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Washington first gained prominence leading Virginia troops in support of the British Empire during the French and Indian War (1754–1763), a conflict which he inadvertently helped to start. After leading the American victory in the Revolutionary War, he refused to lead a military regime, though encouraged by some of his peers to do so. He returned to civilian life at his plantation at Mount Vernon, Virginia.
In 1787 he presided over the Constitutional Convention that drafted the current United States Constitution and, in 1789, was the unanimous choice to become the first president of the United States. His two-term administration set many policies and traditions that survive today. After his second term expired, Washington again voluntarily relinquished political power, thereby establishing an important precedent that was to serve as an example for the United States and also for other future republics. Because of his central role in the founding of the United States, Washington is often called the “Father of the Nation.” Many scholars rank him, with Abraham Lincoln, among the greatest of United States presidents.
The inner transition metals are two series of elements known as the lanthanides and actinides. They are usually shown below all the other elements in the standard view of the periodic table, but they really belong to periods 6 and 7. The lanthanide series consists of the 14 elements, cerium through lutetium (atomic numbers 58–71) immediately following lanthanum. Likewise, the actinide series consists of the 14 elements, thorium through lawrencium (atomic numbers 90–103), immediately following actinium. These elements were among the last to be discovered and placed in the periodic table. Many of the actinides do not occur naturally but were synthesized through nuclear reactions.
Chemically, the elements within each series (especially the lanthanides) are very similar to one another.