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Military Career and Service of George Washington

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How Successful was George Washington’s Generalship?

George Washington is remembered for being one of the highest major and well-known leaders and one of the founding fathers of the United States of America? George Washington today is remembered as having high morale who was an honorable man. George Washington fought in 9 battles, i.e battle in New York 1776, or battle in New Jersey 1776 at Trenton. George Washington had three parts of leadership, he was a commander in chief on the side of the Continental Army, he was president for the constitutional federation and last he was the very first President of the United States of America. However was George Washington a good leader? How do we know if he was commended for his leadership or if he was known to be a tyrannical leader through the roles he had been given.

Before we question if George Washington was a tyrannical leader or the leader he was most remembered as in history books, we have to look at his early life and why he joined the military. George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, at Westmoreland County in Pope’s Creek at his family’s plantation. When Washington was a teenager he had displayed a high level of knowledge towards Mathematics as well as becoming a successful surveyor because of this surveying skills he earned money and acquired territory for himself. He had obtained a large homestead at the Potomac. At the time when George was eight years old, he would watch his older step-brother. Lawrence joined the British navy and would become a commissioned commander, George would watch the drills his brother make plans with Lawrence’s comrades on arms which were made for war.

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Washington military career officially began in 1752 when Governor Dinwiddie was assigned Washington to be a district adjutant for the Virginia militia and acquired the rank of major. Dinwiddie had noticed Washington’s ability to handle the job, although he was very young. From Dinwiddie’s observation of George Washington, he saw that he was efficient, dependable, and courageous.

The British and French started having disputes with ownership of some land in Ohio Valley. The arguments spun out into war and are recognized as the French Indian War. In 1753, the French started to develop forts all throughout the Ohio Valley, This troubled the British, in particular with the British colonists who invested in land for the Ohio Valley. Dinwiddie began to demand the French to leave the land because it was owned by the British. Washington would end up meeting the French, he would give them a letter asking them to leave from the forts. Washington had the job to determine the number of soldiers the French had and he also had discussions with local Native American leaders/tribes to form an alliance opposing the French. Washington also had the task of being a spy.

Washington would lead a group of six men. He would lead them to the French fort called ‘Fort Le Boeuf’ he would proceed to give them Governor Dinwiddie’s letter. Washington would return back to Dinwiddie with completing the assignment and he gave information about the French fort, troops, and outposts.

April 18, 1754 would be the beginning of George Washington’s military career. Being the first American commander in chief, Washington had started marching his soldiers on the way to the borderline. Washington had a small company of 159 men, with a small number of supplies, once the men arrived, Washington spotted a French scouting party which was led by Joseph Coulon de Jumonville. Washington was concerned about Jumonville because he was planning an attack. Washington realized this and showing courage and leadership decided to strike first, and the men effectively ambushed the small group. George’s Native American ally, Tanaghrission would murder Jumonville.

Following these events, the French would attack Washington’s forces, and Washington would lose control of “Fort Necessity”. George would end up surrendering and on July 4th, the French had signed a confession for the assassination of Jumonville. This War ended in 1763 by the signing of “The Treaty of Paris”.

From these sources, we learn that Washington cared for his men and their lives, by surrendering to the French saving 400 men. Washington had shown leadership in the battle of Monongahela. George had joined Major General Edward Braddock when they were advancing to “Fort Duquesne”. Braddock’s had 1,300 in strength when they were suddenly attacked by an inferior Native and French division. Many of the British officers had been killed or wounded, and George had ridden into the war zone to take orders. He had helped rebuild a proportion of orders. Washington’s leadership would help a great deal of the injured men and men who survived. Washington would help them flee. After this battle, Washington was named “Hero of Monongahela” from Robert Dinwiddie, and he was promoted to colonel command.

George had learned a lot of essential things from the French Indian war and from his experiences he had learned how to read military manuals, treaties, and military histories. This war taught him how to manage supplies, to distribute military justice, and how to command.

On dawn April 19, 1775, the American Revolutionary War had begun at the ‘Battle of Lexington’ between 700 British redcoats and 77 Minutemen. This had brought extreme tension between the American settlements and the British government. Following several years, George Washington left the British army permanently. Washington says in a letter that his greatest honor in life was serving in command to the gentlemen who made him happy in his company. This source of information provides us with an understanding of how much George would put into helping them by being a role model and a great commander.

In June 1775, Congress ranked Washington to be in charge of the Continental Army to surround the British army. Washington had limited knowledge of commanding large forces, but with that little experience, he was successful. By the time George became commander, his army was more of an armed mob than an effective fighting force. The men had little training or experience in any military training, Washington was ready to handle the training, Washington’s goal was to make these men well-disciplined soldiers. This would take many months to enforce his hierarchy and drilling with the wild troops. Following a period of 6 years of hardship and disappointment, George started to turn things around winning many significant battles and making Britain surrender.

On 28 June 1776, George Washington was in charge of seventeen thousand soldiers, ten thousand Continentals, and seven thousand militiamen who had a little amount of experience fighting in major battles. Washington’s soldiers had an estimated 130 British ships which had British general on board Sir William Howe, and thousands of British RedCoats. Before June 1776, Washington appointed Charles Lee to inspect New York City’s defense before the British attack came to them. Washington knew that the Hudson River-Lake was important for the American side, so Washingon recognized that if the British had taken over New York City, it would be a threat to the communication line of New England and the rebelling colonies. Washington and Charles came up with a plan for the troops to be placed all around New York and be ready to fight.

On July 2, the day the Congress voted for independence, the British would make their way through the narrows and anchor fifty ships on Staten Island. The British General Howe waited until the middle of August to attack the city. This interlude would give Washington time to move his forces south to face the British forces. The Redcoats had a planned attack formed by Henry Clinton, and the plan was for most of Howe’s forces to advance to the Eastern Flank of the American lines. The outcome was disastrous for the American soldiers because their defense would be killed off briskly.

At the end of August Washington ordered his troops to evacuate from Long Island and help with Manhattan’s defense. The British planned another attack but this time it was at Kip’s Bay. On September 15, the British troops fired shots from their ships and march onto the shore. The majority of the Continental soldiers and militiamen freaked out and abandoned their position. Washington had to take control of his troops and inspire the troops the next day at Harlem Heights, pushing three British regiments of light infantry. Although this battle was not important, Washington gained respect from the Continental army and showed tremendous courage and his unwilling ambition to not give up and let the British soldiers through.

Washington once made a big decision and sent his troops south where the British army under command by Cornwallis was stationed at Yorktown, Virginia. Washington was planning an attack designed to the battle of Yorktown which was a daring move by Washington. The decisions he made for the battle had made for the battle of Trenton and Princeton which Washington won both. That was a monumental victory for Washington and his troops.

Washington’s plan was to place a siege to Cornwallis. On October 19, 1781, Washington accepted Cornwallis’s surrender of all his forces. Two years they waited for a peace treaty to be finished, with Washington’s victory of Yorktown this would put an end to the Revolutionary War.

When Washington was in charge of the unprofessional Continental Army he had to undergo many adversities and having to deal with lots of failures and still, Washington would overcome these things. Washington as a military general had many traits he was tough, brave, and being well organized helped him to be put in command.

On December 23, 1783, Washington represented himself in front of the Congress at Annapolis, Maryland, and he renounced from his commission. After this, he left to go back home to Mount Vernon where he would never again serve.

George Washington’s generalship was significant to the development of the young growing country. From the sources that were used we know that Washington was military and revolutionary hero, and we also know he was a man of principle and honor. George Washington generalship was successful and he had a key role in three events that formed the United States of America with leading men in the French Indian War and Revolutionary war and his role as president. With gaining all of this authority he never abused this power, was well-liked among the American people he was voted to be president twice.

Although Washington had experienced many defeats and from these defeats, he learned to never give up. Washington generalship has been successful through fighting and defeating larger and better-equipped countries. The most important thing is that George Washington helped to give America independence from Great Britain. The sources tell us that George was not a tyrannical leader but a monumental leader, so George should be remembered as a great commander and an idealized president.

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