Lesson 7: What was the first national government like?


Biographies

Shays, Daniel (1747-1825) Revolutionary soldier and postwar rebel. One of several leaders of the revolt in western Massachusetts against the state government. In 1786, he led armed farmers in a raid on the Springfield arsenal. Fled to Vermont when his band was defeated and later settled in New York.

Washington, George (1732-1799) George Washington was born in Virginia in 1732. He grew up there on several plantations along the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers. He was not particularly well educated, but did learn surveying. In 1753, he began his service to the country, which was to continue throughout his life, despite his desire to live a more private existence. Washington's efforts as commander of the Continental Army are well known. After the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, Washington returned to his home, Mount Vernon. Although he did not initially want to attend the Philadelphia Convention, his friends convinced him that his presence was necessary. He was elected president of the convention but spoke little. His presence and approval, however, were important. Nearly everyone assumed that Washington would be the first president of the United States, which, of course, he was, serving from 1789-1797.