Like George Washington in 1776, Adolfo Suarez in 1976 became the first democratically elected president of his country. Both men lead their nations through very exceptional circumstances. The scope of this investigation is to discover to what extent can Adolfo Suárez be considered the George Washington of Spain?
This study will take into consideration the historical and political context, the personal history and the leadership qualities of both leaders.
To accomplish this, diverse biographical and historical texts will be reviewed searching for similarities and relevant differences between Washington and Suárez. Specific life stories will be researched. A comparison of the way they lead their respective governments and how they interacted with their political parties will be made. Lastly, how they were considered by the people of their countries will be analyzed.
B. Summary of Evidence
George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. His family were wealthy landowners and his father was born and educated in England. Washington, however, did not receive a formal education although he did excel in practical subjects such as mathematics and animal husbandry. In 1752 he received his first military appointment as a major in the Virginia Militia. He fought against the French in the French and Indian War and later went on to lead the Continental Army against the British during the American Revolution.
Adolfo Suárez was born on September 25th, 1932 in the small town of Cebreros in the Avila province of Spain almost precisely two hundred years after Washington. His father was a low level bureaucrat in the Spanish judiciary system while his mother was the daughter of a small business owner. Suárez was not a great student but did manage to graduate as a lawyer and occupied different political positions during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. In 1968 he was appointed Civil Governor of the province of Segovia and in 1969 he became the General Manager of the Spanish Public Television and Radio Company. After Franco’s death on December 11th, 1975 Suárez was chosen to be the youngest minister in the transitional government of Carlos Arias Navarro (Kern 129).
George Washington was elected the first President of the United States of America in the first democratic elections of the new constitution in 1789 winning 100% of the popular vote against eight other candidates. Adolfo Suárez was first appointed President and Prime Minister of Spain by Juan Carlos I, King of Spain on July 4th, 1976. According to Hooper in The Spaniards, “Adolfo Suárez who, at forty-three, was the youngest member of the outgoing government.” Later Suárez was elected President in the first democratic elections celebrated in June 1977 running against 81 other candidates and winning a total of 34.44% of the popular vote (Hooper 113).
George Washington was President of the United States for eight years and guided the fledgling nation...