Founding Presidents (1789-1829)
- George Washington: The Father of the United States – Lesson
- John Adams: A Stubborn but Dedicated Leader – Lesson
- Thomas Jefferson: The Author of Independence – Lesson
- Founding Presidents: Washington, Adams, and Jefferson – Quiz
- James Madison: The Father of the Constitution – Lesson
- James Monroe: Opposing the Federalists – Lesson
- John Quincy Adams: The Federalists who Abandoned the Party – Lesson
- Founding Presidents: Madison, Monroe, and Adams – Quiz
Civil War Presidents (1829-1869)
- Andrew Jackson: The First Democrat – Lesson
- Martin Van Buren: The Little Magician – Lesson
- Civil War Presidents: Jackson and Van Buren – Quiz
- William Henry Harrison: The Indian-Fighter – Lesson
- John Tyler: The First President to Not Be Elected – Lesson
- James Polk: Young Hickory – Lesson
- Zachary Taylor: Old Rough and Ready – Lesson
- Millard Fillmore: The Last Whig President – Lesson
- Franklin Pierce: A President Ruined by Slavery – Lesson
- Franklin Pierce: A President Ruined by Slavery – Quiz
- James Buchanan: A President for States’ Rights – Lesson
- James Buchanan: A President for States’ Rights – Quiz
- Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipator – Lesson
- Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipator – Quiz
- Andrew Johnson: The First President to Be Impeached – Lesson
Reconstruction Presidents (1865-1901)
- Ulysses S. Grant: A Friend of Mark Twain – Lesson
- Ulysses S. Grant: A Friend of Mark Twain – Quiz
- Rutherford B. Hayes: The First President to Lose the Popular Vote – Lesson
- Rutherford B. Hayes: The First President to Lose the Popular Vote – Quiz
- James A. Garfield: The Last of the Log Cabin Presidents – Lesson
- James A. Garfield: The Last of the Log Cabin Presidents – Quiz
- Chester A. Arthur: A One Term President – Lesson
- Chester A. Arthur: A One Term President – Quiz
- Grover Cleveland: A President of Principle – Lesson
- Grover Cleveland: A President of Principle – Quiz
- Benjamin Harrison: The Second President in His Family – Lesson
- Benjamin Harrison: The Second President in His Family – Quiz
- William McKinley: The Third Presidential Assassination – Lesson
- William McKinley: The Third Presidential Assassination – Quiz
20th Century Presidents
- Richard Nixon: The Only President to Ever Resign – Lesson
- Richard Nixon: The Only President to Ever Resign – Quiz
- Gerald Ford – America’s First Unelected President – Lesson
- Gerald Ford – America’s First Unelected President – Quiz
- Jimmy Carter – the President Who Promised He’d Never Lie – Lesson
- Jimmy Carter – the President Who Promised He’d Never Lie – Quiz
- Ronald Reagan – The ‘Peace Through Strength’ President – Lesson
- Ronald Reagan – The ‘Peace Through Strength’ President – Quiz
George Washington: The Father of the United States – Lesson
As the first president, Washington is often called the father of the country.
The country’s first president, George Washington, was born on February 22, 1732 in Virginia. At this time, America was still known as the colonies and was under British rule. The Washington family was not rich and at the age of 11, George’s father passed away, leaving little money for education. Having no formal schooling, George Washington taught himself through reading and experimenting.
Washington wanted to join the British Navy, but his mother didn’t want him to. Instead, he explored the woods of Virginia as a surveyor with George William Fairfax. When he was 17, George Washington got a job as the surveyor for the county of Culpeper.
When he was 20 years old, George Washington’s brother, Lawrence, died of tuberculosis and George inherited his brother’s property, Mount Vernon, on the Potomac River near Alexandria, Virginia.
George Joins the Military
Without previous military experience, Washington was made a commander of the Virginia militia in 1752 at the age of 20. The British had decided to make the French leave, and the battles became known as the French and Indian War. Washington was sent with a message to the French, demanding they leave. On the 900-mile return trip, he fell off a raft and nearly drowned. During one battle, Washington had two horses shot out from beneath him and four bullet holes shot through his coat.
In 1759, Washington quit the military and went back to Mount Vernon. He was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and served there until 1774. In 1759, he married the widow Martha Dandridge Custis and became stepfather to her two children.
The Revolution Begins
In the late 1760s, Washington became concerned about the rising taxes on the colonists by the British. He decided it was time to declare independence from England. He served as a delegate to the First Continental Congress in 1774 in Philadelphia. The next year, the American Revolution began. Washington became the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.
President George Washington
In 1787, Washington attended the Constitutional Convention where he led the committee to draft the new Constitution. Impressed with his knowledge and abilities, he was asked to run for president.
The first presidential election was held on Jan. 7, 1789. Washington beat John Adams and took office on April 30, 1789 in New York City. At that time, the new nation only had 11 states and around four million people.
After serving two terms as president (and declining a third term), Washington returned to Mount Vernon in 1796. He died on Dec. 14 at the age of 67. To this day, he is still referred to as the father of our country.