What Is Still American in the Thought of Thomas Jefferson?

By |2018-09-04T14:31:32-05:00September 5th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Conservatism, History, Thomas Jefferson|

Thomas Jefferson’s glowing appraisal of the average person’s moral impulse and acceptance of Lockean social-compact theory as the best basis of an operative political philosophy naturally led him to another of his key political principles: federalism... Asked fifty or one hundred years ago, Americans would have identified Thomas Jefferson as a great hero, perhaps the great hero, of American [...]

James Madison & the Compound Republic

By |2017-09-08T12:21:03-05:00May 28th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Featured, James Madison, Kevin Gutzman, Timeless Essays|

A devoted American nationalist, James Madison often knowingly worked backstage to make the United States more national—less federal—than his fellow Virginians were willing to endure… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Kevin Gutzman as he examines the complex role James Madison played in the American Founding.  —W. Winston [...]

Should We Trust James Madison?

By |2016-08-25T16:46:41-05:00July 13th, 2016|Categories: American Founding, Constitution, Featured, History, James Madison|

James Madison has long been treated as a neutral authority on early American history, a kind of Great Sage of, among other things, the U.S. Constitution. Thus, in a notable book on the ratification campaign of 1787-90—during which the states agreed to live under the Philadelphia Convention’s handiwork—a prominent historian said that the best way [...]

Did The Federalist Papers Really Matter?

By |2019-05-02T12:56:01-05:00April 30th, 2014|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Federalist Papers, Kevin Gutzman|Tags: |

Friends of the Constitution: Writings of the “Other” Federalists, 1787-1788, eds. Colleen A. Sheehan and Gary L. McDowell. In contemporary discussions of the meaning of the federal Constitution, The Federalist claims great attention. Part of the respect traditionally bestowed upon that collection of New York newspaper articles results from the enormous prestige of the [...]

Roger Sherman: Constitutional Calvinist

By |2019-05-29T14:11:07-05:00August 1st, 2013|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Faith, Kevin Gutzman|

Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic, by Mark David Hall This is the best life of Connecticut’s foremost Founding Father ever written. More than that, it demonstrates once and for all that Calvinism played a very significant role in shaping the American Revolution and U.S. Constitution. Henceforth, historians will have to [...]

Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the Constitution

By |2019-03-28T13:27:54-05:00January 20th, 2013|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Constitution, Kevin Gutzman, M. E. Bradford|Tags: |

Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the United States Constitution, by M. E. Bradford; foreword by Forrest McDonald The late M. E. Bradford left an historiographical oeuvre devoted in large part to the story to which the subtitle of his last book, Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the United States Constitution, refers. As [...]

Millennial America: The Language of Liberty

By |2016-08-03T10:37:27-05:00August 9th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Christendom, History, Kevin Gutzman|Tags: |

The Language of Liberty, 1660-1832: Political Discourse and Social Dynamics in the Anglo-American World, by J. C. D. Clark The historiography of the American Revolution and Founding period has been dominated for more than two decades by works that follow the examples of Bernard Bailyn and Gordon Wood. In their books, particularly Bailyn’s The [...]

Virginia’s American Revolution: From Dominion to Republic

By |2014-04-02T13:31:51-05:00April 29th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Kevin Gutzman, Republicanism, Thomas Jefferson|

Virginia’s revolutionary May Convention adopted its three resolutions of May 15, 1776. In doing so, it decided to craft a declaration of rights, a republican constitution, federal relations with other former British colonies in the New World, and foreign alliances for the fledgling Virginia republic. It did more than that, however: it also touched [...]

James Madison and the Making of America

By |2013-12-03T20:09:34-05:00April 24th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, James Madison, Kevin Gutzman, Republicanism|

James Madison, Jr. entered the world at midnight of the night of March 16-17, 1751.[1] By chance, he was an American prince. James Madison, Sr., the master of Montpellier in Piedmont Virginia’s semi-frontier Orange County, was the wealthiest man in the county. His lands were extensive, his slaveholdings were notable, and his family connections [...]

James Madison and the Compound Republic

By |2019-05-14T17:33:30-05:00February 11th, 2011|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, James Madison, Kevin Gutzman|

James Madison is widely known as the “Father of the Constitution,” author of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In his old age, the prevailing account goes, he stood up to a heretical off-shoot of Southern constitutionalism, and it was fortunate that he, the “last of the Fathers,” was still around to gainsay [...]