Princeton: “The Indispensable, Uncancelable Statesmanship of George Washington”

George Washington, Gilbert Stuart, 1795

James Madison Program: “Indelible Legacy: The Indispensable, Uncancelable Statesmanship of George Washington


On November 13, 2020, the James Madison Program at Princeton University, will be holding a virtual discussion with William Allen and JMC faculty partner Paul Carrese. Faculty partner Diana Schaub will be moderating.

When George Washington died in December 1799, his comrade in arms in the Revolution, Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, eulogized the great general and president in the House of Representatives, describing him as “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” If anything, such words were a restrained expression of American sentiment, for Washington was the one man of whom it could be said that the United States of America owed its very existence to him. Indeed, he was a world-historical figure, renowned even in the country from which we had won our independence for his virtue, his statesmanship, and above all his self-abnegation in twice relinquishing power willingly and peacefully. Today, statues and monuments of George Washington are under siege, chiefly because of his ownership of slaves. Does he in fact still deserve the honor and veneration of his countrymen? What sort of man was Washington, and what qualities in him made his achievements possible? Can those achievements be separated from his record as a slaveholder and as an ambitious man of affairs? What can we say of George Washington entire?

Friday, November 13, 2020, 3:00 PM, EST
A virtual lecture through Zoom

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William Allen is Emeritus Dean of James Madison College and Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Michigan State University. He is also a Veritas Fund Senior Professor in the Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good at Villanova University and Visiting Professor in History and American Government at the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University. Professor Allen is a former member and chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and has been a Kellogg National Fellow, Fulbright Fellow and a member of the National Council on the Humanities. He has published several books, including George Washington: America’s First Progressive and Rethinking Uncle Tom: The Political Philosophy of H. B. Stowe. He also edited such collections as George Washington: A Collection and The Essential Antifederalist and has published numerous scholarly articles on political philosophy and American political thought.

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Paul CarresePaul Carrese is the founding Director of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University. For nearly two decades he was a professor of political science at the United States Air Force Academy, and co-founded a new honors program blending liberal arts education and leadership education. He is author of The Cloaking of Power: Montesquieu, Blackstone, and the Rise of Judicial Activism, and co-editor of three other books – on George Washington, constitutionalism, and American grand strategy. His most recent book is Democracy in Moderation: Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and Sustainable Liberalism.

Professor Carrese is a JMC faculty partner.

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Diana SchaubDiana Schaub is a Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Maryland and a contributing editor at New Atlantis. She is a member of the Hoover Institution’s Jill and Boyd Smith Task Force on the Virtues of a Free Society. In 2001, she was the recipient of the Richard M. Weaver Prize for Scholarly Letters and from 2004 to 2009 she was a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics. Professor Schaub is the author of Erotic Liberalism: Women and Revolution in Montesquieu’s Persian Letters (Rowman and Littlefield, 1995), along with a number of book chapters and articles in the fields of political philosophy and American political thought. She is a co-editor of What So Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song (ISI, 2011). Professor Schaub’s work has also appeared in National Affairs, The New Criterion, The Public Interest, The American Enterprise, the Claremont Review of Books, Commentary, First Things, The American Interest, and City Journal.

Professor Schuab is a JMC faculty partner.

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The James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions in the Department of Politics at Princeton University is dedicated to exploring enduring questions of American constitutional law and Western political thought. The Program is also devoted to examining the application of basic legal and ethical principles to contemporary problems.

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