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George Washington

Geburtstag: 22. Februar 1732
Todesdatum: 14. Dezember 1799

George Washington [ˈwɒʃɪŋtən] war von 1789 bis 1797 der erste Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika.

Als Oberbefehlshaber der Kontinentalarmee von 1775 bis 1783 war er einer der Gründerväter der USA und leitete als Vorsitzender die verfassunggebende Philadelphia Convention im Jahr 1787. Während seiner Präsidentschaft traf Washington wegweisende Entscheidungen, die die Entwicklung der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika als republikanische Demokratie bis heute prägen. Er wirkte vor allem auf eine gegenüber den Einzelstaaten und dem Kongress handlungsfähige Zentralgewalt hin und bildete das neu geschaffene Amt bewusst aus, indem er Präzedenzfälle schuf.

Washington wurde zur Zweihundertjahrfeier der Vereinigten Staaten am 11. Oktober 1976 postum „für die Vergangenheit und die Gegenwart“ der höchste Dienstgrad eines General of the Armies of the United States verliehen.

Zitate George Washington

„Lasst mich Euch nochmals auf das eindringlichste vor den verderblichen Wirkungen der Parteien warnen.“

—  George Washington
Abschiedsbotschaft, 1796, zitiert nach: Avalon Project, Washington's Farewell Address 1796 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp Original engl.: "Let me now [..] warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally."

„Eines Tages könnten wir eine große blühende Nation werden, doch sollten wir auf diesem Wege unglücklicherweise erneut über ungedecktes Papiergeld oder andere Arten von Betrug stolpern, würden wir gewiß unserem nationalen Ansehen schon in seiner Kindheit einen tödlichen Stoß versetzen.“

—  George Washington
A Treatise on Monetary Reform, Monetary Realist Society 1982, S. 5 Original engl.: "[..] I am sanguine in the belief of the possibility that we may one day become a great commercial and flourishing nation. But if in the pursuit of the means we should unfortunately stumble again on unfunded paper money or any similar species of fraud, we shall assuredly give a fatal stab to our national credit in its infancy."

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„Wer auf den Krieg vorbereitet ist, kann den Frieden am Besten wahren.“

—  George Washington
Original engl.: To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace. - First Annual Address, to both Houses of Congress, 8. Januar 1790 (in Anspielung auf das Lateinische "Si vis pacem para bellum".)

„It is better to be alone than in bad company.“

—  George Washington
1790s, Letter to his niece, Harriet Washington (30 October 1791)

„It may be laid down, as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every citizen who enjoys the protection of a free government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defence of it“

—  George Washington
1780s, Context: It may be laid down, as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every citizen who enjoys the protection of a free government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency. "Sentiments on a Peace Establishment" in a letter to Alexander Hamilton (2 May 1783); published in The Writings of George Washington (1938), edited by John C. Fitzpatrick, Vol. 26, p. 289

„We have abundant reason to rejoice, that, in this land, the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart.“

—  George Washington
1790s, Context: We have abundant reason to rejoice, that, in this land, the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart. In this enlightened age, & in this land of equal liberty, it is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining & holding the highest offices that are known in the United States. Your prayers for my present and future felicity are received with gratitude; and I sincerely wish, Gentlemen, that you may in your social and individual capacities taste those blessings, which a gracious God bestows upon the righteous. Letter to the members http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=mgw2&fileName=gwpage039.db&recNum=111 of The New Church in Baltimore (22 January 1793), published in The Writings Of George Washington (1835) by Jared Sparks, p. 201

„The unfortunate condition of the persons, whose labour in part I employed, has been the only unavoidable subject of regret.“

—  George Washington
1780s, Context: The unfortunate condition of the persons, whose labour in part I employed, has been the only unavoidable subject of regret. To make the Adults among them as easy & as comfortable in their circumstances as their actual state of ignorance & improvidence would admit; & to lay a foundation to prepare the rising generation for a destiny different from that in which they were born; afforded some satisfaction to my mind, & could not I hoped be displeasing to the justice of the Creator. Comment of late 1788 or early 1789 upon his slaves http://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/slavery/the-only-unavoidable-subject-of-regret/, as recorded by David Humphreys, in his notebooks on his conversations with Washington, now in the Rosenbach Library in Philadelphia<!-- as quoted in "Housing and Family Life of the Mount Vernon Negro," unpublished paper by Charles C. Wall, prepared for the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association (May 1962), prefatory note]. -->

„What astonishing changes a few years are capable of producing! I am told that even respectable characters speak of a monarchical form of government without horror.“

—  George Washington
1780s, Context: If you tell the Legislatures they have violated the treaty of peace and invaded the prerogatives of the confederacy they will laugh in your face. What then is to be done? Things cannot go on in the same train forever. It is much to be feared, as you observe, that the better kind of people being disgusted with the circumstances will have their minds prepared for any revolution whatever. We are apt to run from one extreme into another. To anticipate & prevent disasterous contingencies would be the part of wisdom & patriotism. What astonishing changes a few years are capable of producing! I am told that even respectable characters speak of a monarchical form of government without horror. From thinking proceeds speaking, thence to acting is often but a single step. But how irrevocable & tremendous! What a triumph for the advocates of despotism to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves, and that systems founded on the basis of equal liberty are merely ideal & falacious! Would to God that wise measures may be taken in time to avert the consequences we have but too much reason to apprehend. Retired as I am from the world, I frankly acknowledge I cannot feel myself an unconcerned spectator. Yet having happily assisted in bringing the ship into port & having been fairly discharged; it is not my business to embark again on a sea of troubles. Nor could it be expected that my sentiments and opinions would have much weight on the minds of my Countrymen — they have been neglected, tho' given as a last legacy in the most solemn manner. I had then perhaps some claims to public attention. I consider myself as having none at present. Letter to John Jay (15 August 1786) http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents/constitution/1784/jay2.html

„The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves“

—  George Washington
1770s, Context: The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die. Address to the Continental Army before the Battle of Long Island (27 August 1776)

„The Marquis de Lafayette is extremely solicitous of having a command equal to his rank.“

—  George Washington
1770s, Context: The Marquis de Lafayette is extremely solicitous of having a command equal to his rank. I do not know in what light Congress will view the matter, but it appears to me, from a consideration of his illustrious and important connexions, the attachment which he has manifested for our cause, and the consequences which his return in disgust might produce, that it will be advisable to gratify him in his wishes; and the more so, as several gentlemen from France, who came over under some assurances, have gone back disappointed in their expectations. His conduct with respect to them stands in a favorable point of view; having interested himself to remove their uneasiness, and urged the impropriety of their making any unfavorable representations upon their arrival at home; and in all his letters he has placed our affairs in the best situation he' could. Besides, he is sensible; discreet in his manners; has made great proficiency in our language; and, from the disposition he discovered at the battle of Brandywine, possesses a large share of bravery and military ardor. Letter to the Continental Congress (1 November 1777), as quoted in Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States Vol. 23, Issue 2 (1835), p. 665 https://books.google.com/books?id=3_lEAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA665

„It is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness“

—  George Washington
1790s, Farewell Address (1796), Context: It is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the Palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion, that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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