George Washington became a hero due to his role as commander in chief of the Continental Army. Congress assigned him this position in 1775, and his leadership helped the army defeat the British in the American Revolution.
During his first year as commander in chief, the Continental Army suffered a few defeats and the men fighting were ready to give up. Washington, however, was determined to renew their motivation and their passion for the cause. In December of the same year, Washington led his men silently across the Delaware River where they ambushed the British troops. This was only the beginning of the army's victories; a week later, they defeated troops in New Jersey.
With renewed encouragement to keep fighting, the army was able to continue winning battles during the next few years until they were able to secure the surrender of Lord Cornwallis in 1781.
After the American Revolution ended, George Washington became the first president of the United States. After taking his position in office in 1789, he nominated members of his cabinet. John Adams was elected vice president. He also developed a Proclamation of Neutrality as tensions between the British and the French began increasing. Washington served two terms as president before retiring.