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George Washington Saved the Constitution

By Neil Reynolds, Globe and Mail - July 4, 2011

When George Washington stepped aside as president at the end of his second term, he knew the importance of his action. Perhaps, he told a friend, the Constitution would need an amendment to prohibit presidents from taking third terms. Yet, he thought his personal precedent might suffice to protect the republic from the risks of excessive ambition.

And for 143 years, it did – until Franklin Delano Roosevelt used the Second World War to justify a third term, then a fourth.

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