George Washington (1732—1799) won a lasting place in
American History as the "Father of our Country". For nearly
twenty years he guided his country much as a father cares
for a growing child.
Washington lived an exciting life in exciting times. As a
boy, he explored the wilderness. When he grew older, he helped
the British fight the French and Indians. Many times he was
nearly killed. As a general he suffered hardships with his
troops in the cold winters.
He lost many battles, but led the American Army to final
victory. After he became President, he successfully solved many
problems facing his country, Washington belonged to an old colonial family that believed in hard work, in public service and in worshipping God.
George Washington was born in Westmoreland county, Virginia; on a farm, on February 22, 1732. His first American ancestor came to Virginia from England in 1657. Farming, land buying, trading, milling, and the iron industry were the means by which the family rose in the world. George's father, Augustine, had four children by his first wife and six by his second wife, Mary Ball, George's mother.
Of George's early life little is known. His formal educaition
was slight: no more than 7 or 8 years of school. Men,
plantation life and the haunts of river, field and forest were
his principal teachers. His favourite subject was arithmetic.
He studied enough history and geography to know something
of the outside world. But he never learned very much about
literature, foreign languages and history.
At the age of 14 he began to work as a surveyor, making
many trips into the wilderness areas of Virginia and
Pennsylvania. His first military experience came in the French
and Indian War (1754—1763), when he was sent on two
missions deep into the Ohio county.
In 1759 Washington retired and married Martha Dandridge,
a rich widow. He became a loving stepfather to Martha's two
children. He was a progressive farmer of that time.
In 1760's the American colonists grew angrier and angrier
at the taxes placed on them by Great Britain. In September
1771 the Continental Congress met, where Washington had
his first chance to meet and talk with leaders of other colonies.
The members were impressed with his judgement and military
knowledge. He was sent to attend the Second Continental
Congress (1775) where he was elected a commander-in-chief
of the Continental Army. He proved himself a capable commander
of the War of Independence.
In 1787 Washington was chosen president of the
Continental Convention and later elected first president of
the republic (1789), followed by reelection (1792).
George Washington died after an illness of two days on
December 14, 1799.
No other American has been honored more than
Washington. The nation's capital, Washington D. C., was
named after him. There the giant Washington Monument
stands. The state of Washington is the only state named after
President. Many cities, parks, streets, bridges, lakes, and schools
bear his name. Washington's portrait appears on postage
stamps, on the $1 bill, and on the quarter.
1. How long did G. Washington guide his country?
2. What family did Washington belong to?
3. When did his first American ancestor come to Virginia?
4. How many children did George's father have?
5. What did G. Washington study?
6. When did he begin to work?
7. When did G. Washington retire?
8. Where did G. Washington have his first chance to meet
and talk with leaders of other colonies?
9. When was G. Washington chosen president of the
10. When did he die?
lasting — прочный
to guide — вести
to explore — изучать
to kill — убивать
hardships — трудности
to solve — решить
ancestor — предок
to retire — уйти в отставку
to be elected — быть избранным