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Essay about An Imperfect God by Henry Wiencek

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In his book, An Imperfect God, Henry Wiencek argues in favor of Washington being the first true president to set the precedent for the emancipation of African-American slaves. Wiencek delves into the evil paradox of how a nation conceived on the principles of liberty and dedicated to the statement that all men are created equal was in a state that still preserved slavery for over seven decades following the construction of the nation. Washington’s grandeur estate at Mount Vernon at its peak had the upkeep of over 300 slaves 126 of which were owned by Washington. First, it must be understood that Washington was raised on slavery receiving ownership of 10 slaves at the age of 11 years old and that Washington was a man of his time. However, it must also be understood that Washington’s business with slavery was in the context of a constrained social and political environment. Weincek maintains that this does not exonerate the fact that Washington maintained slavery however; it does help to quantify the moral shortcoming by which Washington carried until his last year of life.
Weincek in his Thesis writes on the principle that Washington when committed to the patriot cause, his drive, his discipline, his single-mindedness helped win the nation its independence. However, toward the end of Washington’s life he grappled with the problem of slavery, which became a wrenching private conflict over race and slavery, which was a micronism to the national struggle – one that was not yet over. The meaning of slavery as a micronism to the national struggle – one that was not yet over yet as written by Henry Wiencek is a prelude to the fact that it would be another seven decades before the emancipation of slaves. Washington had helped to create a...


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...nsible steward as an example for the statesman’s of his time to compel the stewardship of others. Though Washington’s affairs were in a state at the end of his life that he could afford to free and provide for his slaves. It remains his example by actions of freeing his slaves insufficient during his time in bringing about a peaceful abolition. Weincek does a wonderful job in in showing that without Washington the basis for individual’s freedom could not have been accomplished. Adding support to Weinceks argument W.B Allen a professor of political philosophy at Michigan State University writes, “no one can fail to see in Abraham Lincoln’s 1838 Lyceum Address acknowledgement that, without Washington, the principles of freedom could never have been vindicated even in war.”



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An Imperfect God: George Washington His Slaves and the Creation of America


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