The Declaration of Independence: Translucent Poetry

By |2019-07-03T21:24:51-05:00July 3rd, 2019|Categories: American Founding, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, James Madison, Samuel Adams, St. John's College, Thomas Jefferson|

The Declaration of Independence, intended as an expression of the common opinion, is truly a text of "right opinion," a benign practical text which also has a peculiarly sound relation to the realm of thought. Section I:  The Legacy of the Declaration When American schoolchildren first discover that they have a place in the world they [...]

American Eden: The Rise and Fall of New World Man

By |2019-07-02T16:45:32-05:00June 30th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Federalist Papers, James Madison, Literature, Mark Malvasi, Thomas Jefferson, Timeless Essays|

Americans transcribed the Edenic myth and heralded the supremacy of the New World over the Old. Yet, many could not suppress the fear that they were already losing their sense of purity, innocence, and power, and would in time come face to face with the disappointments of history, the sorrows of the human condition, [...]

Madison’s “Memorial and Remonstrance”: A Jewel of Republican Rhetoric

By |2019-02-25T14:35:16-05:00October 29th, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, E.B., Eva Brann, Freedom of Religion, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, James Madison, St. John's College|

The document entitled “To the Honorable the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, A Memorial and Remonstrance” is a jewel of republican rhetoric.[1] Nor has this choice example of American eloquence gone without notice. And yet, compared to the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address, it has remained obscure—more often quarried for stately [...]

What the ACLU Gets Wrong About the Separation of Church & State

By |2019-05-09T11:08:12-05:00December 11th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Christianity, Faith, History, James Madison, Politics, Thomas Jefferson|

America’s Founders did not want Congress to establish a national church, and many opposed establishments at the state level as well. Yet there was virtually no support for the sort of separation of church and state promoted today by organizations such as the ACLU… In Everson v. Board of Education (1947), Justice Wiley Rutledge proclaimed that [...]

James Madison: A Son of Virginia & a Founder of the Nation

By |2019-06-05T17:14:38-05:00December 8th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Books, Conservatism, Featured, History, James Madison, Religion|

Jeff Broadwater’s biography of James Madison reminds readers of the necessity of a free people to keep their rulers inside the limits of their authority as determined by the people, who are the ultimate sovereigns. Letting leaders roam outside the borders of the consent given by the governed will only end in tyranny. James Madison: A [...]

Was James Madison an Opponent of Democracy?

By |2018-08-17T18:15:31-05:00September 3rd, 2017|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Featured, Federalist Papers, James Madison, Timeless Essays|

What made James Madison unique among his generation and has subsequently made his legacy invaluable… was his commitment to the “sacred fire of liberty” and his steadfast refusal to abandon either his republican commitment to popular participation or his liberal commitments to justice and the protection of individual rights… Today’s offering in our Timeless [...]

The Foreign Policy of George Washington

By |2018-02-04T23:30:13-05:00August 20th, 2017|Categories: Alexander Hamilton, American Founding, Constitution, Featured, Federalist Papers, George Washington, James Madison, War|

The war between France and Great Britain was the first major crisis faced by the country under the new Constitution. It was a test that the Washington Administration helped the nation pass with flying colors… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Gary J. Schmitt as he explores [...]

The Sacred Fire of Liberty: James Madison and the Founding

By |2017-08-15T22:20:43-05:00August 15th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Books, History, James Madison|

Lance Banning’s portrayal of James Madison as a son of the Virginia piedmont, consistent advocate of states’ rights, and strict constructionist does much to aid our understanding of the Father of the Constitution… The Sacred Fire of Liberty: James Madison and the Founding of the Federal Republic by Lance Banning (Cornell University Press, 1995) [...]

James Madison & the Compound Republic

By |2017-09-08T12:21:03-05:00May 28th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Featured, James Madison, Kevin Gutzman, Timeless Essays|

A devoted American nationalist, James Madison often knowingly worked backstage to make the United States more national—less federal—than his fellow Virginians were willing to endure… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Kevin Gutzman as he examines the complex role James Madison played in the American Founding.  —W. Winston [...]

American Eden: The Rise and Fall of New World Man

By |2019-07-02T16:50:31-05:00March 12th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Featured, Federalist Papers, James Madison, Literature, Mark Malvasi, Thomas Jefferson|

Americans transcribed the Edenic myth and heralded the supremacy of the New World over the Old. Yet, many could not suppress the fear that they were already losing their sense of purity, innocence, and power, and would in time come face to face with the disappointments of history, the sorrows of the human condition, and [...]

James Madison & the Dynamics of the Constitutional Convention

By |2017-03-23T19:44:14-05:00January 29th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Constitution, Featured, James Madison, Timeless Essays|

No one came to the Convention with his thought more thoroughly in order than James Madison. His participation in the framing was the challenge he required in order to produce a democratic classic… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Lance Banning as he studies the role James Madison [...]

Should We Trust James Madison?

By |2016-08-25T16:46:41-05:00July 13th, 2016|Categories: American Founding, Constitution, Featured, History, James Madison|

James Madison has long been treated as a neutral authority on early American history, a kind of Great Sage of, among other things, the U.S. Constitution. Thus, in a notable book on the ratification campaign of 1787-90—during which the states agreed to live under the Philadelphia Convention’s handiwork—a prominent historian said that the best way [...]

Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments

By |2016-07-15T23:11:41-05:00June 24th, 2016|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Featured, Founding Document, Freedom, Freedom of Religion, James Madison, Liberty, Statesman|

Editor’s Note: On June 20, 1785, as a member of the Virginia legislature, James Madison authored the following essay. It was meant to serve as a petition expressing opposition to the idea that Virginia’s citizens should be taxed to support the state’s clergymen—a proposal that Patrick Henry had put forward. The success of Madison’s petition, which [...]

What “The Federalist” Really Says

By |2019-03-16T10:18:31-05:00June 13th, 2016|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, American Founding, American Republic, Equality, Featured, Federalist, Federalist Papers, James Madison, John Locke, Willmoore Kendall|

III In his analysis of the Socrates of the Apology, Willmoore Kendall was hinting strongly at the probability that the contemporary John Stuart Mill-Karl Popper school in the United States is using the argument of the purist open society as an instrument or weapon to unhinge the existing orthodoxy, not for the alleged purpose [...]