George Washington: Foundation of Presidential Leadership and Character

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Ethan M. Fishman, William D. Pederson, Mark J. Rozell
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001 - 240 páginas

There have been many serious abuses of presidential power in recent decades, including Watergate, the Iran-Contra scandal, and the Lewinsky affair, subsequently Americans have demonstrated renewed interest in discussing the relationship between character and political leadership. Through an investigation of the life and career of George Washington, often considered the exemplary moral president, the chapters offer a balanced scholarly contribution to this analysis.

Fishman, Pederson, Rozell, and their contributors examine the legacy of Washingtons presidency. Leading political scientists and historians describe and evaluate the impact of Washington's leadership on the institution of the presidency and on those who have since occupied the Oval Office. In the contemporary era of almost endless speculation about the role of character in presidential leadership, an analysis of Washington's character and the model he established is especially germane.

The chapters provide diverse interpretations of the value of understanding Washington's leadership and the character of the modern presidency. Some of the scholars conclude that Washington indeed laid the foundation for good character and strong leadership in the presidency. Others take a more critical approach and see Washington, like many of his successors, as a fallible human being who possessed both character strengths and weaknesses. The lasting value of this analysis for political scientists, historians, and other students of the American presidency is that it demonstrates the continued vibrant debate over Washington's authentic legacy to the office.

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Página 27 - Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality, we may at any time resolve upon, to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose...
Página 62 - ... supported me, and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment by services faithful and persevering though in usefulness unequal to my zeal.
Página 26 - The considerations, which respect the right to hold this conduct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe, that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the Belligerent Powers, has been virtually admitted by all. The duty of holding a neutral conduct...
Página 110 - I behold the surest pledges, that as, on one side, no local prejudices or attachments, no separate views nor party animosities, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests — so, on another, that the foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; and the pre-eminence of a free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its...
Página 24 - ... the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.
Página 57 - Though I am truly sensible of the high honor done me in this appointment, yet, I feel great distress from a consciousness, that my abilities and military experience may not be equal to the extensive and important trust...
Página 76 - Perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration, was maturely weighed ; refraining if he saw a doubt, but, when once decided, going through with his purpose, whatever obstacles opposed. His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision. He was, indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, and...
Página 29 - Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct: and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.

Acerca del autor (2001)

ETHAN FISHMAN is Professor of Political Science at the University of South Alabama.

WILLIAM D. PEDERSON is Professor and Chair of the Department of History and Social Sciences at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.

MARK J. ROZELL is Associate Professor of Politics at The Catholic University of America.

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