Episode 502: George Washington: The Reluctant Warrior President

Released Tuesday, 28th July 2020
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On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at the life, loves, war, revolution, presidency and death of George Washington. Born to a middle class family, he rose in wealth and power, until by age 20, he was the wealthiest land owner in Virginia. His story is incredible. He joined the British to stop the French from spreading onto their land. His first fight there basically started a world war because he didn’t know what he was doing. This man was a passionate farmer and whiskey distiller, but he kept getting the call to serve his nation, as a warrior, a spymaster, a politician, and ultimately president.

The Washington family had been in American for three generations before George was born. His parents were of an upper middle class and bought some land, which eventually became his famous home at Mt. Vernon. His father increased his fortune, died, left it all to George’s older brother Lawrence. Then Lawrence built up more fortune, died of tuberculosis, and left it all to George. He was the wealthiest man in the colony.

But he didn’t sit around counting his gold. Instead, Washington learned how to work the farm and survive in the woods. He worked with the laborers and slaves, it is said, instead of sitting in the big house. He eventually joined a dangerous surveying party and came back as the official surveyor of the surrounding area. That involvement with government made him the selection to talk to some French who had encroached on “British” territory. He did; they politely said they wouldn’t leave. Washington came back with a small military force and attacked and killed the commander, basically kicking off an war between the British and the French. His time in the French Indian War gave him experience on the battlefield.

Eventually, the war ended, and he returned to his farming life at Mt. Vernon. However, the Brits were gouging the colonists to make up for the money they spent in the war. Tax after tax led to things like the Boston Tea Party, and eventually, everyone wanted an end to British Rule. The revolution had begun. Again, though he didn’t want it, Washington’s experience, wealth, and prestige, landed him the top military role in the war.

Here, he suffered major victories and massive losses. He endured harsh winters, did some legendary tactics, and even survived one battle with four bullet holes in his cloak and two dead horses underneath him. Eventually, the war was won, and Washington settled down once again. And once again, duty called. The new nation of states was falling apart, many of them enacting taxes tougher than the Brits did in order to pay back the war debts. So, the founding fathers called the Constitutional Congress, rewrote the constitution, and called upon George Washington to be the first president. His time in that office set the precedence for the president. He wasn’t a king but an official. So, how long did he last as president? Did he really have wooden teeth? What was up with him and slaves? Did he have a secret lover on the side? Did he really chop down that cherry tree? Listen, laugh, learn.

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