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069 Who is the “Father of Our Country”?

69. Who is the “Father of Our Country”?
(George) Washington

There were many great men among the Founding Fathers (or the people who helped to create the United States), but only one of them is called the “Father of our Country.” His name was George Washington, and although he is best known for having been the first president of the United States, he also did many other things to merit (or deserve) the title of “Father of our Country.”

Born in Virginia in 1732, George Washington was always very interested in the military, which are organizations with soldiers that fight for the country’s freedom. He was a very well-respected colonel (or an important leader in the military) and he fought many battles (or smaller fights in a war) during the French and Indian War.

When the new United States declared (or officially stated or told others of) its independence (or freedom) from Britain, George Washington became the
commander-in-chief (or top leader of the military) in the Revolutionary War between Britain and America. He helped the United States win the war and secure (or get) its freedom.

When the war ended in 1783, Washington was tired of fighting. He wanted to return to his home in Virginia and work on his plantation (or big farm). However, once he was there, he began to understand that there were many problems with the Articles of Confederation (or the legal document that existed before the Constitution). He decided to help the other Founding Fathers create a new legal document for the country and went to participate in the Constitutional Convention. The other members of the Constitutional Convention unanimously voted (or all voted in agreement) to make him the president of the Convention. The Constitution was written under his leadership in 1787. Just two years later, in 1789, George Washington became the first president of the United States.

George Washington had a major (or very important) influence (or effect) on the United States as the country was developing. That is why he is often called the “Father of our Country.”


to merit – to deserve something; to be worthy of something
* Vicky merits a college scholarship because she has always been a good student and athlete in high school.

military – the people and organizations who fight for a country, usually to protect it
* Do you have any relatives in the military?

colonel – an important leader in the military
* There are not many women who reach the rank of colonel in the U.S. military.

battle – a fight in a war
* The Battle of Bunker Hill was one of the most famous battles in the American Revolutionary War.

to declare – to officially state that something is true; to tell other people that something is true or has been decided
* In 1983, the U.S. government declared Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to be a national holiday.

commander-in-chief – the person who leads a country's military (in the United States, this is the president)
* The commander-in-chief can decide whether soldiers should go into war zones.

to secure (something) – to succeed in getting something, especially if it is difficult or rare
* I want to secure your promise that you will never do that again.

unanimously – with everyone in agreement; with everyone making the same decision
* The students unanimously decided to use some of their money for an end-of-the- year party.