When someone mentions the "Founding Fathers- of the United States, one easily remembers George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Their accomplishments are well known by many. But do they know the men behind the achievements. John Ferling helps us better understand the lives that these men led when they weren't fighting for independence or working hard to establish a lasting government. He also helps us become more aware of the problems, like the countrymen of their time, faced and had to overcome.
George Washington as General Henry Lee stated was, " first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."" Later generations have crowned him with the simple title "Father of His Country."" George Washington was born in 1732 in the small town of Pope's Creek, Virginia. Unlike Adams and Jefferson, Washington lacked a formal education, for he received most of his schooling from his father and, after his father's death in 1743, from his elder half-brother Lawrence. Washington's political and military career began as early as 1754 when he participated in the French and Indian War as a leader of a Virginia regiment. .
During his service under the British army, Washington started developing revolutionary concepts. It was during this time that, "Washington understood that colonists were second-class citizens within the British Empire."" (p. 65) To add to his anger of Britain, the mother country began to tax her across the ocean citizens by the passing of such taxes as the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, and the Townshend Duties. This not only caused unrest for Washington, but for all colonists, who were now thinking of breaking away from King George III and England. Washington was named head of the Continental Army for he " was wealthy, relatively young-he was forty-three in 1775-and in good health. Here was a man accustomed to leading others, a man who could make life-and-death decisions, who could move men to follow his orders.