Barack Obama, President George W. Bush, President Bill Clinton and those that
preceded them in the Presidency may have never been known today by us if it
hadn’t been for one man. That man is George Washington, the first President of
the United States of America.
many of us today George Washington represents the steadfast fighting spirit of
the American Revolutionary War. However in his own day he was probably the most
influential formative agent of the new American republic government and its
leadership. Thomas Jefferson once said “One man outweighs them all in influence
over the people”. 
he had not portrayed himself in the various ways and means that he did during
those early years when the United States were being shaped and developed, it is
likely that we would not know the land we know today as the United States of
America, nor would our Government bear the images and responsibilities that it
Washington’s Virginia was a world in which wealth, power and family connections
defined one’s status.
As a very young boy Washington had no wealth, power or family connections. George
admired and studied the manners of his eldest brother Lawrence. Lawrence had
studied in England and had returned to Virginia as an elegant gentleman when
George was only six years old.
As he grew up he watched others who had been born into aristocracy. His
studious and analytical mind processed their lives into patterns of thought and
behavior that he could imitate and project from his own quality of life.
was very much concerned with appearance and image, yet His good judgment of
character definitely helped him in becoming a respected husband, farmer,
military leader and eventually the man we have come to know as the founding father
of these United States
Washington was the only President to ever be elected with a unanimous vote from
the Electoral College. Both terms that he served from 1789 – 1797 were
initiated with a unanimous vote. No one else was seriously considered in either
first inauguration was held in New York City on April 30, 1789. He added the
words “so help me God” to the end of
the oath of office setting the tradition for every succeeding president
thereafter. This addition to the oath of office was probably a genuine
emotional response to the core feelings of Washington as he accepted the new
responsibility of the presidency.
was not in a hurry to accept and simultaneously formulate the character and
position of a prototype leadership role that was not at all common in the
global culture of his day. He realized that if such a title and office were to
be perpetuated into the future, it would require a very solid foundation of
diplomacy, morality and practice.
newly elected president illustrated his journey to his first inauguration in
New York in a letter that implied that he was on his way to his own execution.
In a diary entry dated April 16, 1789 he wrote; “About ten o’clock I bade
adieu to Mount Vernon, to private life, and to
domestic felicity; and with a mind oppressed with more anxious and painful
sensations than I have words to express, set out for New York”.
obviously feared the public’s expectations of the Presidential office that had
not yet been thoroughly defined or previously inhabited at the time he was
being placed into it.. Other States or colonies had installed “presidents” of
their territories and dominions, but those positions were often fairly benign and
yielded very little effect on very small groups of people that lived within
 Freidel, Frank Our Country’s Presidents (Washington DC,
National Geographic Society, 1981) p.20
 Friedman, Adam George Washington: Founding Father (Arts
& Entertainment, 2008) DVD
 Gedacht, Daniel
C. George Washington: Leader of a New
Nation (New York, Rosen Publishing Group, 2004) p.9
John Washington Writings (New York,
Library of America, 1997) p.730