Michael J. Connolly

Michael J. Connolly

About Michael J. Connolly

Dr. Michael J. Connolly is Professor of History at Purdue University Northwest in Indiana. Dr. Connolly received his Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America and is the author of Capitalism, Politics, and Railroads in Jacksonian New England, as well as many articles on nineteenth-century American History. He has been published in New England Quarterly, Modern Age, the Historical Journal of Massachusetts, and the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, among others.

The Problem With Anne Hutchinson

By |2019-10-04T23:31:40-06:00October 4th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Culture, History, Religion|

Anne Hutchinson bewitches most college students. When analyzing her trial transcripts, with her clever and sarcastic repartee with Massachusetts Bay Governor John Winthrop and the Puritan ministers, they come to admire her greatly. Whiggishness creeps into their interpretation of her words and actions, seeing her as a harbinger of contemporary liberty. They believe that [...]

The Yachtsman and the Revolution

By |2019-09-13T09:56:44-06:00September 12th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, History, Republicanism, Revolution|

James Henry Stark was a historian and defender of the Loyalists in an age of high reverence for the American Revolution. Stark’s unhappiness at the public presentation and textbook renderings of the Revolution seethed for years, until finally in 1910 he published “Loyalists of Massachusetts” to settle the debate. In March 1910, the wealthy [...]

Alexander Stephens & the “Cornerstone Speech”

By |2019-08-12T14:07:19-06:00August 12th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Civil War, Equality, Government, History, Politics, Secession, Slavery, South, War|

History is complex, messy, and unyielding to our dearest wishes for easy categorization. That Alexander Stephens understood the Confederacy through its cornerstone of slavery is plainly true and explained in his own words. But the “Cornerstone Speech” goes further, planting the other corners of the Confederate state in concerns over federalism and sovereignty. Anxious [...]

Barrett Wendell and New England Orderly Idealism

By |2019-06-26T10:32:44-06:00June 25th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, History, Tradition|

Long after Barrett Wendell’s death, an elderly George Santayana remembered his former Harvard colleague fondly. “We were on the same side of the barricade.” Both he and Wendell loved the College with all its quirky traditions and sought to protect it from the academic innovations of President Charles Eliot. “We both desired to screen [...]

Orestes Brownson’s New England and the Unwritten Constitution

By |2019-05-20T10:01:09-06:00May 19th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Civil Society, Constitution, Culture, History, Political Philosophy, Politics, Timeless Essays|

Orestes Brownson so esteemed New England people, customs, and institutions that they dominated his writings and fit at the heart of his political ideas. Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Michael J. Connolly, as he considers the political thought of Orestes Brownson. —W. Winston Elliott, Publisher [...]

Franklin Pierce, Political Protest, & the Dilemmas of Democracy

By |2019-10-03T12:24:17-06:00January 8th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Christianity, Civil Society, Civilization, Constitution, Democracy, Government, History, Ordered Liberty, Political Philosophy, Religion|

Franklin Pierce’s suspicions reflected a tension within the antebellum Democratic Party in relation to slavery—how can we reconcile an advocacy of democratic decision-making with the existence of transcendent moral values, the Constitution with the Bible? On the stump in New Boston, New Hampshire in early January 1852, Franklin Pierce gave a long oration during [...]

Orestes Brownson’s New England and the Unwritten Constitution

By |2019-03-21T12:27:05-06:00November 1st, 2017|Categories: American Republic, Civil Society, Constitution, Culture, Featured, History, Political Philosophy, Politics|

Orestes Brownson so esteemed New England people, customs, and institutions that they dominated his writings and fit at the heart of his political ideas… The danger of majoritarian tyranny hangs over republics. The dilemma of constituting a virtuous republic while also restricting interests, sects, and factions’ use of unchecked political power possessed eighteenth century American [...]