Harry S. Truman and the Legacy of Thomas Jefferson

By |2020-08-03T15:33:10-05:00August 5th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Declaration of Independence, Foreign Affairs, History, Politics, Senior Contributors, Thomas Jefferson|

Harry S. Truman explicitly tried to tie Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence to the events and crusades of his own day. He saw the Declaration of Independence as an international document, belonging to all peoples yearning for freedom. When the first copy of the first volume of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, [...]

Just How Catholic Is the Declaration of Independence?

By |2020-07-31T22:24:04-05:00August 1st, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Catholicism, Christianity, Declaration of Independence, History, Senior Contributors, Thomas Jefferson|

An oft-reprinted editorial, “Did Bellarmine Whisper to Thomas Jefferson?,” suggests that the American statesman might have been influenced by Robert Bellarmine. While recent scholarship has confirmed that Jefferson came to Bellarmine through the works of the radical Protestant intermediary, Algernon Sydney, is the Declaration of Independence really influenced by Catholic teaching? In the wake [...]

1619: The Beginning of Self-Government in Virginia

By |2020-07-29T16:46:19-05:00July 29th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Civilization, Government, History, Politics|

On July 30, 1619, the newly appointed Governor, Sir George Yeardley, set in motion the concept of self-government in the Virginia colony. He called forth the first representative legislative assembly in America, establishing Virginia’s House of Burgesses—today, the Virginia Assembly. The yearning for self-government springs eternal. In the first Federalist essay, Alexander Hamilton famously [...]

Is Natural Law Sufficient to Defend the Founding?

By |2020-07-26T00:55:31-05:00July 26th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Aristotle, Books, Natural Law, Philosophy, Reason|

As Robert R. Reilly explains in “America on Trial,” the United States restored the founding of government based on reason in a Constitution that produced the most successful government experiment in history. If the American Founding was a rational and social success, why has the American experiment now come under modern attack? America on [...]

How Successful Were the Articles of Confederation?

By |2020-07-08T17:09:38-05:00July 8th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Declaration of Independence, Freedom, History|

The Articles of Confederation were doomed by their perceived structural weakness. Yet defenders of the Articles at the time correctly pointed out that this early constitution, drafted under intense pressure at a critical time in the country’s history and intended to deal foremost with the exigencies of war, had been remarkably successful. The Declaration [...]

A Declaration of Interdependence: Rereading the American Declaration of 1776

By |2020-07-08T10:46:09-05:00July 8th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Christianity, Declaration of Independence, Equality, Freedom, Government, History, John Locke, Rights|

While the Declaration of Independence may be linked in the popular imagination with notions of unfettered freedom and autonomy, in reality, the Declaration is greatly concerned with relationships, interrelationships, mutuality, and obligations. These relationships are governed by preexisting, inalienable natural rights and justice. In the beginning, the title was not the Declaration of Independence. [...]

“Mount Rushmore”

By |2020-07-06T18:42:25-05:00July 6th, 2020|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, American Republic, Audio/Video, George Washington, History, Music, Thomas Jefferson|

Drawing from American musical sources and texts, Michael Dougherty's composition for chorus and orchestra echoes the resonance and dissonance of Mount Rushmore as a complex icon of American history. Like Mount Rushmore, the libretto is carved out of the words of each President. Mount Rushmore (2010) for chorus and orchestra is inspired by the monumental [...]

Happy Birthday, America!

By |2020-07-03T16:50:53-05:00July 3rd, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Declaration of Independence, Independence Day, Senior Contributors|

Happy 244th, America! The world wouldn’t be the same without you. It would be poorer, less ethical, less stable, and less humane had you never come into existence. Whatever America’s faults, her successes outweigh them all. As protestors around the United States tear down statues, brutally beat rosary warriors, attack neighborhoods, threaten the destruction [...]

In God We Trust: How to Remedy the American Crisis

By |2020-08-01T15:03:12-05:00July 3rd, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Christianity, Declaration of Independence, Independence Day|

Ours is a nation founded and shaped primarily by European immigrants of Protestant Christian persuasion. The first pilgrims came over to spread the faith of Christ and live their Bible-based beliefs. When the settlements grew and spread and formed into 13 colonies, the charters of each were specifically Christian, e. g., "to the glory of [...]

Thomas Jefferson & the Declaration of Independence: The Power of a Free People

By |2020-08-01T14:41:09-05:00July 3rd, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Declaration of Independence, Featured, Political Science Reviewer, Thomas Jefferson|

One of America’s most cherished symbols, of course, is the American Declaration of Independence, and its Promethean author, Thomas Jefferson—a document and a man whom subsequent generations have blurred together in a myth of no mean proportion. It is the immediate task of this essay to unravel that myth so we will know what [...]

July 4, 1776: Congress Adopts the Declaration of Independence

By |2020-07-03T15:41:32-05:00July 3rd, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, History, Independence Day, Thomas Jefferson|

The adoption of the Declaration of Independence of “the thirteen united States of America” on July 4, 1776 formally ended a process that had been set in motion almost as soon as colonies were established in what became British North America. The early settlers, once separated physically from the British Isles by an immense [...]

Three Things to Ponder This Fourth of July

By |2020-07-03T14:40:09-05:00July 3rd, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Culture, Independence Day, John Horvat, Modernity|

In times of crisis like our own, thoughts about the meaning of life have a chance to appear. As our success and prosperity slowly end, these thoughts can provide us with the material to ponder. This Fourth of July, let us observe the holiday by pondering our uncertain future. This Fourth of July is [...]

Died on the 4th of July: Fisher Ames, Founding Father

By |2020-07-03T14:01:47-05:00July 3rd, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Civil Society, Fisher Ames, History|

Much can be learned from the life of Fisher Ames. He displayed more promise than perhaps any of our other great statesmen, and he personified two of conservatism’s most indelible tenets: Life is fragile, and all is vanity. But he was also quick to see how American citizens embraced their “liberty,” and he did [...]

Revolutions: 2020 vs. 1776

By |2020-06-24T15:37:26-05:00June 24th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Declaration of Independence, History, Modernity, Revolution, Senior Contributors|

The revolutionaries of 1776 could be just as violent as those of 2020, but they were truly a lot more intelligent and interesting. Eighteenth-century Americans fought with several generations worth of finely-honed arguments—from law, from experience, and from scripture, whereas the protestors of 2020, while armed with anger, seem armed with little else. In [...]

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