The man known as the “father of the country” was born into a Virginia farming family in 1732. His father died when he was young. As a teenager, he was a surveyor, who helped plan roads in the western wilderness. He then made his mark as a soldier in the French and Indian War. His marriage to Martha Custis, a wealthy widow, enhanced his social status. He became a member of the Virginia legislature and the Second Continental Congress. In 1775, he was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army and held that position during the American Revolutionary War. After the War was over, he refused to be made a king. After presiding as president of the convention that drafted the US Constitution, he became the first president of the United States, serving for two terms. As a politician, he generally took sides with the Federalists who wanted a strong national government, against Thomas Jefferson's party, the Democratic-Republicans.
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