George washington and the building of the constitution: Presidential interpretation and constitutional development

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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
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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