John Marshall: A Primer

By |2020-03-30T10:14:33-05:00March 30th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Constitution, History, John Marshall, Senior Contributors, Supreme Court|

Perhaps more than any other figure in the early history of the American Republic, John Marshall shaped the Supreme Court as well as attitudes toward and understandings of the U.S. Constitution. John Marshall (September 24, 1755–July 6, 1835) was the fourth man to serve as the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, [...]

Did Edmund Burke Support the American Revolution?

By |2020-03-17T17:36:43-05:00March 17th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Declaration of Independence, Edmund Burke, History, Independence Day, Robert Nisbet, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors|

Many conservatives have assumed that Edmund Burke was opposed to the American Revolution. It is, to my mind, an erroneous assumption. “Burke broke his agentship and went publicly silent on the American cause once war broke out,” Robert Nisbet claimed in his most definitive analysis of Edmund Burke, written and published in 1985. His [...]

Recovering Our Legacy: The Many Uses of the American Past

By |2020-03-08T20:51:13-05:00March 8th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, Citizenship, Civilization, Conservatism, History, Western Civilization|

“Citizenship” means a vivid and enduring sense of one’s full membership in one of the greatest enterprises in human history: the astonishing, perilous, and immensely consequential story of one’s own country. Today, we must redouble our efforts to make that past our own, and then be about the business of passing it on. We [...]

A Founding of Words

By |2020-02-28T10:21:43-06:00February 24th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, History, John Adams, Literature, Senior Contributors|

In so many ways, the American founding era (1761-1793) is a time period without equal in all modern history, as a dedicated group of citizens attempted to create and sustain the first republic on any large scale since the collapse of the Roman Republic with the assassination of Senator Marcus T. Cicero (43B.C.). They [...]

George Washington: American Aurelius

By |2020-02-21T15:35:06-06:00February 21st, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, George Washington, Government, History, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

In his own day, George Washington served as a pillar of Atlantis, recognized not only for his willingness to sacrifice his life for the great Republic, but also as the founder of the first serious Republic a weary world had witnessed in centuries. He deserves the title “the American Marcus Aurelius.” In his own [...]

George Washington and the Patience of Power

By |2020-03-01T02:47:33-06:00February 21st, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, George Washington, History, Timeless Essays, Virtue, War|

What enabled George Washington to be so different from other victorious commanders? He had little innate patience but held immense power. How—and where—did he learn patience? Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join David Hein, as he considers the virtues that endowed George Washington with perseverance and [...]

When George Washington Hosted Orthodox Christian Friends

By |2020-02-22T19:10:06-06:00February 21st, 2020|Categories: George Washington|

As New Year’s 1788 approached, two Orthodox Christians visiting from London arrived at Mount Vernon to visit George and Martha Washington. This married couple, who were to spend the next few days with the retired General, were an unusual pair with unique transatlantic connections. The husband, John Paradise, spoke ancient and modern Greek, Latin, Turkish, French, [...]

The Well-Read Voter

By |2020-02-12T08:26:36-06:00February 12th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, John Adams, Quotation, Statesman|

The English Constitution is founded, tis bottomed And grounded on the Knowledge and good sense of the People. The very Ground of our Liberties, is the freedom of Elections. Every Man has in Politicks as well as Religion, a Right to think and speak and Act for himself. No man either King or Subject, Clergyman [...]

“They Live Forever in the American Constellation”: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson

By |2020-02-14T23:06:07-06:00February 10th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Declaration of Independence, History, Independence Day, John Adams, Primary Documents, Thomas Jefferson|

Adams and Jefferson are no more. They are dead. But how little is there of the great and good which can die! To their country they yet live, and live for ever. Their stars have now joined the American Constellation. Beneath this illumination let us walk the course of life, and at its close [...]

Donald Trump and Religious Liberty

By |2020-02-07T18:50:14-06:00January 20th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Donald Trump, Government, Liberalism, Politics, Religion, Republicanism|

Many of America’s founders defended religious liberty, believing it grounded on the duty men and women have to worship their Creator. As late as the 1990s, Democrats and Republicans were able to work together to protect that liberty, but unfortunately, the political left has begun to abandon religious freedom. As the 2020 presidential campaign [...]

Impeachment, the End of an Era, and the Conservative Challenge

By |2020-01-14T14:46:46-06:00January 14th, 2020|Categories: Conservatism, Donald Trump, Government, James Madison, Liberalism, Politics|

It is difficult to know when an era has ended. The events dominating the news today—presidential impeachment, deep state subversion of secret surveillance courts, confused and prolonged wars, out-of-control debt and government spending, and a radicalized educational and media culture—suggest something quite profound is threatening American governance. But it is not so clear precisely [...]

“Poison Under Its Wings”: The Constitution and Its Defects

By |2020-01-01T00:00:05-06:00January 1st, 2020|Categories: Alexander Hamilton, American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Freedom, Patrick Henry|

The plan for government that came from the Philadelphia convention was what Patrick Henry referred to as a beautiful butterfly with “poison under its wings.” The parchment barriers erected against monarchy and consolidation, he held, would only be as effective as the force backing them. The beginning of the American political order goes much [...]

Ten Rules for Good Living

By |2019-12-31T22:02:49-06:00December 31st, 2019|Categories: American Founding, Thomas Jefferson, Wisdom|

Thomas Jefferson wrote several lists of advice about the virtuous life to his children, grandchildren, and the children of friends. The final list, which he called “A Decalogue of Canons for observation in practical life,” was sent during his retirement years from his beloved home of Monticello to Thomas Jefferson Smith, the son of [...]