Time Magazine: Man of the Millennium

Brett Evill b.evill at spamblocker.tyndale.apana.org.au
Sun Sep 27 20:58:07 EST 1998


In article <y6zpbqrd96.fsf at tweedledumb.cygnus.com>, Craig Burley
<burley at tweedledumb.cygnus.com> wrote:

>Well, thinking in terms of what he actually *said*, "benefit of the
>human race", I think it's fair to at least consider that it might have
>been the unique contribution of George Washington that he laid down
>the foundations of a government, based not on powerful personal rule
>but the rule of the individual citizen (via democratic republic) and
>his private morality, and that this government, in basically the same
>form, a century later, struck the most definitive worldwide blow
>against the widespread practice of slavery.

Balderdash! Slavery was abolished in most countries in the 1820s or
earlier. The international slave trade was abolished by international
conventional in the 1820s, and Britain enforced this ban.

The US was one of the *last* countries to abolish slavery, it did not
strike a definitive blow against it, just a belated one.

As for founding representative government, Simon de Montfort (1218-1265)
played a much more germinal role. The US Congress was plainly inspired by
the model of Parliament, and besides, Washington was not particularly
influential in framing the American constitution: that was Jefferson's
role.

-- 
Brett Evill

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