This programme profiles the reluctant revolutionary who defeated a superpower and founded the most powerful nation in the world. George Washington was a conservative landowner who helped transform a bunch of quarrelsome states into a cohesive nation and drafted the American Constitution. Washington was born, in 1732, into a family of wealthy Virginia plantation owners, at a time when America was a British colony. After receiving a good education at home, he became a successful surveyor, mapping the uncharted ?Wild West?, before being enlisted into the Virginia militia at 21. (more) The young Washington showed his bravery and strategic brilliance as he led several successful British expeditions against French invaders. However, despite his growing reputation, this ambitious young man returned to his estate in protest at being denied a commission by the British. Washington then married Martha and spent some time as a successful farmer. However, his prosperous Virginia gentleman?s existence was interrupted by the call of duty when heavy British taxation inspired the colonists to unite and revolt. Washington?s troops began the eight-year War of Independence as a ragtag bunch of conscripts, but ultimately triumphed. Having already supervised the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, Washington was reluctantly appointed President for two four-year terms. By the time he died, aged 67, in 1799, he had helped found a great nation, and provided the constitutional framework that still governs the US to this day.