The Statesmen, The Writer, And The Military Man

1712 words - 7 pages

The Statesman, The Writer, and the Military Man: How George Washington, Thomas Paine, and Andrew Jackson Helped Construct America’s Identity

All of America’s founding fathers contributed greatly to the formation of the United States and helped build this nation through their accomplishments and dedication to making their home a better place for all Americans. But of the 55-plus men whom history has given the name of “founding father,” the contributions of George Washington (1732-1799), Thomas Paine (1737-1809), and Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) stand out for their range of accomplishments, their contribution to critical components of democracy and its identity, and to military achievements ...view middle of the document...

In May of 1793, Washington issued the Proclamation of Neutrality, which established the United States as a neutral nation in the conflict between Britain and France, freeing it from unnecessary involvement in foreign conflicts. Washington also supported a program that helped repay the States’ Revolutionary War debts and adopted measures to resolve the escalating debt crisis. He also suppressed the Whiskey Rebellion, an uprising by farmers displeased by the government’s imposed excise tax on whiskey in 1791; Washington raised more than 12,000 troops to quell the uprising and convince people of the merit of the tax in 1794. He also signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo on October 27, 1795, opening the Mississippi River to American navigation. In August of 1795, he signed Jay’s Treaty with Great Britain, forcing the British to evacuate the United States. His peace-keeping efforts also extended to treaties with Southeastern Native American tribes and to the proclamation that created the first National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, a hallmark of American culture that continues to celebrate gratitude and the coming together of friends, family, and disparate cultures. Beyond his efforts to secure peace and create structure for the new nation, Washington also demonstrated great moral fortitude and selflessness. He turned down a third term for the presidency, which set a precedent for future presidents to limit their office to two terms and created a safeguard against potential abuse of power. These great contributions by George Washington make him one of our nation’s greatest forefathers and earn him the well-deserved title of “Father” of these United States.
Another founding father demonstrated the pen’s power in building a nation. In fact, Thomas Paine’s influential writings inspired the American Revolution. His most famous work is “Common Sense,” a pamphlet which was published in January of 1776 and urged Colonists to aim for complete independence from Britain. Some of the arguments he used were that Britain governed the Americans for its own benefit and that the distance between the nations made governance very inefficient. This work sold thousands of copies, turned a local uprising into a War of Independence, and earned Paine the title “Father of the American Revolution.” He continued to write pamphlets and songs throughout the Revolution. All of them inspired American armies to fight on — even when things seemed hopeless — and played a key role in helping the American Revolution to succeed. Paine became secretary of the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs in 1777, and he sailed with a delegation to France to secure more provisions for the American Army. Without this successful mission, the American Army may have had to surrender to the British. He also was one of the greatest promoters of the idea of human rights. In 1792, he wrote “The Rights of Man,” which put forth the idea that every man possesses basic “natural rights,” including the...

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