George Washington and the Making of the Constitution

Many Americans do not associate George Washington with the Constitution, but instead remember him as the first president of the United States and the general who led American troops to victory during the American Revolution.

Few will remember that Washington was a firm advocate for the establishment of a strong national government, even before the Revolution was over, and the president of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Most people, moreover, do not think of Washington as a great political thinker because he did not leave a great body of political tracts for later generations — nothing on a par with the Declaration of Independence or the Federalist Papers. He did, however, have definite ideas on the kind of government the United States should have.

A primary place to find Washington’s political thoughts on the need for a stronger central government is in his correspondence to personal friends, to political allies, and even to political opponents, and the following letters offer a glimpse into his mind during the critical years before the adoption of the Constitution.

Links to Letters

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