoreland County Va While in his teens he trained as a surveyor and at the age of 20 he was appointed adjutant in the Virginia militia For the next three years he fought in the wars against the French and Indians serving as Gen Edward Braddocks aide in the disastrous campaign against Fort Duquesne In 1759 he resigned from the militia married Martha Dandridge Custis a widow and settled down as a gentleman farmer at Mount Vernon Va As a militiaman Washington had been exposed to the arrogance of the British officers and his experience as a planter with British commercial restrictions increased his anti-British sentiment He opposed the Stamp Act of 1765 and after 1770 became increasingly prominent in organizing resistance A delegate to the Continental Congress Washington was selected as commander in chief of the Continental Army and took command at Cambridge Mass on July 3 1775 Inadequately supported and sometimes covertly sabotaged by the Congress in charge of troops who were inexperienced badly equipped and impatient of discipline Washington conducted the war on the policy of avoiding major engagements with the British and wearing them down by harassing tactics His able generalship along with the French alliance and the growing weariness within Britain brought the war to a conclusion The chaotic years under the Articles of Confederation led surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown Va on Oct 19 1781 Washington to return to public life in the hope of promoting the formation of a strong central government He presided over the Constitutional Convention and yielded to the universal demand that he serve as first president He was inaugurated on April 30 1789 in New York the first national capital In office he sought to unite the nation and establish the authority of the new government at home and abroad Greatly distressed by the emergence of the Hamilton-Jefferson rivalry Washington
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