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tv   Montesquieu and the Founding Fathers  CSPAN  November 6, 2022 3:15am-5:11am EST

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>> thank you s okay good morning that have you
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here we're glad to have our special speaker professor clarice hatch. professor morrison will introduce and shortly we'd like to welcome those of you viewing this program over the nationwide network c-span. three, which is american history. the people are in attendance of this meeting today. we're in the how auditorium of the boston campus marymount university in arlington virginia, just a very crusty from washington, d.c. these, are all james madison fellows who were awarded a $24,000 graduate fellowship to study the us constitution. and they've been attending a four week summer institute, the constitution here and they're just about to conclude. so if you happen to be a teacher either middle school, high school, you teach government history or civics courses, and
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you're in our program. if you know someone that teaches courses, we encourage them. visit our website, which is just james madison dot gov and you'll find about the opportunity to study under the james madison fellowship. now i'd like to turn the time over to the foundation director education, dr. jeff morrison, who will introduce our guest speaker. dr. morrison. well, you. mr. larson and good morning, everyone. when he wanted to reassure his fellow new yorkers and other round of fires of, the wisdom of the proposed constitution he had helped make alexander hamilton, writing as publius in number nine, felt to square the new constitution with the writings of, quote, that great man
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montesquieu. this is in federalist nine. montesquieu, the french political philosopher and admirer, the unwritten british constitution. a philosopher also called james madison, quote, the celebrated in those same federalist papers. indeed, montesquieu was most quoted enlightenment authority during that decade of constitution making the 1780s, and yet he's been conspicuously absent in our course the foundations of american constitutional wisdom, whose credit is awarded georgetown university. you recall you had to endure lecture for me on the on the enlightenment and the scottish enlightenment, but we knew we knew that we would have today's from one of the country's leading authorities on the political of montesquieu dr. clarice. so that omission was purposeful. dr. chris is founding director of the school of civic and economic thought and leadership
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at arizona state university for two decades, he, a civilian professor of political science at the us air force academy where we met nearly 25 years ago. that is alarming to you as it is to me, paul, to recall and at the academy, dr. chris co-founded and directed the great books honors program and he's been a rhodes scholar at oxford a post-doctoral fellow at harvard, fulbright fellow at delhi university in india, and a forbes visiting fellow in the james madison program in american ideals and institutions at. dr. chris has published many articles and book chapters on enlightenment, political philosophy, american constitutionalism and political thought, grand strategy and civic education. for example, he co-edited john marshall's the life of george washington, published by liberty fund in 2001 and is co-edited a
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collection of essays entitled american strategy war justice and peace in american political thought. but two noteworthy books related to today's are his the cloaking of montesquieu and the rise of judicial activism. university of chicago press 23 and most recently, democracy in moderation montesquieu, tocqueville and sustainable liberalism. cambridge university press. 2017 in paperback. so please join me in welcoming dr. paul clarice. thank you to thank you to dr. morris and jeff for that very warm introduction. i remember the days at the u.s. air force academy when even though we were civilian
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professors, we could require reading of montesquieu, you know, forced discipline if necessary, push ups, you know, and that kind of, oh, good, you're you're awake and. well, we'll see how long i keep you awake. i'm grateful to to jeff morrison and to guy barnett for inviting me to be a part of your terrific graduate summer experience. it's an honor to be. associated with the james madison memorial fellowship foundation. it's an honor be contributing to your studies in this summer. i want to begin with another biographical note that i really am to be talking to educators who are committed to the serious work of american civic education. over 70 years ago, in the 1950s, my father began his career in the public in upstate new york, teaching history. later, it was called social
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studies. i it can be said that the support for teaching american history and civics and support for teachers like you generally has declined and across recent decades. but on the other hand, the fellowship foundation has been part of the revival of and refocus on support for teachers who seek serious study of america's constitutional founding and the development across the past 250 years of our society our politics, our constitutionalism. and given that context and given that you are doing crucially important work at a difficult time, i'll start with a few ideas about american civic education that i think be useful for your professional work. and in turn, those ideas will prepare for my remarks on our particular topic today. on the enlightenment philosopher montesquieu and influence on the basic enduring principles of our american thinking about war, peace and international.
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the basic idea that ours would be a constitution of liberty as montesquieu described england, but that this constitutes included a principle that we would deter war or succeed war when we had to through ensuring we were a militarily defensible republic. but first to some remarks on civic education. recently, i was the coauthor of a national on the condition state of american civic education. my colleagues were from harvard and universities. i civics and one colleague from the arizona department education. it was last year in 2021 under the title educating for american democracy. and actually, that's the url. educate ing for american democracy. talk. the report provides a k-12 roadmap or general guidelines that states local education authorities, district schools can use to develop the specific
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curricula and lessons that they think are best. our premise was that america is a federal republic, a republic requires a common and some fundamental elements in the civic education of its citizens and aspiring. but also, we americans. and the principle of federalism that the final details of curricula and teaching are set at the local level. given how polarized and angry our politics is today, including about civic education, we very deliberately gathered as a set of seven educators from across the left and center and right of the intellectual and political spectrum. we were to developing a national consensus. this road map of american historical and civic knowledge. and of civic virtues. rather than a partizan educational plan for people in one slice or another of our political.
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now truth in advertising. i was the intellectual in the group of. oh. as such you can imagine. i was the one who was regularly saying we ought to invoke often the declaration of independence and the constitution and the federalists and the anti-federal. or we ought to invoke hamilton, madison and jefferson and douglass and elizabeth cady stanton, lincoln, martin luther king, other statesmen, stateswoman. our history. you can just how many times my colleagues were rolling their eyes or preventing themselves rolling their eyes. but that was of what we had agreed to. we had agreed to come together, argue it out, and reminded my colleagues that this, in fact, was the spirit of james madison's great essay in federal number ten. the principle he articulated there, borrowing in part from montesquieu. indeed, it's the background principle of the federalist. the federalist papers that as a free people, we share fundamental principles.
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but precisely free americans will always want to argue and we probably will group distinct schools of thought or parties or factions. americans always want to think a new about our shared principles and argue about just what they mean, how to apply them. how to live up to them. so that was the complicated we made to each other to produce this map in the educating for american democracy project. and so our outline road map emphasizes questions that students and teachers should confront. we emphasize discussion at ways appropriate for grade bands or grade levels. we also emphasize civic virtues as well as civic knowledge. include the citizen virtues of civic friendship across philosophical or political and of civil. disagree. we need these kinds of civic
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virtues in classrooms of all levels. and as citizens, this idea of a civic education, in learning about differing views and how to constructively through them brings me to our just slightly controversial topic today of america's basic principles about and basic arguments across 200 years about how we should approach war, peace, international commerce and international. americans today are debating how we should respond to the russian invasion of ukraine, how we should lead the nato alliance, or even whether nato's should continue, how we should build partnerships or alliances to address the seemingly threatening power of authoritarian china. and i will add, i just came from bucharest, romania was making remarks on very similar themes, principles of american foreign policy and how they're still relevant today. so this is very much on on my mind.
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so i thought i would offer to the madison summer interest institute the idea of america adapting march excuse philosophy of the right of nations that to use monarchies about england. we are a constitu ion of liberty built for both peace war. i have three main points this morning. my first main point is that the 1780 1787 constitution is a grand. so to speak. that is it provides outlines of an american grand strategy. there are fundamental principles about war and peace into our constitutional founding guidelines and even a strategy about war and peace that are explicit and implicit in the text of our 1787 constitution. and in classic of our founding era, especially the federalist
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and george washington's farewell address. my second main point is that an enduring american consensus on strategy exists. a center of gravity for our strategic thinking that this developed in the first half century of the american republic. even with all the debate and the seemingly divergent policies across presidential administrations. that is that while america's founding statesmen and let's say its first 11 presidents through public did not always agree on what particular policies should be developed from these principles when facing different changing challenges and circumstance. as of international affairs, there was consensus than not even at times consensus figures as divergent as hamilton and jefferson. consensus about america's basic and principles for conduct in international affairs.
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and under the second point, my more particular will be that washington's basic strategy america's first grand strategy forms, the basic template for all successful strategies about war across the past 200 years and still today. so that from the founding era at least through presidents truman and eisenhower, in setting our grand strategy for cold war in the second half of the 20th century, the basic principles, the template strategy comes from washington, and that principle is that america as a new kind of republic in the world, will balance interest and justice. or put another way, we will be guided by the self-interest of a civilized but, strong republic. and these first two points lead to my third point, that while there's plenty of scope for
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statesmanship prudence, practical judgment in this two centuries long story of america developing its strategies and policies in the always changing circumstances, world affairs, american statesmen and citizens aren't just making it up. there is a political philosophy guiding their principles and prudent judgments. and here, morrison did me a great favor to give you a brief description of montesquieu and importance for the american founding, because the single most important philosopher in forming american grand strategy in foreign policy is this french jurist and philosopher montesquieu. i suspect you have heard of him because he is the architect from whom america's constitutional framers such. as james madison took our fundamental of separation of powers and federalism. but i will wager that most of have not read very much of his philosophy of constitutional liberty directly.
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i'll wager that you haven't even heard about him very much on federal ism and separation of powers. i'll wager that almost none of you have and have studied his idea that. i'm going to discuss today of a right of nations philosophy. about war, peace, commerce, international affairs that in fact deeply shapes american thinking. montesquieu arguing. it is most argued in his most important work, the spirit of laws published 1748 that rulers and governments must strive to balance the higher principles guiding a decent, non barbaric politics with the practical of military defense against despotic or illiberal aggressors. this approach to international as developed by and channeled through montesquieu, explains the opening statement of principle on, international affairs and foreign policy in
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george washington's 1796 farewell address. i should pause to ask why is the farewell address so important? you might ask or you ought to be asking why, is it cited throughout american history, even the 21st century? why did madison and jefferson place the farewell address on the required curriculum of their new university, virginia? and this was even after the apparent split between washington as seemingly a federalist and the new democratic republican approach of the jefferson madison. we invoke the farewell address to this day because it's the high concerns a statement of many principles of american constitutionalism and politics and i would perhaps most especially of grand strategy and foreign policy, if it was not evident as the consensus view when released in 1796, there was
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still some disagreement. washington's foreign policy and strategy. the washington approach and the farewell address statement eventually were recognized as the high consensus view by the most discerning of american and statesmen and the history of its drafting. why this is so. washington fact had asked james madison to draft a farewell statement in 1792 because washington did not want to serve a second term as president. madison did drafted, but at the time, he and all the rest of washington's close advisers in and out of the cabinet urged him not to retire from public, but to allow himself to be a candidate for election in the electoral college to a second term. so in 1796, at the end of that second term, washington turned to hamilton to draft his very definite farewell statement.
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talking him out of it this time. but washington being washington, he asked hamilton to incorporate as much of madison 1792 draft as possible. so after hamilton had developed early and washington had reviewed them, washington made a final suggestion that hamilton should review the near-final draft with jay in new york. jay, who had been the foreign minister, the united states under the articles of confederation, then was nominated by washington to be the first chief justice of the supreme court, and also, while chief asked by washington to negotiate a crucial treaty with great britain, which today we call the jay treaty. so consider this about the farewell address washington knew very well who the three authors of the federalist were writing under the pen name washington, who arranged to have these new
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york state ratification debate essays reprinted here in virginia to shape the ratification debate here. so it was that in 1796, washington reconstructed the team that had written under the pen name of publius so that all three of these important founders had a role in shaping washington's. final statement of his presidency, including his classic statement, american grand strategy. washington was more formal then than we are. what to mind here is, you know, jake and elwood from the blues brothers, hey, we're getting the band back together, you know, washington would do that. so i'll that because hamilton, madison and had studied enlightenment political as college students we would say and because hamilton and jay were accomplished lawyers and much too much he was known as much as a jurist and judge as a philosopher, all three of them.
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hamilton madison jay knew what excuse the spirit of laws quite well. so to bring this to an important conclusion, let's test it out. the opening statement on principle in washington's farewell address counsels on war, peace and international affairs begins with this paragraph observe good faith and justice toward all nations. cultivate peace, harmony with all religion and morality. enjoying this conduct. and can it be that good policy? does not equally enjoin it. it will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period a great nation to give to mankind the magnanimous and to novel example of a people always by an exalted justice and benevolence. just to remind ourselves, these
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are the words of victorious general in war who later became the first president of the american constitutional republic, holding the single executive power as commander in chief of the armed forces. so we can say washington knew war and he knew power, and he wanted america to be a great power in relation the dominant philosophers and forming most current scholarship and debates international affairs. we could say that washington was not exactly following kant thinking with what we call today the liberal international school, that the only rational and moral future for humankind was one in which war must disappear. certainly the only moral and rational way republics, liberal democracies to think. but on the other hand, washington was not following machiavelli either machiavelli as the philosopher of what we
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call today, the realists school, that all that matters really in international affairs is power and interests and calculations about power and interests. rather washington statement of an american grand strategy is the of montesquieu philosophy a moderate, balanced looking toward a modern international order of capable defensive, sober liberal governments, whether monarchies, republics, cooperating under a recognized international law that is defined by principles of, natural justice and morality. in the second part of my remarks, after we take a break, i'll talk more about montesquieu and a little detail and about what ultimately became the global predominance rather, of this philosophy through monarchies, influence on american grand strategy and our
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development as a powerful but principled constitutional republic. but a preview under the influence of monarchies right of nations philosophy in the past two centuries, liberal governments and allied moderate states have sought to reduce the role of brute force in international affairs, while elevating the role of peaceful commerce and law and the liberal democracies. our allies have done this through legitimate and deterrent capability as much as through norms and, institutions of international law. this story is so substantially forgotten in era by the dominant trends in academia, which, as jeff alluded, have largely relegated montesquieu to a tier philosopher as being much less important, say machiavelli in court, much less important than hobbes or locke. so this is so that i'm going to offer my argument in reverse historical order. so to speak. i'm going to begin with a sketch of how we can discern a
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balanced, moderate philosophy of war and peace in america's constitutional principles, history. and then in my second part, i'll try to show how even a brief examination of the spirit of laws itself shows that montesquieu is the crucial source of that american grand strategy. but another again, what am i meaning by this word? moderation that i've been using montesquieu you announced near the end of the spirit of laws, again published in 1748, that or finding the reasonable middle ground among extremes is the guiding principle of his political philosophy. here's a quote i say it and it seems to me that i have brought forth work only to prove it, that the spirit of moderation ought to be that of the legislator, the political good like, the moral good is always profound, always found between two limits or two extremes.
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in practice, mere fact seeking moderation in politics and in political philosophy often involves blending or, reconciling or balancing seemingly rival principles. what excuse moderately realistic blended republican philosophy about all politics and including international affairs shaped sober grand strategy and foreign policy established by washington, hamilton and madison and other founders of the american constitutional republic. and again, my extended argument is that by guiding american grand strategy across centuries, what excuse philosophy also has ultimately shaped the sober liberal world order sought during the cold war by american and actually achieved since 1991 during the post-cold era. his influence on the global liberal alliance and, this world order that it has teaches us we
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need not reduce our aims to the level of machiavellian brutality and mere realism. it teaches us that decent liberal republics and their allies can be defensible and persuasive in enticing others to, in a liberal order. but the montesquieu in philosophy and its record also teaches idealists or conscience that we cannot rely solely on rational principles. theory and diplomacy. so at this point, you might well be asking for some concrete evidence for this montesquieu and thesis about america. you ought to be asking. where is this of moderation, of finding balance among principles and a reasonable and superior middle ground? where is it evident in our constitution and founding? so i have i think six points, some points here. uh. this is the department that they
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lead at arizona state university has been a long name. the school of civic and economic thought and leadership. and we produce a pocket constitution. we add to the declaration, the constitution, the address from 1863 and martin luther king's 1963, i have a dream. it's a little packet of american political thought and political principles. so looking to the preamble, the constitution, i'm sure most of you are carrying own pocket constitution. you can just pull it out of your madison files right? pull it out. the preamble you've heard words. we, the people of the states, in order do the following. and of course, in order to form a more perfect union. shortly after in order to provide for the common defense right there. we the people ordain and establish this constitution for the united of america. the need for a more perfect and
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a new charter of government under a new title, the constitution and not articles of confederation. was a deliberate decision to shift a looser confederation or defensive articles, a term already well known in the 18th century in international law to shift from that loose arrangement to a real government with its own constitution just as the member republics, the states have their own constitutions. why the need for a real government with its own complex set of officers, its own powers? because this was needed to provide for the common defense in a dangerous world. second point turning to article one, the power. it's important that the legislative is first, not the executive power. the commander in chief power,
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but it's not as if the legislative power is only about, let's say, talk or deliberation. the legislative power contains an upper house. this is more excuse recommendation. in his study, the english constitution. you want a constitution of liberty? it's got to be complicated. it's designed balancing institution and elements against each other. so not a unicum all legislative power, but a bicameral upper and lower house. the term the americans choose for their upper house is senate and all leading founders who were students of classical history knew this was a roman term. indeed, rome became powerful as a republic under leadership of the senate and. the leaders it chose, chosen from senate to be consuls. and only after centuries of the senate leading rome to be a great conquering military power did the republic finally fall
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and the empire arise. the americans, what they were doing when they chose this word senate and not accidentally american senate has the exclusive legislative powers, you might say, not shared with the house of representatives to review treaties with other in the world. the has the exclusive power to confirm or deny the president's nominees for all offices and crucially the offices related to war and diplomacy and international commerce. think the secretaries of war. we now say defense secretary of state. foreign minister. all the military officers of diplomats. all the officials in the treasury. the commerce offices. further senators. article one tells us, hold a long term six years. the great length as madison explains writing, is published in the federalist, was meant to
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promote sober and long term thinking by senators espy ashley about diplomacy, treaties, war and peace in order to insulate the senators swings of public opinion, short term worries about. i of shouldn't neglect to say publius itself is a roman name. classical roman name one of many affiliations the framers and advocates of the new constitution are making with. a further point about article one about the senate as originally designed. it's not popularly elected. rather, the senators are selected state legislatures. again, distance from the people. this was argued to be necessary, says madison, writing as publius. given the senate's distinctive powers linking it to the executive and maybe most especially its powers regarding war and foreign affairs related to this, think of the age requirement for senators.
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it's five years older than for the house members. you only have to be 25 to be elected to the house representatives, but you have to be 30 at least to be elected to the senate. what would that translate to? given our life expectancy, our actual actual real tables, you know, you need to be 45 or something to be elected to the senate. but. a third point, let's shift to article two. let's the fact that article two exists, a huge change. the articles of confederation and india penned an executive. this is another shift from the articles. and i would argue it's not so much toward monarchy. this is what the anti-federalists were concerned. rather, a shift toward republican rome. the president is the modern of the roman council console console console as an executive
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military official. so the american president is a single executive, not a plural committee executive holding a relatively long term for years and again now as hamilton writing is published in the federalist. the longer term is intended to long term and sober thinking about war, peace, diplomacy and other policies related to international affairs. of course, long term thinking about domestic administration as well and being a single office holder rather than a shared or plural executive, is intended to promote decisive action. and thus, article two states that the president alone holds the commander in chief power. president shall be the commander in chief of the army and navy, the united states and of the militia of the several states. when called into the actual service, the united states and its also that the treaty power is actually not in article one
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with the senate's powers, but article two suggesting that it is the single executive and commander in chief who takes the lead in negotiating treaties with the senate in the secondary and reactive but still crucial of offering advice and consent to ratify treaties. the further point the executive like the senate, this single executive. is not elected by the people but rather selected indirectly by a body of electors selected in different processes in the different states. as the states might. we now call this body the electoral college. hamilton as explains in the federalist that this indirect election, this insulation from direct popular opinion, was seen as crucially for finding the qualities of character, experience, judgment and decisive events needed in the single executive and the commander in chief offices. qualities emphasizing sobriety
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and sound judgment about these great rather the arts of campaigning, of being popular, of detecting the shifting winds of public opinion. indeed, this is why the age requirement for the president is the highest of the three elective federal offices 35 years of age. again, we might think, would be today's actual real life expectancy equivalent that you couldn't stand for we now say run for the presidency unless you were 50, 55 enough to have gray hair like jeff and i do and that you have accumulated enough age to have accumulated experience, judgment, sobriety, the right kind of character. and a further point, the article two executive, it's this single executive commander in chief who is given the to receive ambassadors and foreign ministers, not the congress.
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that is, the president is recognized the leader of government in foreign affairs, the representative of our nation among the nations. in effect, our head of state, not to a fourth sub point. and here i bring back the theme of moderation or balance. if the evidence just reviewed, gives some indications of the constitution's implicit towards strategy about, war, peace and international affairs, it seems it's not so much balanced as roman tending toward war and conquest with a small republican aristocracy, we might call it controlling policy and strategy on these grave issues. so now let's notice some balancing moderating elements. most crucially, to begin, we can note that the power to declare war is lodged not in article two, with the single executive, but in article one and clause
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11. in article. section eight. and also that that power is not given to the senate, but to congress as a whole, meaning that the house of representatives, let's say the more democratic body closer to people, has to have a say in declaring war. the house is directly elected by the by any the people who can vote for a in the states and that the members of the house serve a short two year terms. that certainly balances roman senatorial element. also article one requires in the opening of section eight that the house must be involved in all appropriate actions of federal taxing and spending. so obviously that's going to be necessary for paying for a military capability or paying for particular wars. that is to say the president can't just up military forces by putting on some kind of commander in chief credit card
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for. others, until we notice the congress as a whole has the re-integrated power to provide for the common defense. this is immediately under the taxing power in the opening clause of article one, section eight, which also references debts. further, it's the congress, not the executive, that has the power to regulate with foreign nations. that's the third clause under article one, section eight. congress has power to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces. again, not giving that power to the commander in chief, but to congress a whole. that's also, not the complex phrasing that the congress as a whole has to take the lead in forming military forces. the first place that the commander in chief. but it's complex phrasing, balance. so note that congress in article one, section eight can raise fees and support.
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but only for two years at a time. in contrast, they can provide and maintain a navy only raise temporary and support armies for two years at a time, but provide and maintain a navy standing armies were seen in the english and american political cultures, possibly threatening domestic liberty. so imagine having a single executive commander in chief who had an army at the ready. this of course, is the picture of the roman republic as militaristic, conquering a militaristic power, turning its generals against its own senate and people. eventually, this picture abolishes the republic and rome becomes an empire. shortly after this period is what napoleon will do in. so the american constitution. its implicit strategy recognizes that armies are necessary.
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but they're to be raised temporarily supported temporarily on a two year leash of appropriations. but here shifting in the balance scales back being an impressive military power that a deterrent capability is a constant necessity. the navy is suggests to be a standing permanent power. so the americans want power projection into the world into international affairs. such a power needs be provided and maintained, not kept on a two year leash. and this still can be safe for republican liberty because it's not likely that a rogue commander in chief could use the navy to overturn liberty all across the united states. a bit more in article one. a later clause in article one, section eight refers to powers to establish erect forts, arsenals, stockyards and other physical capabilities related to war and deterrence, but yet again, signaling balance.
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we note that the house has power of impeachment. we might call it a power that it can use against officers the united states, including the single commander in chief. so a check on any abuse of power from that powerful office. balancing again, we note the safeguard against the abuse of this power. the house has against abuse of power by. noting that any trial occurs only in the senate and it requires a supermajority convict yet again. note how roman and martial. it seems to be the implicit strategy about and peace is if it explicitly refers the law of nations not something the roman republic and roman empire were invoking to limit their own power. right. article one, section eight, explicit gives congress the power related to the law nations an idea that reason in law limit
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or guide war in power. so congress has the power to define and punish viruses and felonies committed on the high seas and offenses against the law of nations. capital, l capital and the capitalization suggesting. this is a known body of law, known principles, law limiting conduct. by fifth sub point powers. the article three independent judiciary, the first that we know of in human history, at least in such an explicit way, it too is involved in some way. it's third. it's not most important overall. it's third when it comes war and peace in foreign affairs. but it's involved. article three states that the judicial power extends to cases that might arise related to treaties. the us has made with foreign states, to cases involving ambassadors. other foreign ministers or
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counsel consoles. excuse me or article three gives the federal judiciary a power regarding cases of admiralty and maritime juristic. the phrasing implies that are recognized areas of law under, international law that might well bind american policy. federal judiciary. article three power also has power regarding cases. any cases involving the u.s. government or states or american citizens that involve foreign states or citizens subjects. my sixth and final sub point here under the first big point final piece of evidence about the implicit strategy in the american constitution is the capacity of the gave to this complex constitutional this bicameral congress and president together in the final clause of article one section eight.
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we call it the necessary and proper clause, especially given the awareness evident in the clauses already cited that america would need to be a defensible and capable power in a dangerous world. this final clause fully enabled the capacity for prudence in the executive and congress to deal with the ever changing of international affairs. i'll mention just two early uses of this capacity. one controversial. the other very controversial. the first is an american federal military academy. the idea to have an institute of professional learning to provide a world capable of military leadership, to guide officers, guide enlisted troops and the state militias, all of it signaling deterrent capability to any potentially aggressive powers in world. washington and hamilton and adams wanted a military. congress divided about it. so it was only in jefferson's presidency.
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after the great turn of the election of 1800 that the united military academy at west point was established. but notice the acceptance that it was a necessary and proper way of the common defense powers of the federal government. the second very contentious element in the grand strategy of washington and the majority his cabinet, obviously, especially hamilton as treasury secretary, was to having national bank. the argument was that such an institution was necessary and proper for fully various clauses in article one and in article two, including common defense clauses. because this is how britain had used the national bank, they invented the idea. the british and its constitution of liberty. they could large permanent or standing armies by having the capacity to quickly float debt to raise borrowed funds in order to quickly raise and support armies as needed for america,
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the argument went to national bank was a crucial element of republican prudence to signal to potential enemies our lack of a large permanent army did not mean a lack of credible military capability, since armies could be quickly raised. thus, this a crucial tool for a strategy included deterrence for aggression, deterrence of aggression as a way promote peace rather than militarism at home and abroad. we'll keep an eye on this controversial of the bank and how this i will call it washington. hamilton's strategy ultimately was vindicated, but note that it took the invasion and burning of our national about a decade hence in 1814 after a new national party had repudiated the bank. to see the wisdom balance that the bank represented and provided to our republic in dangerous world. okay. so i given you a bunch of evidence. what's past to reflect on it.
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i said you wanted or you should want evidence for. this thesis. for my idea that there is a policy and strategy. one of balance implicit in our constitution regarding war, peace and international affairs. that's a lot of evidence. i just reviewed with you the. suggests the framers thought about these issues carefully. it's a complex set of clauses and powers. it lean toward militarism and concord est or toward only power, interest being the crucial considerations. but it also doesn't lean toward peace as the only aim or rational. consider nation or only moral principle or recognized law, or only talk home and diplomacy abroad or only commerce, peaceful commerce. the set of clauses is this implicit grand strategy is one of balance and blend of these various principles, considerations and concerns.
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let's also pause to think about how such a complex constitutional government might develop a grand strategy about its place in the world. what kind of a power it would be among powers? what kinds of policies would develop across centuries. can't we see how america might become a great power but not militaristic or imperial? because its internal structure demands and deliberation across several bodies or branches. and because the judicial branch and recognized areas of international law are involved in this whole process. can't we see america has had periods of aversion to international conflict or international leadership and why any strong international leadership or policy of sustained war requires extensive justification and argument by a president and a senate and house with each other and with the american people.
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so moving toward second major point this is the kind of government in which washington as the first president. this kind of government he as the presiding. president over the philadelphia convention that produced this complex constitution. and my argument is that reflects what philosophy of liberty, moderation and balance among powers. thus we have federalism. we have separation of powers. and we have a balance of principles about war and peace. but focusing on. the first presidencies and washington, this kind of government reflected washington's own experience and character. it's not surprising that he generally succeeded in his two terms as president and especially in developing the first and successful grand strategy that applied or implemented the several principles and aims reflected in our complex and political culture. as i've already noted, he was a
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victorious general against all the odds, but he also resigned his commission once he achieved victory and retired from public office. once it was clear the revolutionary war won. and then when he returned to public life at the request of others, he was unanimously elected not once, but twice under the new constitution. and yet again balance. he wanted to fade from public office after first term, and then stated a farewell at the close of a second term. he a strong president and commander in chief who deterred foreign wars when were several imperial power sharing north american continent. the were here. french were here. spanish were here. and he had to preside over wars in the northwest with the indian tribes, as they were called called.
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he accepted jas effort to achieve an honorable treaty with britain that would avoid war while. america was young and weak. washington, as we saw, thought religious and moral principle and the law of nations should guide and limit american strategy, but also that america could be and should be a great. he thus thought america could be a new kind of state. the world a new kind of republic an example among the nations living up to the exalted ideals of universal justice in the declaration of independence while also serving america's own legitimate in real affairs as a polity among polities. so american grand strategy could find and serve the enlightened self-interest of a principled state among states in world. turning to washington's farewell address itself, it's important to note that policy or grand strategy is the last topic on which he offers the council's.
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as he says of an affectionate friend, a leading seeking to be a typical citizen in retirement, he opens by addressing all americans as friends, fellow citizens, a point a council in and of itself and then the bulk of the address defends and expounds and exemplifies the moral, political and constitutional principles needed. inform a moderate, balanced grand strategy, a defensible but peaceful republic. it would make no sense to put foreign policy grand strategy first. it had to come last. what are some of washington's lessons? ambitious leaders, all citizens should serve the constitu should and its principles. the principles the constitution itself serves and embodies. thus, all officeholder and especially the president, the single executive, not think of
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themselves as possessing office, but as and thus rotating from the scene a. americans should be patriotic. grateful. we should be dedicated to liberty. to our union, to the rule of law and the constitution with its complex principles of separation of powers and federalism. we should be wary of partizanship and a faction of emotion overtaking overtaking sober reason in public affairs, even suggests that, you know, if we're very partizan, divided among ourselves, foreign powers might meddle in our domestic politics. i mean, who would think that could happen? washington also says we should honor religious belief as a crucial source of our civic character of moral principle. thus, we should support education institutions to achieve adequately educated and self-governing citizenry, and only after and defending all these principles and points does
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he address foreign and strategy. to summarize this section, which i would note is often badly, even by a very fine and scholars. washington argued that america's strategy should be to balance consideration of our interests with the strict guidance of universal principles of justice. therefore, america should avoid being entangled in europe's great power because at that time, europe mostly was consumed with contests of empire, contests between monarchies monarchies and republicanism. nonetheless, washington says, america should not be insular or inward looking, but should be international. we should pursue international commerce and we should undertake temper alliances as needed. permanent alliances, he said, should be avoided because in his final council, washington noted that a main in his practice of
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grand strategy and of his articulation of of farewell was that america young and weak. we needed to adopt policies that would allow our constitutional institutions and culture to mature. but if we did, he was sure we could be. that we should be a great power. and thus he specifically stated we should avoid permanent alliances, but we could undertake temporary ones with foreign powers. the implication is that a permanent alliance made by a young and weak power would entail subordination of our interests, our principles of justice to a greater power. but alliances, if really needed, would not be likely to hold such risks. our independence and our principles. washington's grand strategy, which could be called republic and prudence in the service of enlightened self-interest, defined the larger moral and political premises guiding america. like any strategy, it connected ends in ways and means. it identified enduring ends or
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aims of foreign policy and of our stance toward war, an instrument of a sober and principled strategy for a constitutional republic. it delineated main ways to serve such ends ways including complex structures and a permanent military capability on land and sea. and it suggested military and policy means likely to be and best to be avoided. washington, thus blended and ideals while appreciating the need for prudence in actually achieving america's enlightened self-interest. the role for statesmanship was to be bounded by a complex constitutional order to encourage prudent statesmanship in the executive and the senate. the architectonic lessons of his farewell address are that america must base its security policy on principle and prudence rather than power or popularity. it must price a decent republican over conquest or glory. indeed, the core principle of
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his foreign policy counsels is not avoidance of foreign entanglements, nor is it avoidance of investing in a military capability. nor is an emphasis emphasis only on commerce diplomacy. despite the many fine scholars who mistakenly attribute these generally jeffersonian views to farewell address the core washington principle rather to achieve america's enlightened self-interest by balancing interests, interest independence and justice in foreign affairs through prudent recourse to just war principles and to the modern right of nations. a grand strategy for a liberal republic must preserve enough independence to act wisely and justly. the spirit informing this was moderation. in his own words. american be able to choose peace or war as our interest guided by justice. shall counsel. it's true that many historian and scholars and and americans
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read various statements in the farewell address as amounting to a strategy of isolation, insular ism. he does state american needs to remain somewhat detached from. europe. we need to be independent. we need to avoid permanent alliances with great powers. we need to. a main policy of neutrality regarding europe's then great power wars. but the mistake is to take just these elements and to miss the larger approach of moderation and balance in the address and in his career, statesmanship to overlook the clear aims. america should be a great power in the world. to overlook statement that america should balance interest and justice in designing strategy and justice. crucially, the mistake to overlook the final element of washington's counsels for american strategy. right near the end of the address that his particular policy of neutrality might say more broadly of avoiding alliances had an expiration. it was right for his presidency, circumstances he faced.
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but it implies it should not necessarily be the perpetual american policy. and i quote with me, a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our to settle and mature its yet recent institutions and to progress without interruption to. that degree of strength and consistency is necessary to give it. humanly speaking, the of its own fortunes. prudence puts me again prudence. practical wisdom, therefore, is a crucial. enduring element of american strategy. washington understands the particular policies will need to change with changing threats and circumstances and with changing american capabilities. what should america be and once we did become great power and have command of our earthly fortunes because we had followed the basic washingtonian strategy that washington says for later statesmen and citizens to argue about and decide decide to pick
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up where we left off. the end of the washington administration and transition to the next set of presidents and congresses. well, briefly suggests that the subsequent presidents and congresses in american history that abided by the washington balanced grand strategy, principled republican prudence and moderation while adapting it to ever circumstances are the presidents and congresses that achieved success, peace and security and, a growing principal power for america? think of what washington achieved. he kept us out of great power war in two terms. he achieved successful treaties of the great powers of britain and spain. adams kept us out of open with revolutionary militaristic france in part by asking congress fund and let him build a blue water internation capable
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navy, a navy that deterred the zealous french republic from embarking on war america. but that navy also persuaded britain to keep the terms of the j treaty and even president jefferson that ferocious of the national bank and the federal military capability that he thought might threaten yeomen republican liberty in the states. even jefferson used that capable washingtonian, u.s. navy to fight the barbary pirates in north africa. jefferson, in principle, claimed he didn't want the debt or the taxes or the federal military power represented by that navy. but he saw the need as president to use the capability provided by another approach grand strategy, and he prudently used it. here, though, we encounter the term problem for the predominant jefferson strategy or abstract doctrine of the new democratic republican party, which madison
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first as secretary of state and then presidents supported for after these two presidents had repudiated bank and had mothballed blue water navy that jefferson had used. and they had drawn down what little federal army we had. lo and behold, should we have been surprised that britain to bully a disarmed america began to exploit our un readiness, given britain's own problems with the imperial hubris of napoleonic france? might we have anticipated such a turn of events. one might ask jefferson's doctrinaire view of avoiding entangling alliance as of a kind of insular ism of disarmament and the disabling of an american fiscal capacity to deter enemies. by showing we could quickly float debt and build armies in emergencies, all of this led to. but in madison's presidency, he the conditions pulled america into war with britain.
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here i will only say that to be gracious to my hosts it is to madison's credit after that unnecessary and nearly disastrous war of 1812, as we call it, after capital city had been invaded and burned after we just barely avoided another disaster at new orleans. and after we came out of it with a non disastrous treaty to end the war. after all that president madison prudently found a way to interpret constitution anew and that the national bank was constitutionally legitimate after and he more generally bequeathed to his presidential in the democratic party. a more sober view of strategy, a return in effect to the balanced sobriety of washington. you might say there's nothing like watching your capital city burn to induce little constitutional republican sobriety. thus, it's not that whether within a decade the disaster of
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1814 i'll note we tried forget that it was a disaster by commemorating the heroism of fort mchenry in the. oh, say, can you see of our national anthem? it's not accidental that within a decade of that disaster, secretary of state john quincy adams, one of washington's first diplomats, adams persuaded adams persuaded president monroe to the monroe doctrine. a bold statement by a great power to alert all the other great powers, the earth that this hemisphere would be dominated by liberty and republican government. as a matter both of american interest in principle and that we would take it as a national security threat in an act of war, if any power interfered in this hemisphere, hemisphere. in effect, declaring it our hemisphere. it's also accidental that in 1819, leaders in the united states navy, in effect, started
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a naval academy model ad on west point with faculty and a curriculum for a multi-year blend of experience and scholarly study to produce a world class professional officer corps for a blue water navy and american navy that could execute the monroe doctrine and deter war. true fall naval academy in annapolis was not until 1845, but the strategic lesson of the war of 1812 had been learned, and the remedy begun to be adopted already. by 1819. now, it's also true. as current day american insularity or neo isolationists invoke that in an 1821 address, secretary of state, john quincy adams warned against american zeal in supporting the new republic. striving to be born in central and south america. he warned that u.s. policy should confine itself to diplomatic support for and well-wishing of any such
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attempts at political liberty, but that america must draw the line at providing any kind of military support. the famous quote often used by him in the 4th of july address from 1821, america goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. implicitly he was drawing upon as warning about the militarism of roman republic, a zealous militarism and supposedly to spread liberty abroad, put at risk our own liberty at. but today's insular ists and neo isolationists forget that this same john quincy adams is, the architect of the monroe doctrine which called for a greater american military capability because it announced america the world as a great power dominant in an entire section of the globe. the younger adams. thus was articulating and enacting the same balanced, moderate, prudent grand strategy of his father and of his predecessor, president washington. he was not returning to the kind
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of insular ism and anti-military posture of the jeffersonian policy at its most doctrinaire moments. now to make time for some questions, i'll save what i even refer to as kind of another lecture for another day. it's just trace this up to the 20th century, but i'll leave you this thought. i mentioned earlier that truman and eisenhower presidencies and their strategy for the cold war has has its origins in or foundations in the washingtonian strategy. i'll leave you with this to trace out. we know that directed his staff in 1959 at the end of his second presidential term to read washington's farewell address in preparing for him, a first draft of a farewell address for eisenhower, which he delivers. early 1961. if an experienced warrior diplomat and executive like eisenhower, right victorious general north africa and europe,
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first supreme allied commander of naito, the north american north american atlantic treaty organization, north treaty organization, eisenhower as the first supreme allied commander because president truman and asks him to be that then he's president for two terms. this experienced warrior diplomat and executive eisenhower could take inspiration counsel from the moderate philosophy international affairs embedded in the american founding era itself inspired montesquieu. and if we can that the truman eisenhower strategy was successful and eventually was approach that won the cold war. a strategy to build a defensible international alliance, an international order, one that understands how war and deterrence fit into a larger philosophy of peace, international order, protection of liberty and individual rights, and of. if we can suggest, then we can suggest that there is enduring insight and wisdom in the basic washingtonian grand strategy. it has stood test of time.
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a strategy derived from our constitutional principles and reflecting the montesquieu philosophy of moderation and a right of nations. but now the remaining time to turn more particularly to modesty. i suggest that you should want evidence from me. where is this? in the constitution of founding. now, shouldn't you want some evidence for me about montesquieu as the source of these american views. some evidence for. my claim that the constitution's framers and and washington as the strategist statesmen who developed the basic template of american grand strategy in these foundations that they were not making it up. evidence that they were following the basic philosophy, the basic teachings about war and peace advocated by the french enlightenment philosopher, montesquieu montesquieu was the central figure of what scholars now call the moderate enlightenment. and as dr. morrison, he was the single most important for the
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framing of and ratification debates about the 1787 constitution because of the influence his great 1780 1748 work the spirit of laws. but as noted, we mostly have forgotten that montesquieu also was through his influence on america, the father of a modern order of capable, defensible, liberal and moderate governments cooperating under recognized international law. again as i mentioned, what's his core philosophy principle? he calls it is moderation. finding the reasonable middle ground, philosophical as well as political extremes. i say it and. it seems to me i brought forth this work only to prove it. the spirit of moderation ought be that of the legislator, the statesman, but also the political philosopher, the political good like the moral good, is always profound. between two limits or two extremes.
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moderation, of course, informs the principles constitutionalism, for which montesquieu is still known a bit today in america separation of powers and federalism, prescribing a balance between multiple of power as best for rights and liberty and stability in politics. but philosophy of principled moderation also offered the late modern era a reasonable middle ground between machiavelli realism and kantian regarding international affairs. my full claim, as you've heard, is that the guiding american grand strategy across centuries stems montesquieu philosophy and thus it also ultimately shaped the sober liberal world order. america has sought since the late 1940s and that america actually achieved the alliance that america actually achieved since 1991, during post-cold war era. this decent global now is challenged by authoritarian in
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china, in russia, iran. i think montesquieu would be pleased with this record of influence and i think his sober, balanced philosophy about human nature and politics also would not be surprised by the persistence of brutal authoritarian or despotic powers. international affairs. okay, time. how can i possibly claim so much insight by this one philosopher? so much long term influence? well, one crucial reason is that he so insightful and influential among statesmen and practitioners centuries. we're talking with our c-span cast colleagues. i would argue modesty was the single most important influence on alexis de tocqueville, who americans now or better than than montesquieu we know more adequately than montesquieu, because of took those great work democracy in america.
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he was so influential and so insightful because montesquieu blended historical study with philosophy or theoretical study. the two modes of inquiry could balance and each other. what if you had written a philosophical of the romans? both the republic and the empire entitled consider nations on the causes of the greatness of the romans and their decline published in 1734. it's the single greatest influence on gibbon's better known history, which also celebrates the empire more than montesquieu does. in march 1734 history he admired was knowable and could be admired about the romans. but he also ultimately condemned the roman character roman power as brutal, militaristic empire and self-destructive self-destructive. this work lay crucial for his own balanced moderate right of nations philosophy as developed
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in 1748. in the spirit of laws. having intensely studied the flawed greatness of the romans, montesquieu offers a general teaching to both philosophers and statesmen that there can be leaders who are great and also moderate moderate. but we must grapple with the reality that, as he says, quote, great souls who are moderate are rare. it's true. montesquieu noted in the spirit of laws that the spirit of republics is peace and moderation. but by this he means moderate after the influence of christianity, republics that could transcend the brutal, militaristic spirit of by modesty, a contrast that republicans with the spirit of monarchy, which he is war and expansion. but again, to qualify this, he praises most a modern monarchy that in fact is more moderate. the modern policy that the spirit of laws examines modern
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excuse me, the modern that the spirit of laws examines closely. and that monarchy recommends, although not without criticism, is england modest? he describes it as a blend of monarchy and republic and as more committed to international commerce and its naval power than to permanent war and to territorial conquest. so what excuse officers offers the kind of historical complexity case study would say. the kind of effort to balance larger principles with the practical and particular policies, particularly polities. but this kind of blend that america's founding statesmen appreciated and that i think today's liberal democratic statesman would if we ever assign montesquieu in our universities again because this is the balance between and particular realities that liberal democratic statesman and citizens confront daily as
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citizens and statesmen and stateswoman. we need academic study and we need policy advice that speaks not to extremes of realism or liberal international idealism, but rather that speak to a principled for actual liberal democracies and their allies. real polities have both ideals and interests. what is his philosophy? moderation encompasses from the very book of the spirit of laws. three fundamental spheres of and rare philosophers up to his time modernity, he treated law as integral with or equally important to the domestic and political law of a given polity. in book one international right or law, as he calls it, joins political law. we would call it constitution or public law and civil law. civil or criminal law.
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all three as integral to his comprehensive philosophy. he writes so much about civil and criminal law because he was a lawyer, judge, then turned philosopher. so this complex approach to incorporate international right developed a legacy that might skew could trace to aristotle, to plutarch, to cicero in classical philosophy, greek and roman hellenic philosophy, a legacy that was further developed by christian medieval theories, just war and prudence as articulate it most by august and aquinas aquinas coming closer to own time, which seems particularly shaped by, the 17th century jurist turned philosopher grotius, who on these classical and medieval sources to expand the first modern jurisprudence of international law. in a work famous in 18th century at the time of american founding with the title on the rights of war and peace, that's a recent
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translation of grotius his work is 1625. now montesquieu only occasionally cites explicitly the great modern jurist of international law as poof and or grotius in the spirit of laws. but we know from his unpublished notes that he was inspired by their works. he gives thanks quote to these jurists for having well executed what a part of his own philosophy required him to understand they did it with a loftiness of genius which i would not have been able to attain. what is his conception of a right of. argues in some detail that statesmen must heed liberal and moderate principles while making necessary judgments about how to actually them. or we might say, find the least worst departure them. a few scholars in the 20th and 21st century have noted montesquieu is importance in providing fundamental principles
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for american thought on international. but they generally confine his contribution to advocacy of, international commerce. this view cast him as a forerunner of what is called the democratic peace theory or the commercial peace holding that modern are democracies will not make war other democracies. given a mutual for peaceful pursuit of prosperity. stability. we one popular way referring to this is any two states that have macdonald's don't make war on each other. but president putin apparently didn't read this. macdonald's is in a different form. now, in the russian empire than it was a year ago. so while montesquieu his advocacy of commerce is important, it marks him as the first philosopher to advocate a liberal global culture of international affairs, what we now call globalization. that's true. on the other hand, his right of nations philosophy transcends
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one element. it's, in fact, captured by any of today's doctrines or schools. if i had to recommend some russian scholarship, there's a small school that refers to itself as the republican school international relations theory, which which does cite montesquieu. what his philosophy is more comprehensive, sober than most of today's theories, including idealism or the commercial peace theory. because he conceives moderate liberal party polities that can pursue tranquility, home and both commercial expansion and power abroad. this is how his right of nations theory quietly informed america and influenced other liberal democracies as they rose. think of it from marginal experiments in. the history of world affairs to now the dominant powers across the globe. his philosophy of moderation. international affairs seeks a humane policy toward war, conquest and commerce that blends realist concerns about
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power, interest and security with liberal and christian principles about natural right and peace as higher human aims. as noted, his complex blend of liberal principles with realistic necessity borrows a disposition from christian medieval just war, which had blended ideals with prudence or practical wisdom. he drew on the modern jurist grotius and puffin dorf to formulate more detailed guidance for balancing the necessity of power with limits to war found in rights of individual eyes and in basic international right. this complexity, this blend of, classical, modern and christian elements produced a kind of philosophy that was intended to be influential upon statesmen well as theorists and scholars. a recent scholar, turk notes an addition of grotius his 1625 work the rights of war and peace
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notes in the introduction the great that this kind of modern international law achieves beyond scholars to statesmen, noting quote the general washington like most well-educated gentleman, possessed a copy of grotius his work in his own library at mount vernon. montesquieu to be even more influential in developing a philosophy that could shape the views of rulers and statesmen and governments by integrating the right of nations into a comprehensive philosophy of moderate yet, capable governance. and here i should explain why he does this. what is his philosophy incorporates and recommends the need for prudent judgment by statesmen in different circumstances, different parts of the world, different historical eras, different cultures. it's in the spirit of laws, as part of the moderation of philosophy, in his philosophy of moderation. that is not excused.
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philosophy sees the limits of abstract philosophizing and theory without dismissing abstract philosophizing in theory. so the right of nations philosophy he offers in the spirit of laws provides he intended to provide a general outline and aims a general approach and some important. but his philosophy incorporates the need for prudence or practical wisdom. politics. here he's the modern echo of aristotle. and like aristotle. montesquieu would argue it's not relevant relativist to do this, to so much latitude for statesmanship or prudence or judgment. it doesn't deny that there are fundamental principles of natural justice and natural right that must guide and limit political actions. all of that's explicit in the spirit of laws. it is the same philosophy that includes the importance of prudence, adaptation to circumstances that informs the final counsel, as i mentioned in
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washington, statement the statement of american grand strategy in the farewell address, that while his particular of neutrality regarding european great power wars is correct, it largely was correct given need at the time to a young america to mature and grow in power, to settle our new constitutionalism. as he phrased. so neutrality and a prudent distance from the affairs europe was not meant to be the permanent policy of a great america. but again, i don't want to go too, with prudence and adjustment and adaptation. it's something, not everything for montesquieu. he does provide important details. and themes along with a general and outline. one of these crucial themes has been by the recent american scholar, paul wray, who has argued that montesquieu, through both his historical book on romans and then in his great
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work, the spirit of laws sketched a philosophical and historical to show how a modern, moderate government could be and would need to be a modern carthage carthage. carthage was the ancient north african republic that repeatedly fought rome in wars, and that rome finally obliterated. it was commercial. it was relatively less imperialistic than rome and raise argument is that modernity was sketching out in the spirit of laws. and then the work on romans. how a modern government could be capable of deterring and defeating a nero roman imperial power in modern times. think of it modern europe, which is writing in the 18th century, had leaders who to be the successors to rome. the term the concept the holy roman emperor, the new caesar under the title of czar or
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kaiser. the french monarchy that in montesquieu lifetime had sought to be as much, he called it the universal monarch of europe. paul great insight is that montesquieu saw modern england, its monarchy, republic, blend as harnessing commerce and military naval power and a christian culture of relative peace and the rule of law that this was model for modern, capable and defensible. carthage. this time, carthage was was and need i say that england is the basis america's own strategic and political culture. even if we also are shaped by other sources and, even by french political philosopher. thus, we should consider it. no accident. the constitutional liberal republic most closely based upon what issues? philosophy america eventually would become a powerful state. states. indeed the most powerful yet
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that same state also would be the leading builder of a liberal international order based not empire, but instead, as montesquieu would call it, the right of nations. a carthage can deter or defeat modern, militaristic rome in whatever guise or shape it comes, while still being civilized rather than barbaric. indeed suggests we can be powerful precisely by harnessing that moderation for deterrent effect through commerce and power as the basis of power projection and deterrence. the power and moderation of the american constitutional republic comes through our emphasis on commerce, but not through commerce alone. the americans. what excuse outlined from book 11 of the spirit of laws of a of liberty. as i've noted with one single executive that is commander in
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chief of the armed forces, they adopt his principle federalism from brookline of the spirit of laws, which he explains is the defensive approach to international relations, forming an alliance of republics. federation of republics. he calls this the best way republican republics can provide for their security and american framers include the principle of the right of nations, which he mostly explores. book ten to guide international. so while montesquieu obviously is the great for the american founders on principles of constitutionalism and also as i mentioned the idea and federalist ten of pluralism or competing in argument his influence is just as great in shaping our principles institutions and strategy regarding international relations and foreign policy. and here was his fundamental innovation to argue in the spirit of laws that principles of domestic constitutionalism and the rule of law point to
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analogs in international affairs that should govern as much as possible. the claims of interest, security and power. rational efforts to moderate. the human tendency to conflict. war can and indeed must extend from domestic to international affairs. bolstered by a dose of christian, even while recognizing what we would call the basic anarchy of world affairs. that is the, absence of a world government to strictly any international or right of nations. what he found this blend or balance of principles arise from our human nature and from the history of our basic political condition. and so he declares from the first book of his masterwork, the spirit of laws, the integral importance of this principle to his conception of the spirit of laws for all humanity. and here i quote from book one.
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humans are considered as inhabitants of a planet so large that different are necessary. they have laws bearing on the relation that these peoples have with one another. and this is right of nations. he puts it in capitals. the right nations is by nature, founded on this principle. that the various nations do to one another in peace. the most good possible. and in war. the least. that is possible without harming their true interests. later in the work in book ten, montesquieu declares that the right of nations is quote the political law of nations considered in their relation with each other, and that offensive force must be, quote by it. he strikes he declares that conquest and force which he recognizes will endure as
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realities in human affairs, nevertheless must follow. and he wrote, quote, the law of natural enlightenment, which wants us to do to others what. we would want to have done to us. this is fairly obviously an echo of what we call the biblical golden rule here, incorporated into a sober enlightenment philosophy philosophy. what excuse? following summary of his philosophy of moderation about international affairs is even more striking for he pronounces it when assessing modern europe's principles of war as a great improved man over the barbarous cruelty, the romans. this is also in book tv ten. the right of nations now is marked, he declares, by a spirit of preservation and justice, rather than of subjugation. and for this, he says, we homage to our modern times to contemporary reasoning, to the religion of the present day, to
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our philosophy and to our mores. mores and manners. montesquieu tribute christianity here in book ten also suggests that his subject adiga's advocacy of commerce in later books of the work commerce as softening international affairs promoting peace doesn't aim to religion in a kind of materialism and or consumerism. many scholars that argument. rather the great theme of his right of philosophy from international law commerce is that as he states it in that one of the books on commerce, it is moderation that governs man, not excesses. one of his final remarks on this topic, international affairs and moderation seems. quite idealistic in crediting christianity for contributing humane principles to moderate politics. he states human nature can never be sufficiently grateful for the influence of christianity in
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politics, but he is not excuse so he's always moderate, never wants to go to an extreme. he's also critical, for example, of what the spanish, despite being christian did in the new world to indigenous principles. and so he warns religious fanaticism among conquering military powers. in our era, says the victor, in a moderate, should always quote leave to the vanquished. these great life liberty laws, goods and always their religion. when one does not blind oneself from book 24, brodsky's philosophical moderation and his regard for prudence indicate war is endemic to. the human condition. but that the right of nations can moderate the use of offensive force. that's book ten and prudence deter attack by developing adequate defenses among moderate and liberty oriented governments, including the idea
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of federation in brookline. he mostly praises the english throughout this period of loss for their relative moderation among the powerful states of the earth. while he mostly excoriates the spanish conquerors, the new world who failed give their quote gentle to the native peoples, but instead enslave them or exterminated them. he says among the other evil deeds they committed. his more gentle portrait of the english is that they are commercial with a powerful navy, but they are not animated by a roman spirit of brutal imperialism. this is mostly from book 19. they are not, the english are not, he says, conquering nation. but they a commercial one that fears over conquests, would weaken. thus, he says, if this nation sent colonies abroad. this is published in 1748. if this nation sent colonies abroad, it would do so to extend its commerce more than its
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domination. indeed, he says. 19 chapter 27. it would give form of its own government to the peoples of colonies. and as this form of government would carry prosperity with, it one would see the formation of great peoples even in the forests to which it had sent inhabitants. this fairly clearly praises england for its american colonies, in particular. and in fact, in an earlier book of the spirit of loss, he praised william penn as a great founder, a great modern founder and statesman. but again ever the moderate not wanting to go to extremes, whoriskey also criticized his the english for subjugating their neighboring island of ireland, partly to gain control of its ports and its commerce, but also stemming from their protestant fear of catholicism. the irish, as montesquieu are crushed. the spirit of a naval empire in the sense that their daily might leave them free, but their loss
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of sovereignty as polity means that their state, their political is, he says, enslaved. this conduct less despotic in his montesquieu than spanish colonialism. but he chides this repressive rule of the english of the irish by the english, so not close close. i want to leave some time for questions, just note the influence of of this on tocqueville. tocqueville sketch of america american foreign policy, american thinking and democracy in america. he praises washington while, citing the farewell address. washington's character. i think he can see kind of neo a kind of insular ism isolation, too much emphasis on commerce and. jacksonian america. so at the end of the first volume of democracy in america published in 1835, the final chapter, he closes it in this extraordinary way he that in
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1835 a he predicts in 1835 that a century hence think to 1935. would oppose a soul global rival russia standing for authoritarianism in the world took those rights power a century hence would hold the destinies of half the world in its hands. i'll note that this occurs just after a subsection, that chapter of democracy in america that took entitled some considerations on the causes of the commercial greatness of the united states. this is a little philosophical, inside joke paraphrasing the title of montesquieu history, the romans as the romans are obsessed with war. he warns the americans might become obsessed only by commerce, but tocqueville hopes we can be more moderate, balanced and responsible as a great liberal power. well, i'm going to stop there to leave time for questions.
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thank you for your attention. and i hope you do have some questions otherwise. morrison step up to next. thank you. when i left the academy, my air force colleagues gave me a kevlar vest so you could just, you know, fire anything you want. so we might that as with the prior speaker, we do have a life to live here. and if you have questions for benefit of the c-span audience, if you could queue up at that microphone that you would, as dr. perry said, if you don't do it, i will. don't let him do it. don't let him do. sure. so you mentioned this notion of a moderated constitution is very important to understanding balance of powers within our own constitutional system. but the concept of a single,
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unified presidency has gotten increasingly central to americans. think about the power of the presidency in foreign policy and how it balances against the powers of the senate and elsewhere. so in what ways do you think that some of the contemporary, especially post-cold war developments in the presidency see, do or don't align with a montesquieu in understanding of how to create those institutions? thank you for that very perceptive. the short is that it's a quite deliberate turn in america. political science made this one, and an american political thinking. at the end of the 19th century to say, you know, montesquieu is he may have been okay for his time, but the world is changed. and technology has changed. democracy more important than this, complicated constitution republic thingy stuff. so we need to have new conceptions of the new conceptions of popular
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participation in elections and in politics and in effect, we have a hybrid presidency, partly montesquieu, the framers and that model of the presidency as a powerful office, among other powerful offices. and have this new conception. i will editorialize a bit and say one reason for our great anger and, polarization and divisiveness is. we have departed from the balanced view federalism, separation of powers, the framers and know in washington, embodying that consensus that they had. because if presidency is so powerful, then you hear you hear contestants for the presidency, others saying this this is the last election you know, if we don't win this election, you know, it's all over. well, if that office powerful, but only one among several powerful offices. and if the federal government is powerful but not but but not replacing the states member republics, then you don't have
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that one ingredient. so all of this does change american foreign policy in the 20th century, but i don't think i think eisenhower was more of the original conception of the american constitutional republic of including of the presidency and yet he he influenced by this earlier view of grand strategy. but great question. yes. my question. book ten montesquieu seems be accepting of fact that it is okay to put others in servitude until they adopt it, but basically talking about imperialism, both economic imperialism and you know, imperialism in general and saying that that's okay until the imperialist people have assumed the conquerors mores, traditions, customs. is that an accurate reading
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reading? it can be very helpful. it's not it's not quite accurate. and in one sense, he does hold the view that there will be war and war can mean conquest. so we have to be philosophically realistic about that. then what guides conquest rather than just saying it should never happen? right i read you the passage or he says you leave to the people, the conquered people there their liberty as much as possible mores, their religion. even so, he's he's not recommending a pure, let's say, version of of what we would call imperialism. but it is you know, it is this balance that he's trying to strike. he generally philosopher of amelioration of gradual improvement toward moderation. he writes, 40 years before the french revolution, but warns the
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french know in effect, he's saying, i know you're very upset with the conditions in france, the absolutism of the monarchy and debt and all of things. but look back to what the did, having a complete radical get rid of the monarchy right and within a few decades they've got the monarchy back and a lot of trauma. so ameliorate, improve. and i think that's his approach to war and. if he were writing in the 1850s 1860s he would have spoke against the british decent their company and their subjugation. india with the tea plantations. you know it's a very interesting set of questions. i mentioned his influence on tocqueville. tocqueville was struggling. in what way? france and britain legitimately be liberal republics, public of monarchies, and yet. in the in the competition for power in the world, with russia being more authoritarian as
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islam in the ottoman empire, what's the proper role? tocqueville himself is brutally critical of american betrayal of our principles. the native american peoples. slavery, keeping slavery and extending across. but at the same time, tocqueville wanted to have ear, so he's not too emphatically and suggests how we might recover our better principles and ameliorate and moderate our contact. and that's that's generally approach that tocqueville takes i think in a much skewed spirit toward toward the great game of empire that's unfolding the 19th century in europe and around the world. thank you. using examples from montesquieu, washington. if you were a foreign advisor to the current administrator in what would be some of your advice to them?
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okay. any of the questions in the. i think we're just out of time, jeff, aren't we. is that. yeah. so so. as i mentioned, just having come from romania, i, it's it's controversy. you can see some controversial statements in my remarks to extrapolate from the constitutional founding and debates washing and farewell address to naito. so i'm of the view that naito as what washington would have called permanent alliance is not a violation of washington's general set of principles. the principles in the constitution and the founding models, his philosophy that once america was a great power, we could make a permanent alliance. i don't think the english or the french or the germans, and i'd be shocked by us saying that right. we just said so openly once we were in charge. and we're not betraying either principles of justice, our
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interests. we could form an alliance. and if the alliance had one purpose when founded, it doesn't necessarily mean it would have to be disbanded in 1990 or 1991, when soviet union collapsed. and that's what nato's has. so i will give that general view that it in america's enlightened self-interest to maintain the north atlantic treaty organization and and prudently extend it to the right kinds of candidates. it's it's prudent for us in this same principle have alliances in the pacific and and there are some points of continuity in american presidencies. the last few presidencies all the contention one of them is to recognize the importance of india. as for now, 75 years of liberal democracy, democracy, they're not the same as we are. course. they live in a dangerous neighborhood, but you recognize them. a partner that can move toward being an ally. and that's what. but president trump started and
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president biden continued with this idea of a quad japan, australia, united states, india to deal with what g might they be concerned about in that that in that region of the other the world. so that would give that and the ingredients are there for a bypass it isn't consensus on that. of course disagreements about particular policies but the ingredients are there we just we're finding it hard to be by partizan about anything right now. yeah we have time for one more. yeah. last question and make it good. okay. all right. thank you for the pressure. so i think my maybe maybe as a as point of opposition broadly, it might be said that model can be a nomenclature for making your your that are in front of you now fit into your principles as opposed to having principles that are overarching that then
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guide your goals. how do you think montesquieu respond to a criticism like that. he was writing after several philosophers in have taken the view that legitimate political philosophy the right has to come up with abs principles that ought to govern of in detail politics the only legitimate form of government. locke says. is this in detail pops just to take two. uh, we know he knows them because owns their books that it was expensive with the amazon was not around at the time. you know so it's expensive to own these books machiavelli has his own clear set of you know. and i think he deliberately writes a more aristotelian way
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there are general statements that are true truer more just more correct but the it would be much less explicit statement it would be unjust to think that one form of laws just and correct this people over here could be the correct just form of laws for that people over there in different history culture time place. he doesn't think it's relative ism it just thinks he thinks that included in the principle of justice is the diversity of human circumstances. the need for prudent practical wisdom judgment to adapt what's right. and just to this set of circumstances he's borrowing on his professional education, training experience as a judge. this is what judges do with right general set of law how how are they to be adapted in or applied to or abided, so to
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speak, in this sort of case? and then he thought that could extrapolated to politics. so it is open to the criticism that let's, say, the the adaptation and the judgment swallowing up the principle. i think he he is aware of that, but he he has explicit criticisms of system system. i'm thinking he has explicit of of either extremes, though principles the abstract principles govern. absolutely. and watch what what doctrines should govern. absolutely. and watch what happens. so he does seem to be aware of the issue. think he's found the reasonable middle position. yeah, well, thank you for time. best wishes with your studies, with your teaching with with your work. you are you are crucial what you are doing.
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