Three Mistakes the Founders Made

By |2016-06-11T09:34:04-05:00June 1st, 2016|Categories: 10th Amendment, American Founding, American Republic, Benjamin Franklin, Bradley J. Birzer, Constitution, Featured|

By any objective standard, it would be difficult to claim that the Constitution really matters at any practical level in the United States. At a symbolic level, it still means a great deal. But, what a disconnect: that it matters so much in our minds and language but that it means nothing in our day-to-day [...]

The Project of Moral Perfection

By |2020-06-11T12:49:40-05:00January 17th, 2016|Categories: Benjamin Franklin, Morality, Virtue|

The American Founders considered the cultivation of virtue essential to the survival of the republic. The following is excerpted from Franklin’s Autobiography, on which he worked between 1771 and 1790, but which was not published in English in its complete form until 1868. Below, we have maintained faithfulness to the original text. It was about [...]

A Better Constitution

By |2019-04-11T11:27:55-05:00September 17th, 2015|Categories: American Founding, Benjamin Franklin, Constitutional Convention|

Mr. President I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them: For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which [...]

Blind Benjamin Franklin

By |2020-08-12T23:52:15-05:00May 2nd, 2015|Categories: Benjamin Franklin, Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Religion|

Even today, many Americans take an intentionally anti-intellectual stance, agreeing with the rationalists that faith and reason are incompatible. Blind Benjamin Franklin is father to them all. Apart from his rejection of wigs and the incident with the kite, the key and the lightning bolt, I’m afraid I have never been impressed or attracted to [...]

Benjamin Franklin & George Washington: Symbols or Lawmakers?

By |2021-03-07T17:18:31-06:00August 25th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Benjamin Franklin, Constitution, Constitutional Convention, George Washington, Political Science Reviewer|

Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, uniquely, have been lionized as merely “lending their names” to the founding. But at least one of these two greatest Americans of the eighteenth century was indeed a lawmaker and not merely a symbol in the Constitutional Convention. The title of this essay gives away its complete content, without suggesting [...]

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