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tv   QA  CSPAN  November 27, 2016 11:00pm-12:05am EST

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prime minister teresa may taking questions from members of the house of come monls. and later newt gingrich and patrick kennedy discuss ways to combat drug addiction in the u.s. ♪ >> this week on "q&a," pepperdine university professor george larson. hisessor larson discusses book "george washington, nationalist." edward j. larson, author of the book "george
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washington, nationalist." if george washington were alive today and he saw the election, no matter who the victor is, what would he say? prof. larson: i think he would be appalled. he really did not believe in politics. he had this vision the people would run hard-fought campaigns. on campaigns with others, hard-fought. but once you got there you were not supposed to be part of a party process. you were supposed to call each one as you saw them. if you look at the --stitutional envision convention, he tried to lead by conciliation, by listening, by cooperation. at the constitutional convention, he listened to everyone, he met with people at
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night, he worked out compromises. sure, some did not go along. brian: how much time have you spent at mount vernon to do your books the last couple of years? prof. larson: i have been fortunate enough to be the library fellow. if you do not think something is a treat, to live in the residence and get up before the tourist, and be there after the tourists leave. onout my notebook, work pages, experience, see the view that washington saw when i was riding about him, when he was talking about this thing, i could work on this thing, too. and that's riffing for his story -- you know, it does not get
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better than that. if you are in residence, do you stay on the property? prof. larson: yes, you stay right on the property. they built a new building. at first, we were in the middle quarters, where the vice regent was, but now there is a new building right next to the new presidential library, and there are facilities there -- they are foes get to and be stay there. in fact, i get to stay there tonight. -- the fellows get to stay there. in fact, i get to say there tonight. brian: in your introduction, you talk about the poplar tree. why did you mention that? prof. larson: i started out as a botanist and i wrote about botany a lot and i love trees. i love the grounds. but it's not just me. washington love to them. that tree is still going -- growing there. you can see it. 1785, that tree was planted the ridingar that i was
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about. so, i was raving about him there in 1785 and he wrote a letter to one of his dear friends in france and he wrote to one of the people who helped with the revolution, and he wrote him that year saying, it's great to be back home, and i am now getting shade from the trees that i planted as a youth. and now people are getting shade from the tree he planted then, but more critically, we are getting shade from the constitution he planted and the work he did as a general and the work he did as a president. that is providing the shade. that is what makes this country work. we have a solid foundation as part of that. there is video of you talking at mount vernon. why do we watch that before we get into the details? prof. larson: welcome to mount
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vernon where i have spent the last year as a library fellow. this is the view looking east from washington's mount vernon home. this is the view he loved most. this is what he dreamed about. periodd here during the that i wrote about in my book "the return of george washington." watching remains as relevant today as in the 1790's. he was then, and remains today, the symbol of the united dates, of the united country. in my new book about george on the timei focus between 1783 when he stepped down as general and 1789 when he takes up the reins of the presidency. it was that middle period that was pivotal, that may the revolution work and set up the presidency. brian: when did you do that? prof. larson: just before the book came out. the book came out -- you will
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have to help me remember this -- the 14th? , the: the small book lecture series? prof. larson: this little one is different. it came about because university of virginia press, which publishes the papers of george washington, all about washington, they had heard some of the lectures and they wanted a small book that could reach, they thought a broader -- well, a different audience. people could use it as a supplementary course book in college, small enough for that, but also the type you could take an airplane, read on, and it essence of the thesis that washington was the key nationalist that brought the whole thing together. they often say -- i make this illusion at one point, they then say james madison was architect of the constitution and i reply after doing all of that if james madison
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was the architect of the constitution, and he might the, then george washington is the general contractor. if you want to build a house or put an addition on, sometimes it is more like what the general contractor has in mind then the architect has in mind. watching them is the one who makes it work. that is the time i am covering. , we have thing is these great books on washington, pulitzer prize winning books, the for-part book by douglas philip freeman or six-part, i guess it is -- they sort of skip this period. go into the net symbols of what he did during the convention and leading up to the convention. let's go to the dates then. you start in what year? really start in 1781 with the surrender at yorktown. that is when the critical period
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begins. they are not really at peace yet. the peace treaty is 1780 three. but effectively they are. thet into washington and newport conspiracy, his incredible effort to flush the newport conspiracy. fromthe time you sworn in april, may 1789, now the older book, "the return of george washington" goes a little further and carries into the beginning of the presidency. brian: what is the newburgh conspiracy? the new burke conspiracy was that critical moment when soldiers -- this was after yorktown -- a year and a half after yorktown -- the official priest -- peace treaty has consigned. they are occupying new york, savannah, charleston. up.ington moved his forces
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he spread around tarrytown, that whole area. yorktown was over, the's eight -- the states stopped paying their payments, the requisitions, their requests to congress. the troops had not been paid for a couple of years. at the resort growing sense that the union was collapsing. they could not get a quorum at the confederation congress. the states were going their own way, planning for these, and of course, whenever you compete, you compete with whoever is closest to you. will compete with massachusetts. the states are pulling apart that way. north carolina is going to compete with virginia. it frustrated washington enormously. he sent out a letter to the states during this time, but the troops, the troops -- and this is the scary part -- probably
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working with the letters, certainly with the knowledge of alexander hamilton and governor going tore either mutiny -- they thought they were going to mutiny, some of them, led by a few of the lieutenant anderson and a few others, armstrong and a few others -- they were either going or get paid. once the peace treaty is signed, nobody is ever going to pay us. we're going to force congress to pay us. what they wanted to do was recruit washington and as part of the coup d'état. hamilton had already talked to washington. this democracy stuff is not going to work. washington was a true republican. he believed in republican government. brian: small are question mark prof. larson: -- brian: small r? prof. larson: small r.
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experience, a continental republican. something new under the sun. he believed in those enlightenment virtues. america could be a model. he wanted the troops to rise up and force congress to pay or threaten to go home and leave the country defenseless to be british. brian: we read all the time about the troops not being paid -- if they had not been paid for two years, how do they live? prof. larson: not very well. they would take loans from their friends. they would write home for money to be sent to them. of course, they got their basic rations so they could eat. that and many cases they were losing their farms back home. they could not send money back theirir families to keep farms. you can read accounts. they were in a very embarrassed position. brian: why didn't they give it up? prof. larson: they believed in
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the same cause. and if they left they knew they were never going to get the money. they were torn between believing in the cause and believing in washington. the government of the colonies was what? prof. larson: there was an articles of confederation government. a you read it, it says it is league of friendship. it would probably be comparable to the united nations today in the sense that every state joined it, and every state could send delegates to congress. they could send as many delegates as they wanted, and the majority of the delegates voted however they wanted to, except the states could instruct them how to vote, the governor could instruct them. the states pay them. they are sort of like ambassadors of the u.n. they do what they are told to by the administration. friendship -- a league of friendship. brian: did they call them prof.
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larson: states at the time? prof. larson:yes -- brian: did they call them states of the time? prof. larson: yes. confederation congress could not tell the states to do anything. they could not tell people to do anything. they could not raise taxes at all. some of the disasters -- they could not put a protective tariff. when we became independent we were no longer under the protection of britain. all of these countries, france, you name it, imposed tariffs. we could not export our goods there. we could not impose a tariff. goods with low-end through rhode island from money that you get from running a harbor. we could not force them to lower their tariffs. the result is that was causing a recession, probably even worse
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-- a depression that all of our gold, all of our hard currency was flowing overseas. and we could not export anything. and that helps contribute to the real chaos in the country. these lower-level majors, captains were going to rise up, possibly with horatio gates led general second ranking who won the battle of saratoga earlier, he was also a newburgh. and so they called for a meeting. we know they were in some sort of allegiance with hamilton and the two morrises, because they wanted to force the states to allow at least a protective tariff, which would raise money for the central government. brian: was there a national president of any kind? prof. larson: no. brian: was there a judiciary of
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any kind? prof. larson: no. it was just like this. there's a congress. they could rarely act. brian: when did the government going to affect? prof. larson: the government went into effect with the ratification of the articles of confederation, but it very --ilar to the second isan: so 1781 and then 1783 where you start really getting into george washington? prof. larson: well, i start really -- especially in this new book, some to anyone. brian: i'll i was really getting in may, riding87 the constitutional -- prof. larson: correct. brian: by the way, before we do this, let's catch everybody up on your background. where are you now?
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prof. larson: i am teaching full-time at pepperdine university. also holding down the darling chair in law. brian: in malibu, california. tough duty. prof. larson: tough duty. somebody's got to do it. brian: where did you go to college? williams college. masters and phd from the university of wisconsin-madison. law degree from harvard. brian: the last time i saw you you were here as a pulitzer prize winner for the scopes trial book. prof. larson: the best part of the prize was being with you. it was a great part of it. i mean it. brian: did you expect to win the pulitzer? i said i was no, dumbfounded. one of my teachers said, ed, you were never dumbfounded. you might have been shocked, but you were never dumbfounded. the books about
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george washington, this seems to me relevant today -- he said my fear is the people are not sufficiently misled to retract from error. prof. larson: you can apply that to today. it was a chaotic time. populist division, and many people thought -- sought ofantages under the articles confederation. washington repeatedly said, there are demagogues. the problem was the states were small and they had popular democracy and some of them had no checks and balances. they had a one-house legislature that ruled everything like rhode island, and they would be caught up in the enthusiasm -- as he would call it, a demagogue would take over, and for short-term gain or the run value would run roughshod over liberty, and he
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thought the revolution was not fought for democracy. it was fought for liberty. and he saw places taking away freedom of religion. he saw like rhode island wiping out personal property. those were the things for short-term gain, and that was sort of the majority area and democracy without checks and balances. not small r republican rule, but as he would call it, jacob and rule, because of course they were beginning to make analogies to what was happening in france, the chaos of the french revolution. that sort of thing was what he was hoping the constitution could prevent. france had not gone quite that far, but he would be using that allusion by the time the ratification process was over. brian: what about the
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philosophical statement -- today, until it breaks, they are not going to fix it. meaning the $20 trillion deficit. this is george washington back in 1785 or whatever. the people are not yet sufficiently misled to retract from error. prof. larson: that letter was written and 86 when they called the constitutional convention and he was debating whether to go. he had been elected by virginia to go. and he said, i'm not going to go unless we have a plan that's going to work. and this is one of the letters. there were three very similar letters. there was one henry knox, john j from new york, the former -- york, androm new james madison. he said, what can we do? i'm not going to go there -- i have limited political capital. if i go off to philadelphia to this constitutional convention,
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which had been called only to revise the articles of confederation, and that's not good enough. because the problem is all 13 states would need to ratify an amendment, and he knew, he knew 13 states would never ratify, he could never get rhode island -- he probably couldn't get new york, because of those limitations, he said we have got to go in and not do what we are told. we have got to take over the convention and come up with a whole new government, and i'm just afraid the people are not going to buy it yet because there are people, most of them most leaders, and he had in mind our home because he was still a virginian, patrick henry, who he felt was almost the most dangerous person in the country, that for their own personal gain to gain power. and he thought that patrick henry was willing to split off the south. these people for their own personal gain -- and they do not care as much. they are not committed in the rme way, this small
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republican rule, with liberty, protecting private property. he wrote to all of those people. anday ando j maddox madison. he delivered things, that he was really an idea person. three of them sent back proposals. this is the type of government we need. three house. a two house legislature. a separate governor. a separate court system. all three of them came up with almost the same system. he took those. he ran them over, and he said, i now have a plan. i'm not going to go to war. he was the general. i'm not going to go to war without a plan that can work. he took those three and in his own hand he rewrote those three. it's not some secretary. he rewrote them and put them together into a single plan that
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became his working draft of what the constitution would be why he wanted was a central government needed to have power over interstate commerce with a one market economy. and in the pie can grow for all of us and we're not trying to cut each other's throats. the central government had power to directly tax individuals so it could raise revenue so they could tax and spend for the general welfare, and that was one of the items. national power over the military, because you had all of those state militias and you did not really have a central army, and the constitution is giving the state power over all of the militias, but it also allows a national military and he had written out what he proposed in his peacetime war establishment because one of the problems was the british never left the frontier and the native
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americans and had conquered half of georgia. hisould not get to one of front property is because the native americans stopped him. he needed an army to push the british out and expand westward, because he thought the future of america lie in the west because of property and expansion an opportunity for the common people and for investors. those powers and the power over international commerce -- the power over commerce, the power over the military, power over the ability to command individuals directly for the general good when it is a matter of general concern and the power to tax and spend for the general welfare. that is what he wants. symbol definitions of the following. what is a nationalist? prof. larson: -- prof. larson: a nationalist
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wants to create a nation out of the 13 states. he was also a federalist. he came to appreciate that some things could be left at the state level. brian: what is the difference? what does it mean to be left at the state level? prof. larson: sovereignty lies with the nation. that is how he understood it. there were compromises where you could say there is some sort of split sovereignty, but what he meant was there is ultimate sovereignty, like hamilton wanted to get rid of them. hamilton is your extreme nationalist, but ultimate sovereignty lies at the national level. brian: would he have called himself a federalist? he would have called himself a federalist and
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he did after the constitution was drafted. at they decided, they adopted the word for themselves, federalist, because that was politically a more effective term, but it was also the changesbecause they made, instead of being the original virginia plan, which gave plenary power to the national government, the constitution as drafted only has enumerated power. brian: what does that mean? prof. larson: they only had power over things that were listed. the interstate power, the power over international commerce. all of the things washington had wanted that were enumerated, but in the original draft shifted sovereignty. plenary power was with the federal government -- limitless. that is what alexander hamilton argued for and that was what,
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well, to an extent james wilson, who was an important drafter, and to a lesser extent governor morris. do we have people walking around saying i was an anti-federalist? prof. larson: oh, yes. brian: they call themselves anti-federalist? prof. larson: yes. the term was originally a term of derision, but it was immediately excepted. by the later ratification, by the time that virginia was debating ratification, certainly by the time rhode island or north carolina was, but also new york, they were calling themselves anti-federalists. you write in the book there were 73 delegates to the constitutional convention in philadelphia. signed, and at 39 only 2 -- washington and madison -- attended every session. prof. larson: that's correct.
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people would come and go. and your state was only represented if you had a majority of your appointed delegates. .o states would gain and lose new york was represented for a while, but the two anti-federalist from new york left. they bolted out. they said, this is going haywire. so, they leave, leaving only hamilton, so he could not vote anymore. new york lost representation in the end. new hampshire shows up in late july. they had not been there before. come and go.s so, actually the rules, if you if any resolution would pass you had a majority of the states then present. 6-5.would pass 5-4 or rhode island, of course, never showed up at all. who were a couple of the
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lead anti-furloughed -- anti-federalist? prof. larson: the leading anti-federalist in the country were not even there. patrick henry said this is going to be a disaster. all they can do is amend articles and not every state is going to ratify. he did not even go, though he had been elected. he was the leading anti-federalist. the other leading anti-federalist would be george clinton, the longtime governor of new york, very close friend of washington's, very powerful, very effective governor. he ends up being the anti-federalist candidate for vice president against john adams, and eventually does become vice president under thomas jefferson and james madison. he would probably be the lead anti-federalist and patrick henry would be a close second. those two would be the main. after the convention, yates from convention,at the
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yates from new york or luther martin from maryland. they both left in frustration, but they would both be anti-federalist. also mason, george mason become something of an anti-federalist by the end. brian: jerry and george mason and one other -- edmund randolph did not sign? prof. larson: they did not sign. brian: they were there but did not sign? prof. larson: right. brian: what was the reason they did not sign? .rof. larson: it differed the one thing they had in common was the was no bill of rights. they thought there should be a bill of rights. that was the one thing they had in common. they also had concerns the presidency was too powerful. that was certainly george mason would be strong on that view. he did not think you could have this powerful presidency. he thought you could have a
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committee of three, each representing a different region of the country, so all regions would be represented with one unified president. you had that problem. there were a variety of other problems. like how the senate was organized. they did not like -- oh, i forgot the other big one. the necessary and proper clause. when they enumerated the powers of the central government such as power of interstate commerce, the power of war power, quite a few of them, there were not any originalists that randolph proposed. they had, well, that's everything. what could not be included in what is necessary and proper? they anticipated a major problem.
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to major oppositions such as massachusetts, new hampshire, south carolina, virginia -- of course, new york where it just flew apart. the two big issues were the lack of a bill of rights and the necessary and proper clause. brian: "the gift of silence." what does it mean? prof. larson: washington new when not to speak. he was not a great public order. writer andery good righ a wonderful 101 conversationalist. he could work a crowd and bring everybody over. he did that during the convention. he was always working out compromises. but he had this terrible teeth -- ivory or human teeth, different dentures, and none of
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them quite works. so he couldn't really enunciate and speak loudly. he could not give a great speech. he liked to sit back and listen and try to figure out how these pieces that together. he knew that some people were more clever than he was. james madison, hamilton, many others. he would listen to their ideas, but would listen to them in the .ense of what would work one thing i found very interesting, we have always known from reading madison from notes to the convention, there were a few key moments when a compromise was offered, that states would agree to, the original plan had the senate elected by the house, agree that -- governorssion
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morris hated slavery, but he helped broker the three fits compromise. whenever a major compromise that bridged a deadlock was offered, washington is the presiding thater -- he calls on person first, and invariably, he was with him the night before. so, he knew what was happening. he knew what was compromised. he helped to work out the compromise. he called on the person to get the convention going again because several times it was on the verge of collapse. brian: when he was in philadelphia for the constitutional convention, where did he live? robertarson: he lived at morris's house. he wasn't elected senator from pennsylvania, and he was reputedly the richest person in
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the colonies or the states. richest, because the report will he southern planters that were land wealthy, but cash poor. he was a very wealthy merchant. he had a glorious mansion, considered the most glorious mansion in all of the states. washington had, thinking he was going to stay in a boarding house. but morris said, no, you're staying with me. and he could live in a magnificent house. he had a carriage, he had servants, he had slaves. he could have dined there all the time. others werethe crowded into tight boarding houses. there was not enough room. they would eat in the common washington, at
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least whenever there was a critical moment, maybe most of the time, he would go out and with them, with the group of delegates, so he could talk with them. -- theycal afternoon is met six days a week and they would go to what we would call mid afternoon. then they would go to some andety lady's house washington always went there because he loved tea and he loved dancing and he loved being with the ladies. and he would go, which many of the delegates would come, too, and they would have a chance to talk. we know the letters in the ladies, they were talking about substantive things. then they would have supper at one of the boarding houses are one of the other public dining also he would go there and sit at a table with the other delegates and talk and then there would be another play or a party in the evening. and he would never miss one. what would he wear?
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prof. larson: he would dress fairly formally. made fromothes english linens. close that he would get from europe. so, he would dress with bridges, the whole bit, but buckle shoes. might be closed source a little too much, but he did care very much about how we might be clotheshorse a little too much, but he did care very much about how he worked. he did not have a whig, whatever people say. but he powdered his hair. speak at the convention in independence hall? prof. larson: he would call on the people to speak. he would organize the debate at that time. yet the couple other occasions. it is the same role with the speaker of the house today in congress -- the presiding
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officer does not speak on substantive matters. it does not mean that paul ryan is not running the show. that's what washington did. he did make a few concessions and they are sort of interesting. thereception he made was with secrecy. absolute secrecy of proceedings, because they knew if word got out they had gone beyond the rules, the rules said right constitution the -- the articles of confederation's. they were not doing that. they were riding an entirely new constitution. and they put in there that it would take effect -- they were an entirely new constitution. and they put in there that it would take effect if only nine approved it, only for the nine of course. washington pushed seven. this was way beyond the rules. and it worked.
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this is the honor people had. even when the anti-federalist such as the eighth left to go back to new york, he didn't tell , because he vowed that he wouldn't tell. he did not tell until it was over what they were doing. he kept his word. the press never knew. the press things this is the biggest thing happening. before this happens, the press is all over this. we have newspapers in every town. they all want a scoop. and i read them all. no one had a clue. they did have reports and every report was crazily wrong. the convention had decided to call in the second son of king george to be the monarch. another said they had voted to throw rhode island out of the union.
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one time when he spoke, there was a draft, an early draft of the constitution, and one of the custodians, one of the workers was given a copy, but they were sworn to secrecy -- be careful with it. and it was brought to washington and when the people came back the next time, he took this document. is one of your documents. one of you left this out front. whoever it is, you come up and get it. he threw it and marched out. and there are accounts of some of the delegates, one of them from georgia ran back to see if it was in the room. he said the most relieved moment of my life was when i found my document was still in my room.
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brian: did he ever find out? prof. larson: nobody ever claimed it. that would be pretty dangerous. the other time, after they wasoved the document, there a minor concern, so he spoke and proposed an amendment after the whole thing was drafted about you can have a bigger house of representatives, and that was the only other time. brian: you mention in your book a painting by howard chandler christy. i found one version of it on a website that turned out to be very interesting, the john ashbrook center -- teachingamericanhistory.org. you can see it on the screen. we will show that painting. it's interesting. i just happened on to this. you move your cursor on the
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individuals, you can see who they are, and then when you go inside, they have backgrounds of each individual. did you talk about this particular thing in your book? prof. larson: the session was closed. the reporters, there were no painters. the curtains were all closed. this was the signing. this is a classic ceremonial painting commissioned during the depression. it hangs in the house of representatives. so, he takes all of the people and composes it in a glorious celebratory scene, and so i finished talking about what and then i say this
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painting was painted to capture how people envisioned it. they choose to make it that way. that is how people thought it was. actually, if you went back and followed it closely, it would be morrison, madison, maybe hamilton, roger sherman certainly playing major roles. the two biggest people in the country who are the only two national heroes are washington and franklin. that is how it is presented to the public. this is written by washington and franklin. so, he puts franklin right in the center with people crowded around him. he puts washington standing above, quiet. frank when talking -- of course, franklin is always talking. talking, of course frank when always talking. and it celebratory because what
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he does -- no one knows what it looked like. it's always lean not an accurate picture because first, the windows were open. the windows were shut. because he quite like that, everyone has a halo. he airbrushes out everyone who did not sign it. even though mason was there, randolph was there -- they are not in the picture. and some people had gone home. they are painted in even though they were not there. it is designed to celebrate and to capture what people thought happened. often what people thought happened that the public thinks actually happened, and so i have used that painting to first to describe what actually happened the best we can tell from the notes we have and all the letters that went out -- there are many letters, many
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people besides madison who took toes -- it than i also want capture what the american people at happened and to do that, i use newspapers to my various ,etters that are outside because it's what people thought. because what is important about the constitution? that it was written or that it was ratified by the people. really what is important is ratified by the people. what did the people think what did that-- people think? i think that picture captures what people thought happened. brian: i would to make sure people get the address of that website. there are 50 documents on thee those early years plus all of those teacher helps. teachingamericanhistory.org. john ashbrook was a former republican congressman from ohio. prof. larson: i was born in his
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district. brian: but you never knew him? prof. larson: i have them quite well. i would sit on the shoulders of the little child watching parades go by. his father and my father and john ashbrook were very good friends. he lived in the next county. i knew him quite well. brian: and he died young. prof. larson: he died young under still questionable circumstances. brian: do we not know? prof. larson: there are different concerns. i will go into the details. they ended up doing an autopsy. he was running for senate at the time. how did the senator and establish a national university then? prof. larson: he was a major conservative leader. he was a known conservative wealthynd had many conservatives from around the country who were very loyal to him and thought very highly of
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him. and they wanted to celebrate him and this college is located in the city where he lived. is the university, but when i was a kid, it was the college. brian: we can talk about george washington forever, but i want to go back to the beginning and how all this started. how did you become this slow and what was the full title of your fellowship? -- this flow and what was the full title of your fellowship? they had an: presidential library and they decided to have resident fellows , and i was the first one to move-in and be resident. brian: how are you selected? prof. larson: i was selected -- scholarsa committee of .
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i was doing, i had previously written a book about the election of 1800 that was well received and created a lot of interest. that got me into the issue of jefferson and washington even appears in that because he lives in to the early part of that election. so, i had written that in that captured the establishment of partisanship. i had also edited madison's ites, with another professor, edited knows they could be used in classrooms and it's widely used. i had done the constitution. i had done the 1800 election. what i wanted to do was fill out the story of the founding of our government and the constitution. now by telling the story, by using washington as a vehicle, by moving washington to center stage -- because washington is left out of the story even in book, he is not part of
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the story -- i thought i could tell the story in a different way by moving washington to the center of the story. i want to make these connections. we have these names all the time. first of all, fred douglas smith, the man who started fedex, we have video of him making a speech about washington and how much -- do you have any idea how much money he gave to the library? prof. larson: a lot. i don't know the exact year. i'm sure it's all public record. brian: all right, here is fred w. smith. >> we're told the president housing for his documents here at mount vernon. unfortunately he was not able to complete the project before his death. today, 214 years after his passing, we are able to celebrate the opening of his library.
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if he were here today, i believe he would be pleased with the completion of his dream. it's a testament to his legacy that all of this is a compass without any financial help from any government entity. brian: we also have video anding about fred w. smith your fellowship -- do you remember when the library was first opened? opened,rson: it was well, it was open to the day i moved in. that would have been august -- do i have the right year? has never been a library at mount vernon, which, by the way, is not tax supported, i guess? correct.son: it is a private enterprise which started in the 1850's, by a .roup of ladies the plantation had been owned in the family up until that time, and they saw the civil war coming, and they wanted a symbol of unity, to buy mount vernon and make a public home. so they bought it.
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they restored it. they kept restoring it. the ladies association, mount vernon ladies association still operates it. there can be one region, one vice regent from every state. that is the limit. it can be up to 50, but it's usually in the 30's. the last couple regions egents, they have tried to move beyond a museum piece and home. they have a working farm. they have built archives. they have a library. so it can be more than just a place a person can go and celebrate washington, but where you can also go and study. brian: do you have any idea -- there are lots of people who of made lots of money, give lots of money to history. have you ever talk to fred smith about why he was interested in doing this? prof. larson: he was interested because he was a leader in
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washington was a leader. he admired what washington created. he wanted that memory preserved. brian: we have seen on this network a woman named gayheart gains for a long time. she played a role, i guess, in this. what was that? she was aon: yes, longtime regent, vice regent. she served as one of the women who runs the place. and she was as forceful as any or more forceful than most in pushing this idea of let's make this more open. let's reach out to people. let's bring washington -- let's not keep him in mount vernon. let's free these ideas out. washington has lessons for all of us. so, she pushed, along with others, she pushed having educational programs that go out to the people. brian: who underwrote your fellowship then? prof. larson: the fellowship was
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funds raised through the library . it was part of the endowment for the library and there's a long list of people in addition to fred smith who gave to the library, and they raised money to support the fellowship, and there are more fellowships. what they gained and are honor was a series of lectures -- again, the idea was to get these ideas out. several years, they have been bringing in lecturers, and after my book came out, i was chosen to be one of them. lectures.hree-part you give three lectures and this book that just came out -- "george washington, nationalist," that was one of those three. brian: here is gayheart gains. >> thank you all and congratulations on the remarkable, remarkable
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achievement that will allow people to discover the real george washington. prof. larson: one thing that i can say about gay is not only did she contribute a lot of money, but she certainly raise a lot of money. to be oney pick people the board of a great college like the university of chicago or be on the board of the red cross? master ability. the amount of money attributable .s striking footprint.a national brian: in the book is as distinguished lectures and in the bottom, preparation as been -- by theiv study for study for george washington at mount vernon and a gift by mr.
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mrs. lewis e. lehrman. the great documents of american history are still often in private hands, families, and they do not exhibit these, nor do they make them available to scholars, researchers, or students. so, the teaching side of the building collection was to get all of these documents, manuscripts, treaties, the structure of american history to thee colonial period present out of these private hands and get them into a place where they could be serving american students, and american teachers, not to mention americans from all walks of life who are interested in american history. brian: ran for governor. did you talk to him about why he wanted to underwrite this book?
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talk torson: i did not him. he had of library talk to him about the specific book. i know i talk to him before, and his commitment again is to get ideas about leadership and democracy, ideas about liberty that washington values out there because washington is still a model for all of us. but others like franklin and lincoln -- but he is one and he did not have a presidential library, and of course we have libraries for all of our recent presidents. back of your small book your, it is endorsed by susan dunn who was married to james gregory burns who's said that she said was -- i don't know what you would call him, your mentor at williams college? prof. larson: he was my professor and he perked my interest in presidential studies. books were about roosevelt. that is where he won his pulitzer prize. we are he talked about where i
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came from. rural ohio. here i walked into williams college and here was this guy or who -- this scholar who created a whole way to study leadership. he was renowned for that. a great author with this rod concept of what leadership meant and i had the good fortune to take -- this broad concept of what leadership meant and i had the good fortune to take classes from them. brian: susan dunn was here a number of years ago. she is an author herself. book.dorsed this there was a point in the interview where i asked how she you beingburns, and from williams might get a kick out of this. professoru meet burns? >> well, our mailboxes were next door to each other for many wers and we with a hello, -- would say hello, and when i heard that jim was free and divorced, i pounced. [laughter] endorse your dunn
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book? prof. larson: i knew her to an extent. she was contacted. any of the gains lectures together, but when jim burns passed, there were several events where they called together special events for him. would alwaysischof be there. he was a classmate of mine. susan would be there. the three of us at least. maybe a few others. i saw her repeatedly on that. she had read my 1800 election but. she also had a book on the 1800 election. very different, different goal, different object. she liked mine, chia well. she reconnected them. we talked a little bit. thesejim died, we have events together and she read my "return of george washington" book and she loved it. when the shorter version came
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down, she said, i just want to back it. brian: unfortunately, we are out of time and i cannot ask you about this. i went to ask about you and hazel darling, which is the underwriter, i believe, of your chair at pepperdine. prof. larson: right. brian: a quick 10 seconds? prof. larson: they are donors. they have given to the law -- law library at ucla. they have passed. these resources go out to support legal education i in southern california. brian: impressed by all of the who have spent their time on this history. our guest has been edward j. larson, professor larson from pepperdine college. his latest book is "george washington, nationalist." thank you very much. prof. larson: thank you very much.
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this q-andm, visit us at -a.org. programs are also available as a c-span podcast. >> if you like to this program, there are others you might enjoy. author and historian ron turn out talking about his biography alsoington, a life." richard gilder and lewis lehrman ofcuss their collection historical documents. of 1787ok on the summer that takes an in-depth look at the men responsible for
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on book tv, we are hosting a discussion on the attack of pearl harbor on the eve of the 75th anniversary. author ofgram, the countdown to pearl harbor, 12 days to the attack. the author of "japan 1941, countdown to infamy," and craig nelson. followed by an interview with donald stratton, pearl harbor survivor. we are taking your phone calls, emails live, noon to three -- 3:00 eastern. got a book tv.org for the complete schedule. >> coming up next, prime minister's questions at the british house of commons. former house speaker newt gingrich share ways to combat drug addiction in the u.s..
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later, a discussion on the future of traditional libraries in the age of digital technology . during question time this past week british prime minister , theresa may was asked about the u.k. economy, housing, and funding for transportation projects. she also responded to a series from labour party lever -- leader jeremy corbyn about the , u.k.'s national health service. this is 35 minutes. >> order. questions to the prime minister. >> mr. speaker, this morning i had meetings with colleagues and others, in addition to my duties in this house i shall have further meetings today. >> thank you mr. speaker. we produced enterprise and
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citizens advice and found that families did not apply. we found out a third of families who had -- should have been claiming did not apply. under the 4% collection fee had a serious impact on family budgets. >> the issue of trying to ensure that those responsible for children actually pay for their children when a family has been broken up, has been a long-standing question, which the house has addressed. there have been various ways of dealing with it through the agency that has been responsible. i think it is right the changes introduced are on a more level basis, and more people are able to access the support they need as a result. >> daniel. >> the government is rightly focused on economic growth, jobs, and prosperity, something all of us on these benches can get behind. with that in mind, will she back
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our highly competitive bid for funding for the northwest relief road which will not only deal with the congestion the town is facing, but dovetail into that narrative. >> can i thank you for raising this? tonow that has been an issue him, it is a priority to him. it has received considerable local backing. the local marches has put in a bid for visibility funding so they can prepare a business for it. what i can say is the announcement is a successful bid funding is expected very shortly indeed. >> jeremy corbyn. >> hear! >> thank you, mr. speaker. >> the government sustainability and transportation plans for the hide 22 health service
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billion pounds of cuts from our service according to research by the vma. that risks starving services and patient the vital care. that comes from dr. porter of the bma. mess, isthe process a he wrong? the national health service is indeed looking for savings within the nhs which will be reinvested in the nhs. is, it is this government that is providing, not just a billion of extra funding the nhs requested, but 10 billion and a funding -- in extra funding requested and sustainability and transmission plans have been developed on the levels in the interest of local people by local commissions. >> hear! >> it is very strange the prime minister should say that, mr. speaker because the committee shared by r

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