William Allen: George Washington as America’s First Progressive
During my undergraduate years, I was fortunate to have Dr. William Allen as an advisor. A truly wonderful man and dear friend.
Here is his talk on his new book entitled George Washington: America’s First Progressive. The talk starts at the 6-minute point.
Why is George Washington so important? Allen explains between minutes 11:15-21:00 and what he shares will likely surprise you.
He defines Washington’s progressive thought in minutes 21-25.
Between minutes 29:00-30:40, Allen reflects on how the love of liberty is the foundation of the free society and how the love of being one people is the means of preserving it against domestic and foreign assault. He adds that the key to making progressive freedom work is for the American people to understand themselves as one people defined by their love of liberty in order to preserve both liberty and the opportunity for self-government.
The question & answer stage begins at minute 36 and is quite informative as it unfolds. In particular, during minutes 50:00-55:34, he discusses the meaning of liberty, the duties it confers upon us, and the meaning of self-government.
Other books by Dr. Allen:
George Washington: A Collection
The Federalist Papers: A Commentary (Masterworks in the Western Tradition)
The Essential Antifederalist
Works of Fisher Ames
Rethinking Uncle Tom: The Political Thought of Harriet Beecher Stowe
An American patriot talking and writing about our American Founding and heritage.
A college classmate just sent me this link to another talk by Dr. Allen on George Washington. The synopsys in the link is also informative, including this excerpt:
George Washington defined progressivism and provided the rationale for its constitutional basis in a vision of self-government: a nation dedicated to and capable of sustaining civil and religious liberty, the intertwined ends of politics as he saw it. For Washington, religious liberty was not a side benefit of independence but rather the objective for which independence was sought.
Washington’s political philosophy—radical for his time—was a commitment to the belief that law can never make just what is in its nature unjust. Before the close of the Revolutionary War, he had conceived of a union based on the progressive principle that the American people would qualify for self-government in the sense of free institutions in proportion to their moral capacity to govern themselves by the light of reason. Washington managed the conflicts over the spoils of victory that threatened to fracture the union. Containing this discord “within the walls of the Constitution” may be considered his single greatest achievement…