The Washington Monument was built between 1848 and 1884 as a tribute to George Washington's military leadership from 1775-1783 during the American Revolution. Weighing 81,120 tons, the Washington Monument stands 555' 5-1/8" tall. The walls of the monument range in thickness from 15' at the base to 18'' at the upper shaft. They are composed primarily of white marble blocks from Maryland with a few from Massachusetts, underlain by Maryland blue gneiss and Maine granite. A slight color change is perceptible at the 150' level near where construction slowed in 1854. Inserted into the interior walls are 193 memorial stones presented by
individuals, societies, cities, States, and nations of the world. Attached to in independent iron framework,flights of 896 steps surround an elevator which takes
visitors to the observation level, where they can gaze over the city from the monument's pyramidion windows.Hailed as the father of his country, and the leader who was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen", George Washington(1732-1799) was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775to1797,leading the American victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander in chief of the Continental Army, and presiding over the writing of the Constitution in 1787. As the unanimous choice to serve as the first President of the United States, he built a strong and financially secure nation that earned the respect of the world. Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention that drafted the U. S. Constitution in 1787 because of his dissatisfaction with the weaknesses of Articles of Confederation. Washington became President of the United States in 1789
where he successfully brought rival factions together to create a unified nation. President Washington built a strong, well-financed national government that avoided war, suppressed rebellion, and won acceptance among America’s natural citizens. Washington's farewell address was a primer on republican virtue and a stern warning against partisanship,sectionalism, and involvement in foreign wars. Two years after his presidential term ended, Washington died at Mt. Vernon in 1799, leaving America and the world a legacy of republican virtue and devotion to civic duty.