George Washington grew up at Rappahannock Farm (currently known as Ferry Farm). He lived in this area from age 6 through age 21. He received a rudimentary education at home and in Fredericksburg. Unlike George Mason (IV), a man of ideas, Washington was inclined to learn from practical experience as a surveyor, militia officer, and regional politician. A member of the Liberty Generation, like Mason, he opposed tyranny in all of its forms. However, as a member of the Continental Congress and particularly as commanding general of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, he came to understand the inherent weaknesses of government under the Articles of Confederation with regard to national finances, military establishments, and foreign policy in the international state system.
Washington led the Federalist faction, later America’s first political party. He advocated a constitution which formulated a strong national government for finances, defense, and foreign policy.