About George W. Carey

George W. Carey (1933-2013) was Professor of Government at Georgetown University and a Senior Contributor to The Imaginative Conservative. He was the author of In Defense of the Constitution and The Federalist: Design for a Constitutional Republic. He was co-author, with Willmoore Kendall, of The Basic Symbols of the American Political Tradition. He was also co-editor of numerous books including The Federalist Papers: The Gideon Edition, The Most Dangerous Branch: The Judicial Assault on American Culture and Community and Tradition.

In Defense of the Old Republic: The Problem of the Imperial Presidency

By |2020-11-20T09:41:32-06:00November 15th, 2020|Categories: Constitutional Convention, Featured, Federalist Papers, George W. Carey, Government, Presidency, Timeless Essays|Tags: |

The dangers associated with the imperial presidency are compounded by an awareness that, while new and more expansive theories of executive authority are seriously advanced, the office is not attracting individuals of high moral and intellectual character. The Philadelphia Constitution may be dead, but the basic problems which troubled the Framers—e.g., preserving the rule of [...]

How Conservatives & Liberals View The Federalist

By |2021-04-22T19:13:42-05:00November 9th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Conservatism, Constitution, Featured, Federalist, Federalist Papers, History, Liberal|

In The Federalist, Publius writes of “new” and “improved” “principles” of the “science of politics,” and he urges his countrymen to abandon the classical teachings concerning the possibilities of republican government over an extensive territory… Conservatives—American and otherwise—have always held The Federalist in extremely high regard. Virtually all would agree with Clinton Rossiter that it stands with the Declaration [...]

Restoring Popular Self-Government

By |2019-07-09T10:45:30-05:00February 22nd, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Featured, Federalist Papers, George W. Carey, Supreme Court|Tags: |

Only with a conservatism anchored in the presumptions and principles of the Founders, in their understanding of constitutionalism and in the proper functions of each of the branches, are we prepared to do battle with the children of the Enlightenment… The most notable change in the American Republic over the last forty years has been [...]

Bringing America Home

By |2017-12-19T00:01:13-06:00December 13th, 2015|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, George W. Carey|Tags: |

Bringing America Home: How America Lost Her Way and How We Can Find Our Way Back by Tom Pauken (Rockford, IL: Chronicles Press, 2010) I must immediately enter a disclaimer. As Tom Pauken notes at the outset of his book, he was a student of mine during his undergraduate days at Georgetown in the 1960s. [...]

Conservatives & Politics: A Look Ahead

By |2015-08-02T09:12:46-05:00July 27th, 2015|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, George W. Carey, Timeless Essays|

(Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series, affords our readers the opportunity to join Professor George Carey as he examines the place of traditional conservatism in our present day by pondering what can be accomplished via the political process, despite the power of the president and his allegiances. —Alyssa M. Barnes, Editorial Assistant) Winston Elliott inquired whether I would [...]

How to Read Willmoore Kendall

By |2020-01-16T11:07:01-06:00March 28th, 2015|Categories: Books, George W. Carey, Willmoore Kendall|Tags: |

Willmoore Kendall Contra Mundum. By Willmoore Kendall. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1971. 640 pp. When writing about Willmoore Kendall a strong temptation exists to deal with the man, not his teachings or theory. This I have always felt to be a shame, and, at times, a deliberate dodge because the reviewer or commentator [...]

The Extended Republic Theory of James Madison

By |2019-04-25T13:10:34-05:00March 22nd, 2015|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Featured, Federalist Papers, George W. Carey, James Madison|Tags: |

The American experience with self-government has long been the object of admiration by foreign observers. Principally for this reason students have poured over the records, debates, and pronouncements of our founding period with an eye to discovering the principles, theories, and beliefs which undergird the system and seem to have contributed to its success. Their [...]

The Moral Center & America’s Future: James Bryce’s “American Commonwealth”

By |2020-11-09T15:44:06-06:00June 24th, 2014|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Featured, George W. Carey, James Bryce|Tags: |

James Bryce’s relatively optimistic view of America’s future relies on the tacit premise that its people will retain the moral center, inherited largely from their English forebears. His work, then, is valuable, if only to remind us of that heritage. It is also foreboding in suggesting that without this moral center troubled times await the [...]

Alexander Hamilton: Conservative Statesman?

By |2016-11-28T18:47:27-06:00May 8th, 2014|Categories: Alexander Hamilton, American Republic, Books, Featured, George W. Carey, Political Philosophy|Tags: |

The Political Philosophy of Alexander Hamilton, Michael P. Federici, The John Hopkins University Press, 291 pages Toward the end of his work, Michael Federici writes, “It is rare to find books or articles on Alexander Hamilton that do not in some way make comparisons between him and Thomas Jefferson.” This is understandable given that their [...]

James Wilson: Political Thought and the Constitutional Convention

By |2021-05-25T09:05:24-05:00February 27th, 2014|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitutional Convention, Featured, George W. Carey|Tags: |

Scholars familiar with the writings and career of James Wilson are struck by the discrepancy between the status accorded him by most constitutional historians and the magnitude of his contributions to our founding.[1] In their view, Wilson’s record clearly entitles him to a place among the honored “elite” of the founding era such as Madison, [...]

The Conservative Mission and Progressive Ideology

By |2019-04-25T12:41:55-05:00April 13th, 2013|Categories: Edmund Burke, George W. Carey, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Progressivism, Thomas Jefferson|Tags: |

At the risk of seeming too parochial, I want to outline the dimensions of a problem that has been of special concern for me and other conservative students of the American political tradition, broadly defined. This concern is not as narrow as it may at first seem. Nor, by any standard, is it insignificant; it [...]

Common Ground: The Founding Era

By |2019-06-13T11:52:13-05:00March 4th, 2013|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Featured, George W. Carey|

The following is an excerpt from Georgetown professor George W. Carey’s indispensable book A Student’s Guide to American Political Thought. A uniqueness attaches to the American political tradition that serves to provide a focus to its study. The source of this uniqueness derives from the query put by Alexander Hamilton at the beginning of the first [...]

Conservatism: A Look Ahead

By |2014-09-10T10:28:55-05:00January 18th, 2013|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, George W. Carey, Politics|

Winston Elliott inquired whether I would like to update an article I wrote for Modern Age in 2005, “The Future of Conservatism”. I have gladly accepted his invitation since it allows me to emphasize and expand upon certain of its central points that I believe deserve our close attention, as well as to express my views on an [...]

The Future of Conservatism

By |2014-01-21T12:38:12-06:00December 17th, 2012|Categories: Conservatism, George W. Carey, Politics|Tags: |

A survey of the present American political scene provides, I believe, the background and point of departure for examining more permanent and basic aspects of American institutions and politics that pose enormous obstacles to the realization of principles long associated with traditional conservatism. More specifically the eclipse (some might say the disappearance) of traditional conservatism [...]

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