George Washington is revered as the father of his country, a clever and skilled general, and a man of restrained principlebut not as a political thinker. This short introduction to Washington’s political philosophy reveals him as a thoughtful public intellectual who was well equipped to lead the young United States.
Though Washington left little explicit writing on political philosophy, Jeffry Morrison examines his key writings, actions, education, and political and professional lives. He finds that Washington held closely to a trinity of foundational principlesclassical republicanism, British liberalism, and Protestant Christianitywith greater fidelity than many of the other founding fathers. In unearthing Washington’s ideological growth, Morrison reveals the intellectual heritage of his political thought and shows how these beliefs motivated him to action.
This insightful, concise story makes clearer the complexities of the revolutionary era and shows how the first president’s political ideas shaped governmental institutions and instantiated the nation’s foundational principles.