George Washington–American Hero?

Time for the ‘untaught’ history of the United States….Part One….

Back in my university days I studied Political History….focusing on the years 1750-1820….I have always been interested in the early history of this country…..the years leading up to the revolution….the founding….the years after the founding….war of 1812….and all the events in between.

George Washing was he a true American hero or just a construct of historians?

One event that has been overlooked about Washington….in his early years he may have helped ignite the 7 Years War (French and Indian War)…..

In the early 1750s, tensions between the French and British in North America were at an all-time high. In the area of the Ohio River Valley, forces from both sides were vying for control over the region as the French began to establish forts there. Virginia Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie took it upon himself to meet the French threat by sending a force to demand their withdrawal (via History). Washington, then a major of the Virginia provincial militia, was initially tasked with delivering this demand to the French in 1753. When the demand was rebuffed, Washington was ordered to attack them the following year, per the National Park Service.

At the age of just 22, Major Washington led his men in what became known as the Battle of Jumonville Glen (Jumonville Glen being a French fort). Certain that nearby French soldiers and allied Natives intended to attack, Washington struck the first blow in what was, initially, a very successful surprise attack (via Britannica). This was his first time seeing combat and might have earned him great accolades from the crown. However, several of Washington’s Iroquois allies began to kill the French prisoners in brutal fashion, leaving nine dead before they were stopped. The French learned of the brutal executions after a prisoner managed to escape, after which they attacked Washington’s position and caused him to withdraw.

At the subsequent Battle of Fort Necessity, Washington was forced into his first and only surrender. While he and his men were released soon after, the skirmish led to an immediate build-up of British and French soldiers in North America, marking an escalation of the conflict that would lead to the French and Indian War (though a formal state of war was not established until 1756). This conflict was substantial in its own right, lasting for years as British, French, and Native tribes fought one another until 1763. The French were ultimately defeated and were forced to surrender all of their territory, leaving French-speaking communities, such as the Cajuns, under British authority. However, this became just one theater of the larger Seven Years’ War.

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There are other incidents about Washington’s life that go untaught for the most part….like his use of booze to help convince people to his way of thinking….or his forcing Native Americans to join the US….all this and he was the richest presidents….

I am one of those that think all aspects of our Founders and president’s lives should be taught….what better way to understand how they fit into history…instead we sanitize their history which does no favors to anyone.

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


2 thoughts on “George Washington–American Hero?

  1. I prefer the sanitized History because all the sordid details serve no purpose but to satisfy curiosity. The great figures of our History did what they did and I am glad they did it because I have always liked America and enjoyed my part in the fantasies.

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