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George Washington

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

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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.

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Zitate George Washington

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„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."

„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".)

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

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

„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.“

—  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)

„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 friends of humanity will deprecate War, wheresoever it may appear; and we have experience enough of its evils, in this country, to know, that it should not be wantonly or unnecessarily entered upon.“

—  George Washington
1790s, Context: The friends of humanity will deprecate War, wheresoever it may appear; and we have experience enough of its evils, in this country, to know, that it should not be wantonly or unnecessarily entered upon. I trust, that the good citizens of the United States will show to the world, that they have as much wisdom in preserving peace at this critical juncture, as they have hitherto displayed valor in defending their just rights. Address to the merchants of Philadelphia (16 May 1793), published in The Writings Of George Washington (1835) by Jared Sparks, p. 202

„Few people know the predicament we are in, on a thousand accounts; fewer still will believe, if any disaster happens to these lines, from what cause it flows.“

—  George Washington
1770s, Context: The reflection upon my situation, and that of this army, produces many an uneasy hour, when all around me are wrapped in sleep. Few people know the predicament we are in, on a thousand accounts; fewer still will believe, if any disaster happens to these lines, from what cause it flows. I have often thought how much happier I should have been, if instead of accepting of a command under such circumstances, I had taken my musket upon my shoulders and entered the rank, or if I could have justified the measure of posterity, and my own conscience, had retired to the back country, and lived in a wigwam. If I shall be able to rise superior to these, and many other difficulties which might be enumerated, I shall most religiously believe that the finger of Providence is in it, to blind the eyes of our enemies; for surely if we get well through this month, it must be for want of their knowing the disadvantages we labor under. Could I have foreseen the difficulties which have come upon us, could I have known that such a backwardness would have been discovered in the old soldiers to the service, all the generals upon earth should not have convinced me of the propriety of delaying an attack upon Boston till this time. In a letter to Joseph Reed, during the siege of Boston (14 January 1776), quoted in History of the Siege of Boston, and of the Battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill (1849) by Richard Frothingham, p. 286

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

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