Explore the timeline to learn more about why George Washington changed from serving the British to fighting against them. As you read the information, think: why would you would take action?

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George Washington Joins the Military

George Washington fights in the French and Indian war from 1754 to 1758. This portrait was painted by Charles Willson Peale in 1772 to represent this time in Washington’s life.

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We cant conceive, that being Americans shoud deprive us of the benefits of British Subjects nor lessen our claim to preferment: and we are very certain, that no Body of regular Troops ever before Servd 3 Bloody Campaigns without attracting Royal Notice.”

George Washington writes Robert Dinwiddie, the Governor of the Royal Colony of Virginia, explaining his frustrations with the unequal treatment from the British soldiers serving with them as a colonist.

It cannot reasonably be imagined that I felt any pleasing Sensations upon the receipt of your Letter of the 13th of February covering accts of Sales for 153 Hhds [hogsheads – a measure of capacity] of Master Custis’s Tobo [tobacco] and 115 of mine. That the Sales are pitifully low, needs no words to demonstrate—and that they are worse than many of my Acquaintance upon this River—Potomack—have got in the Out Posts, & from Mr Russel and other Merchants of London for common Aronoko Tobo, is a truth equally as certain…”

George Washington writes to Robert Cary and Company, a British merchant, sharing his frustration that his tobacco sales were down and his crop was sold for less than others. He could only sell tobacco through Britain by law.

…in short the Ministry may rely on it that Americans will never be tax’d without their own consent that the cause of Boston the despotick Measures in respect to it I mean now is and ever will be considerd as the cause of America (not that we approve their cond[uc]t in destroyg the Tea).”

George Washington writes to his friend, George William Fairfax, about taxation without consent and how the cause of the Boston Tea Party is the cause of America.

George Washington Becomes Commander in Chief of Continental Army

He volunteers to lead the American forces against the British in the Revolutionary War from 1775-1783.

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Personal Reflection

Why would I take action?

Why might I question decisions that are made for me in my school and community?

How do I learn more about the problem I want to solve?

Think About the Big Picture

How did George Washington’s actions relate to his community and others?

How do my actions relate to my community and others?

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