Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Austin Stoelk, Composition 117, Book Blog #4

Austin Stoelk
Composition 117
George Washington and the Birth of Our Nation
Milton Meltzer
Copyright 1986 by Milton Meltzer
98 pages

“Discipline was what he had learned, discipline as the backbone of any army. He had been a dashing officer, eager for action.”

This quotation explains that even though he is not experienced in categories such as people, the wilderness, or tactics, he is the leader chosen because of his discipline and his will to want to fight and win. George is leading his army to fight against Britain. Is this an issue? This is a huge issue because George’s army is small and, at the time, Britain’s considered to be one of the top countries in the world. This is only one of many moments in which Washington uses his disciplinary acts, as well as his drive to want action and win. Although the British are the leading country in the world, they do have certain flaws. For example, Britain does not educate their soldiers well at this time. Also, the hassle of having to travel over 3,000 miles on sea causes much miscommunication.
George Washington’s Continental Army is never very big. George has to use signs and posters to entice people to join his army for a good cause. Washington starts going to sea with not an extraordinary amount of men, but again he’s discipline in being smart about what he does and trusting the battle to be won by “the minds of Americans”. While the recruiting’s going on by Washington, Thomas Paine, a political activist and writer, writes a book titled Common Sense in 1776. This book emphasizes great passion towards trying to stop Britain. He explains why soldiers are needed, but does so much more in depth than Washington does. After this, The Declaration of Independence is written on July 2 by Thomas Jefferson. This Declaration states that America is free from Britain and any rebelling necessary shall be done. I believe these two people, Jefferson and Paine, wrote very important items for our country. These help shape our country today in many ways.
After major contributions are made by Jefferson and Paine to help Washington’s army, George again starts showing his courageous acts. Washington attacks Trenton, New Jersey, with 3,000 men and gets a victory. He then attacks Princeton and forces Lord Cornwallis of Britain to retreat. This is an extremely courageous action in my opinion because Lord Cornwallis was of high authority. In these two major attacks, Washington proves disciplinary actions by more than what he’s capable of, and doing so with great action and aggressiveness, which is very courageous of him to do considering how strong Britain is.
After these two major battles, George fights in many more, with great ups and downs. He fights battles in South Carolina, New York, Count de Rochambeau, and Virginia. Through many casualties, Washington and his men slowly overtake Britain and receive independence. After his many battles, Washington rides from Philadelphia to Baltimore and finally to his home town of Annapolis. George is greeted on his rides through many different places, and greeted with great humbleness of many Americans. When returning to Annapolis, he turns in his commission and resigns, saying he has “finished the work assigned” to him. Through the many battles, George uses his excellent traits of drive and disciplinary action to defeat the British in many long and brutal battles, which I feel is an extraordinary method for anyone.
In 1787, Washington went to Philadelphia and was a member of the Constitutional Convention. At the Convention, he took notes on various drafts of the Constitution. Also, believe it or not, Washington’s presence at the Convention was a key to it getting signed four months later on September 17. If I was in a convention as big as this, Washington would change my view on the issue as well!The Constitution is then ratified by nine of the thirteen states, and eventually all, and the Bill of Rights is added. America has now had a huge turn around; not only has power shifted from Britain to America, but also order was given. This order given is not nearly as harsh as Britain’s monarchy but gives enough order to keep issues in tact. With the Constitution being ratified, Washington shows his action, but this time not on the battlefield; George shows his action at the Convention, helping to get the Constitution approved and ratified.
Two years later, in 1789, George Washington becomes first president of America with John Adams being the vice president. As president, Washington goes to many states over sea to discuss our country and the Constitution. Also, “Mr. President”, as he was called, had the executive power to totally remove or appoint officers from Congress. After his first term, Washington wants to retire as his health gets worse when he gets pneumonia. Washington, unable to step down yet, used great disciplinary courage to actually counteract his normal “action” attitude. When many want to fight against Indians to take over their land, Washington says making peace would be better for the country, which proved to be true.
Although he counteracted the action in physical terms, Washington showed mental toughness and action when deciding to make peace in a peaceful way with the Indians. I feel these are all very courageous actions for “Mr. President”. Throughout his life, George went through many struggles that he overcame with his will to win. I find George to be one of the most courageous men ever in our country, which he especially showed when leading is Continental Army in the Revolutionary War and many other battles. I hope to be a man of discipline and action when I get older, but I’m not sure I could do so at the extent Washington did! Mr. President changed our country for the good, and did so not just as a president, but as a commander as well.

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