In Honor of Mr. Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday

By |2021-04-13T11:02:20-05:00April 13th, 2021|Categories: Clyde Wilson, Russell Kirk, Thomas Jefferson, W. Winston Elliott III|

Here are recommended essays regarding Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) on The Imaginative Conservative: Looking for Mr. Jefferson by Clyde Wilson Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday by Clyde Wilson The Jeffersonian Conservative Tradition by Clyde Wilson Thomas Jefferson, Conservative by Clyde Wilson From Union to Empire by W. Winston Elliott III Was Thomas Jefferson a Philosopher? by Eva Brann [...]

Music in the Life of Thomas Jefferson

By |2021-04-12T18:33:25-05:00April 12th, 2021|Categories: Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors, Thomas Jefferson|

Music held a notable place within Thomas Jefferson's cultured and humanistic life—a point reinforced by his insistence on having music instruction at his newly founded University of Virginia. This shows the importance Jefferson placed on music in the life of the mind, just as his involvement with music throughout his life enhances his image as [...]

George Washington and the “Gift of Silence”

By |2021-02-20T21:04:00-06:00February 21st, 2021|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, George Washington, Leadership, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Timeless Essays|

George Washington, the great actor, was playing his part in a great drama, not just for Americans of his day, but for you and me. Washington, the Stoic, used his “gift of silence” shrewdly, and surely it is his actions more than his words that echo down to us today. In December 2009, a letter [...]

James Otis, Then and Now

By |2021-01-18T15:38:58-06:00January 18th, 2021|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, History, Politics, Rights, Senior Contributors|

Going back to the first principles of the Founding, one finds that the Founders talked unceasingly about rights. Rights language became a critical part of the cultural landscape when James Otis delivered his oration on the nature of rights, the common law, and the natural law. Feel free to call me a conservative (I won’t [...]

George Washington Resigns His Military Commission

By |2020-12-28T11:27:17-06:00December 22nd, 2020|Categories: American Founding, George Washington, History|

John Trumbull, who would memorialize this great event in a painting which—commissioned in 1817 by Congress—now hangs in the United States Capitol Rotunda, called Washington’s resignation “one of the highest moral lessons ever given to the world.” In an example of unrivaled statesmanship, General George Washington resigned his military commission at the State House in [...]

What Is Patriotic Education?

By |2020-10-12T09:07:17-05:00October 11th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Education, History, Liberal Learning, Patriotism|

Patriotic education is less about the specific curricular concepts that are featured in American history classes, and more about a philosophical stance that informs our approach, one full of explicit values and assumptions. It involves an audacious faith in America and tells the whole story of our past, which includes the bad with the good. [...]

John Calvin and the American Republic

By |2020-10-01T15:44:28-05:00October 2nd, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Christianity, Government, History, Protestant Reformation|

John Calvin’s theology, as well as his influence on the civil government of Geneva, significantly influenced the founding of the United States. The Founding Fathers understood well the wisdom of Calvin’s teaching that original sin sometimes necessitated resisting tyrants and limiting the power of civil government, and were thus prepared when the time came to [...]

America Must Return to the Noble Traditions of Her Founders

By |2020-12-03T13:36:18-06:00September 27th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, History, Politics, Slavery|

That it is the founding principles themselves to which we can turn to recover from the great evils of slavery, of the loss of virtue and moral standard, and of grotesque dehumanization should be a measure of the gratitude we owe to our Founding Fathers for their magnificent achievement. Robert R. Reilly is the author [...]

Madison’s “Extended Republic” and the Culture Wars

By |2020-09-16T13:58:33-05:00September 16th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Culture War, Government, James Madison, Politics|

Centering our national politics on the culture wars is unhelpful because in the end it simply is not cut out for this. The optimal jurisdictional sphere for resolving many of our cultural battles will be localities, not states. Localities must be empowered boldly to operate and experiment within the immense gray areas that the questions [...]

The Indispensable Legacy of Gouverneur Morris

By |2020-09-15T11:01:27-05:00September 16th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Constitution Day, Founding Document, History|

The role Gouverneur Morris played in the Miracle at Philadelphia is one that is often cropped out of the greater American Story. However, based on James Madison’s detailed account of the proceedings of the Convention, Morris has had a much greater impact on American political institutions than what Americans give him credit for. The American [...]

Jefferson Against Conformity, 1945-1960

By |2020-08-10T16:02:14-05:00August 7th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, History, Politics, Senior Contributors, Thomas Jefferson|

Thomas Jefferson, many scholars have thought, represented the ideal of human individualism and personality, a renaissance man who struggled mightily against mediocrity. In the spirit of Jefferson, an individual can reach his own unique potential by properly pursuing a liberal education. Though perhaps odd to our ears in 2020, the time period dealt with in [...]

The Foundering of the American Republic

By |2020-08-06T08:07:27-05:00August 6th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Christianity, Declaration of Independence, Modernity, Politics|

So, if Robert R. Reilly is correct in his analysis and assessment of the American Founding in his book “America on Trial,” where did the American experiment in ordered liberty go wrong? I would suggest that the problem is neither progressivism nor its philosophical antecedent historicism, baleful as they both might be. Rather, it is [...]

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, edited [...]

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