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Washington's entry into New York...

[Detail] Washington's entry into New York...

Lesson Overview

George Washington: First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen consists of three lessons examining George Washington's leadership in the French and Indian War, at the Federal Convention, and as chief executive. They are based on primary source documents from George Washington Papers, 1741-1799. The documents from Washington's Letterbooks include focus questions that may be used in Socratic seminars, cooperative learning, individual and group work.

In preparation, teachers should review the documents and suggested readings accompanying each lesson to determine appropriateness for their students. Recognizing that eighteenth-century conventions of grammar, vocabulary, and spelling may be distracting, teachers may choose to read selected documents aloud, and/or use vocabulary building activities before reading. Students might also transcribe documents into contemporary English. Teachers may also wish to refer to Using Primary Sources before beginning the unit.


Students will be able to:

  • Interpret primary source documents in historical context.
  • Explain the characteristics of good leadership.
  • Evaluate Washington's military leadership and his rise to a position of prominence in British America.
  • Explain the factors that led to the calling of the Federal Convention and evaluate Washington's role at the Convention.
  • Analyze how Washington as chief executive responded to issues confronting the United States.


Time Required

  • Three to five classes

Recommended Grade Level

  • 9-12


  • American Revolution
  • Government, Law & Politics


  • The American Revolution: 1763-1783
  • The New Nation, 1783-1815


Kirk Ankeney & David Vigilante