The Spirit of American Constitutionalism

By |2019-04-18T13:23:20-05:00September 24th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Edmund Burke, Featured, Federalist Papers, John Dickinson, Timeless Essays|

The Constitution described by the Letters of Fabius is a model of prudence and moderation, based not primarily on theoretical arguments, but on experience and an extensive knowledge of history… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Gregory S. Ahern as he explores how John Dickinson’s Fabius Letters influenced the Constitutional [...]

Our First Constitution: The Articles of Confederation

By |2018-11-09T12:51:11-05:00November 13th, 2015|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, John Dickinson|

Editor’s Note: On November 15, 1777, the Articles of Confederation were adopted by the Second Continental Congress as the proposed frame of government for the new United States of America. Though not formerly enacted until March 1, 1781, when all thirteen states ratified them (Maryland being the last), the Articles served as the de facto system [...]

A Better Guide than Reason: The Politics of John Dickinson

By |2016-11-16T08:17:44-05:00October 28th, 2015|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Christendom, Featured, John Dickinson, M. E. Bradford|Tags: |

Of all the men significantly involved in the major events leading up to and following from the American Revolution none has been so undeservedly neglected by our political historians as the mysterious John Dickinson. The oversight would seem on its face unlikely. For this planter and prototypical Philadelphia lawyer is as complicated and intellectually [...]

John Dickinson: First Patron of American Independence

By |2015-03-18T08:09:52-05:00March 18th, 2015|Categories: American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, John Dickinson|

Viscounted Foolishness When the Rockingham ministry fell in 1766, one of the most powerful figures to give voice to taxing the Americans, Charles Townshend, emerged. Attempting to bypass America’s extreme reservations regarding internal laws and taxation without representation, the Viscount managed to get three laws through the British government: 1) the American Board of [...]

The Anti-Jefferson: John Dickinson

By |2015-05-17T08:36:12-05:00February 11th, 2014|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, John Dickinson, St. John's College, Wilfred McClay|Tags: |

The Cost of Liberty: The Life of John Dickinson by William Murchison Few habits of speech and thought inhibit our appreciation of those who created the United States of America more than our tendency to refer to them as “the Founders.” Not that the Founders do not form an identifiable group, and not that they are undeserving [...]

Mr. Dickinson or Professor Middlekauff?

By |2015-01-07T09:58:06-05:00January 14th, 2014|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, John Dickinson|

Though I’m only about 200 pages into Robert Middlekauff’s massive 1982 history of the American founding, The Glorious Cause, I’m willing to take a chance and label it not just a “good book” but a “great book.” Middlekauff not only possesses sheer mastery over the era—as though he lived in it—but he’s never afraid [...]

Most Underrated Founder: John Dickinson

By |2017-01-09T13:23:15-05:00June 18th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Constitutional Convention, Forrest McDonald, John Dickinson|

Having studied eighteenth-century America all our adult lives, we are prepared to offer a generalization: the more one learns about the subject, the less prone one becomes to make categorical statements. Who were the first to resist British encroachments upon American liberties? who were the most important figures in bringing about independence? what were [...]

The Spirit of American Constitutionalism: The Fabius Letters

By |2019-04-07T10:52:19-05:00May 12th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Fabius, Featured, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Dickinson|Tags: |

Though virtually ignored by scholars in recent decades, John Dickinson was one of the most influential of the American Founders. When he entered the Pennsylvania State House in May 1787, as Delaware’s delegate to the Constitutional Convention, he was one of the most knowledgeable and experienced statesmen to attend the Grand Convention. Colonial legislator, [...]

A Look at One of Our Lost Founders

By |2017-07-12T23:25:22-05:00August 1st, 2010|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Featured, John Dickinson, John Willson, Politics|

This handsome man is not one of the better known faces of the era that some people, for reasons that vary, like to call our “Founding” as a “Nation.” He died on February 14, 1808, and since then has inspired two (!) biographies—one by Charles Stille in 1891, the other by Milton Flower in [...]