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Washington's Government

Charting the Origins of the Federal Administration
Edited by Max M. Edling and Peter J. Kastor

BUY Cloth · 296 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813946139 · $45.00 · Jul 2021
BUY Ebook · 296 pp. · ISBN 9780813946146 · $45.00 · Jul 2021

Washington’s Government shows how George Washington’s administration—the subject of remarkably little previous study—was both more dynamic and more uncertain than previously thought. Rather than simply following a blueprint laid out by the Constitution, Washington and his advisors constructed over time a series of possible mechanisms for doing the nation’s business. The results were successful in some cases, disastrous in others. Yet at the end of Washington’s second term, there was no denying that the federal government had achieved remarkable results. As Americans debate the nature of good national governance two and a half centuries after the founding, this volume’s insights appear timelier than ever.

ContributorsLindsay M. Chervinsky, Iona College * Gautham Rao, American University * Kate Elizabeth Brown, Huntington University * Stephen J. Rockwell, St. Joseph’s College * Andrew J. B. Fagal, Princeton University, * Daniel Hulsebosch, New York University * Rosemarie Zagarri, George Mason University


Washington’s Government brings together original scholarship on the Washington administration—an important yet oddly neglected topic. The scholarship is fresh and imaginative, and the writing is clear and accessible.

Richard R. John, Columbia University · Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications

About the Author(s): 

Max M. Edling is Reader in Early American History at King’s College London and author of Perfecting the Union: National and State Authority in the US Constitution.Peter J. Kastor is Samuel K. Eddy Professor of History at Washington University in St. Louis and author of William Clark’s World: Describing America in an Age of Unknowns.

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