George washington and the building of the constitution

Presidential interpretation and constitutional development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

As first president, George Washington was in an historically unique position to shape the forms and customs of the newly-ratified Federal Constitution. Unlike most previous accounts of his presidency that focus on Washington's symbolic contributions, this essay suggests that he had a very clear substantive constitutional agenda–an agenda which he consciously sought to shape. Specifically, Washington attempted to graft his own views of separation of powers, executive privilege, federalism, and the rule of law on to the Constitution. More of the “original formsrdquo; of the Constitution, then, bear Washington's distinctive mark than heretofore thought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-109
Number of pages15
JournalCongress and the Presidency
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1985

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constitution
interpretation
separation of powers
constitutional state
federalism
privilege
president

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

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abstract = "As first president, George Washington was in an historically unique position to shape the forms and customs of the newly-ratified Federal Constitution. Unlike most previous accounts of his presidency that focus on Washington's symbolic contributions, this essay suggests that he had a very clear substantive constitutional agenda–an agenda which he consciously sought to shape. Specifically, Washington attempted to graft his own views of separation of powers, executive privilege, federalism, and the rule of law on to the Constitution. More of the “original formsrdquo; of the Constitution, then, bear Washington's distinctive mark than heretofore thought.",
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