May 12, 2014
Thesis Statement: George Washington is a hero because he stood up for his ideal that America should be free from England, and create a new form of government which would be fair and equitable. Even in the darkest of times, he never gave up and managed to maintain social and political order within the colonies.
English - American Relationship
The Townsend acts
Washington is appointed commander in chief of Continental Army
Washington is elected as the first President of the United States
Washington freed all his slaves
There are many ways to define a hero. Robert Kennedy defined a hero as someone who “stands up for an ideal, or for the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice”. Each time someone does this, “he sends forth a ripple of hope”. This definition may just as well be describing George Washington. George Washington is a hero because he stood up for his ideal that America should be free from England, and create a new form of government which would be fair and equitable. Even in the darkest of times, he never gave up and managed to maintain social and political order within the colonies.
Up until the mid 1760s, England maintained a friendly relationship with the colonies (Ferling, The First of Men 88). During the French and Indian war, colonial militias even had helped England defeat the British (Brookhiser 23). But, the war put England in huge amounts of debt. “According to the ancient precepts of mercantilism, the colonies were to exist for the benefit of the parent state” (Ferling, The First of Men 89). In 1767, England imposed the Townshend duties on the Americans. Many colonists were outraged at these laws, but did not take any serious action. “Washington was among the first to suggest that the time had come to act”. On April 5 of that year, Washington sent a letter to his neighbor, George Mason expressing his views on the Townshend acts.
“Our lordly Masters in Great Britain,” he began, “will be satisfied with nothing less than the depreciation of American freedom.” Something must be done, he continued. He was prepared to take up in arms in defense of his liberty, he went on, but then quickly exclaimed: “A-ms I wou’d beg leave to add, should be the last recourse, the denier resort.” Remonstrances, he said had been ineffectual. But by “starving their trade and manufacturing,” repeal perhaps could be secured-and war might be averted” (92).
Without context, this letter can be read as a call for revolution. The letter also suggests that Washington now believed that England’s intentions were now a deliberate attack on colonial liberty (92). This is the first sign of Washington taking a leadership role in the American Revolution and standing up for what he believed in.
In 1774, the Americans decided that they wanted...