American Founding

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 Liberty Reconsidered

By |2019-07-03T10:19:44-05:00July 3rd, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Independence Day, Lee Cheek, Liberty, Senior Contributors|

The continued success of our nation is dependent upon a recovery of our appreciation of liberty, a return to the original division of government power as prescribed by the Constitution, and a renewal of personal responsibility for perpetuating the regime. As we celebrate American Independence, it is appropriate to reflect upon the foundations of [...]

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, [...]

The Early Church & the Origins of Religious Liberty

By |2019-06-29T00:08:57-05:00June 28th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, Christianity, Freedom of Religion, Politics, Religion|

From Tertullian, a North African Christian writer of the early third century, to the Reformation, there is a significant Christian tradition that affirms religious freedom. Tertullian The origin story of religious liberty commonly cited in college courses and museums, informed by proponents of the so-called Whig view of history, goes something like [...]

Barrett Wendell and New England Orderly Idealism

By |2019-06-26T10:32:44-05:00June 25th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, History, Tradition|

Long after Barrett Wendell’s death, an elderly George Santayana remembered his former Harvard colleague fondly. “We were on the same side of the barricade.” Both he and Wendell loved the College with all its quirky traditions and sought to protect it from the academic innovations of President Charles Eliot. “We both desired to screen [...]

Three Cheers for the Articles of Confederation

By |2019-06-16T21:56:11-05:00June 16th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Constitution, Timeless Essays|

That we remember the Articles of Confederation poorly has far more to do with the ultimate success of American nationalists than it does with actual failure or success of the Articles themselves… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Bradley J. Birzer, as he reconsiders the legacy [...]

Who Was Philip Ludwell III?

By |2019-06-13T21:55:21-05:00June 13th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, Christianity, Faith|

Philip Ludwell III is the first known convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity in the Americas. He was a prominent figure in pre-revolutionary Virginia and a relative by blood or marriage of many great early figures in American history, from George Washington to Richard Henry Lee of the great Lee family of Virginia. The scion [...]

John Randolph of Roanoke & the Formation of a Southern Conservatism

By |2019-05-23T22:19:37-05:00May 23rd, 2019|Categories: American Founding, Civil Society, Conservatism, Economics, History, John Randolph of Roanoke, South|

John Randolph of Roanoke, one of the great exponents of the Southern political tradition, knew that what was proper to any state government was the preservation of the received order. The duty of the citizen of the commonwealth was to resist any legislative or constitutional changes to the received order, and to grant a [...]

Political Parties During the American Founding Era?

By |2019-04-25T10:48:28-05:00April 22nd, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, History, Politics, Senior Contributors|

Contrary to the vast majority of my fellow scholars of American history, I have never found the account of the creation of political parties in the Founding Era and Early Republic to be credible. Admittedly, my position is one of an extremely small minority, so I do not mean to suggest that historians are ready [...]

Ten Rules for Good Living

By |2019-09-02T10:53:04-05:00April 12th, 2019|Categories: Thomas Jefferson|

Editor's Note: 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 [...]

From Union to Empire: Essays in the Jeffersonian Tradition

By |2019-08-30T10:51:24-05:00April 12th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Clyde Wilson, Republicanism, Thomas Jefferson, Timeless Essays, W. Winston Elliott III|

From Union to Empire: Essays in the Jeffersonian Tradition by Clyde N. Wilson (356 pages, The Foundation for American Education, 2003) Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Publisher W. Winston Elliott III, as he considers a classic collection of essays about the Jeffersonian tradition. —Stephen M. [...]

Maryland’s 1867 State Constitution, Among the Oldest in Use Today

By |2019-08-30T11:20:34-05:00April 10th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, Constitution, History|

Maryland has one of the oldest state constitutions in use today, as well as one of the longest Declarations of Rights. As such, it provides both the historian and constitutional scholar much to occupy their time. A detailed study of the rights of Maryland’s citizens will be time well spent. Maryland is the seventh [...]