|Famous For: 1st President of the United States||Currently Known For: Former President of the United States|
Currently Known For Former President of the United States
"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." When the United States of America gained its independence from Great Britain in 1776, the new nation needed its first leader. In 1788, the country would have its first election and it was George Washington that was given the honor of being the first President of the United States. Washington had had a long political and military career beforehand, and his name will forever be remembered in the country.
Born in the colony of Virginia, Washington grew up in a family of farmers and he was considered a very solid student. Unfortunately, Washington’s father would pass away when he was a teenager, which caused him to not attend the Appleby Grammar School in England. Washington got into work as a surveyor at a very young age, and holds the distinction of being one of the few presidents that never attended college.
Despite not going to college, Washington was still a very bright person. His intelligence was well documented while he was a general, helping the country to defeat the British in the Revolutionary War. Very few presidents have had the kind of military experience and success as Washington, and it showed while he was president.
Out of the founding fathers, Washington wasn’t perhaps the smartest, but he was a natural born leader and exactly what the United States was looking for when the country was formed. In an evaluation of presidential IQs, Washington ended up getting an estimated 130, as the IQ test was not around when he was alive.
An IQ of 130 would actually put Washington toward the bottom of the list, with only nine presidents listed below him. However, it should be noted that 130 is still a remarkably high IQ to the average person. In that category, you could consider Washington to have a gifted IQ, well above the average person where anything above 115 is considered to be a high IQ.
Washington was put in charge of making the policies that would define a new nation, and it takes someone of great intelligence to accomplish that. Washington was the man responsible for establishing the Supreme Court that the United States still uses today to make some of the biggest decision possible. Without Washington, we also wouldn’t have cabinet positions, or an address to the country when a new president is elected.
Washington welcomed those that didn’t favor his opinion, making sure that everyone’s voice was heard. He didn’t want things to be like they were in Great Britain with a one-party system, and was a big proponent of democracy, even if it led to arguments. After all, Washington believed that if you try to silence those that oppose you, it would only lead to violence. It was a lesson that he learned when the United States was once 13 colonies.
This made Washington a president that listened to his constituents. If there was a law in place that the public almost universally opposed, he would make sure that the law would be changed. One of the biggest examples is the Whiskey Law, which raised the taxes on all distilled spirits, and Washington repealed the law when the nation was young as people were rebelling against the tax. The fact that he was open and willing to communicate with anyone was a sign of his intelligence, leadership and charisma.
In another brilliant move, Washington established the United States Navy in 1794, as the country had plenty of ships that were under European control that were ripe for picking. When he established a permanent Navy, America became a more powerful country, and it was a compelling act in a time of neutrality where America wasn’t involved in other wars.
In 1796, Washington addressed the nation with a farewell letter that helped establish what the United States of America should be like once he leaves office. In the address, Washington said that the United States shouldn’t be overly involved in foreign affairs and that the country should look out for its own well being first and foremost. His words would become policy for the United States for generations, as foreign wars were nearly nonexistent for over a century.
After his time as president came to an end, Washington went into retirement, but sadly it wouldn’t last long. Washington had come down sick after spending time in harsh conditions outdoors and passed away on December 14, 1799. Upon learning of his death, cities around the world held their own memorials for Washington as the United States mourned at Mount Vernon.
He might not have had the formal education that we’re used to seeing presidents have today, but times were very different back then. It was still clear that Washington was a man of great intelligence and leadership, and it would have been impossible for the United States to succeed as a country if the first leader wasn’t sharp as a tack. Washington is almost certain to be remembered fondly by Americans as the first president, and there were plenty of reasons to do so.