Founding Brothers Character Analysis - George Washington

Essay by Sancho604High School, 10th gradeA+, May 2004

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Upon finishing Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis, I realize that there were many people who contributed to the creation of the American government. It is difficult to say that any one individual was more important than another, but the one person who comes to my mind first is George Washington. He was an essential character in the book as well as an essential man in American history because he affected the outcome of the government in ways that nobody else could have.

When considering Washington's impact on the United States, the first event that comes to mind is his farewell address that he gave prior to relinquishing office. In this speech, he made suggestions as well as warnings about the future. He advised that the government expand to more effectively keep the country together as a whole. He stressed that states acting independently from each other would not hold together as a country should.

He also spoke of the need to strengthen the navy. At the time, the United States was still relatively young and its navy was not considered powerful. He accentuated this need because, as one can tell from the British defeat of the Spanish Armada, the strength of a country's navy often decides the strength of that country.

Washington also affected the nation during his presidency. He set two main precedents while in office: the two-term precedent and the presidential cabinet precedent. Had he not set these precedents, the entire course of American presidency could have been altered, severely affecting the course of American history. Additionally, he proved that the federal government was reasonably powerful and that it would not tolerate rebellion. In 1794, he sent 15,000 troops to Pennsylvania to squash the Whiskey Rebellion, the first challenge to federal authority.

Like every president who...