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Diversity of Leadership in American Society The best speeches demonstrate the power of a single voice They may be delivered by politicians preachers or athletes Some such as Abraham Lincolns Gettysburg Address or Martian Luther King Jrs I have a Dream speech may inspire and encourage us unite and guide us Others such as farewell addresses of presidents George Washington and Dwight D Eisenhower may warn or even alarm us Whether they contain the polished prose and delivery of President John F Kennedys inaugural address or the broken English of Bartholomew Vanzetti great speeches remind us of the power of language and the diversity of leadership skills Washington was the first president of the United States and one of the most important leaders in history His role in gaining independence for the American colonies and later in unifying them under the new U S federal government cannot be overestimated Washington was the most revered man in the United States A lesser person might have used power to establish a military dictatorship or to be become king Washington sternly suppressed all such attempts by his officers and continued to obey the weak and divided Continental Congress He was a leading influence in persuading the states to participate in the Constitutional Convention over which he presided and he used his immense prestige to help gain ratification of the constitution of the United States The famous tribute by General Henry Lee first in war first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen accurately reflects the emotions that Washingtons death aroused His ability as a leader shows us that he truly deserved the title Father of his Country Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence He was considered a very brilliant man His interests were boundless and his accomplishments were great and varied He was a philosopher educator naturalist scientist architect inventor pioneer in scientific farming musician
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