Manifest Destiny and the American Nimrods

By |2018-11-30T22:04:59-05:00November 30th, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, History, Nationalism, Politics, Revolution, Social Order, Tyranny|

Standing with his father as they watched the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, eight-year-old John Quincy Adams must have wondered in amazement at the bloody and brutal nobility of it all. And, what must he have thought as he traveled from one European seat of government to another as his father attempted to [...]

Harmony and Order: Giving Thanks

By |2018-11-23T23:30:14-05:00November 21st, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Living, Community, First Amendment, Leisure, Mayflower Compact, Thanksgiving|

In a season of disharmony, discord, distrust, and disorder, it is often painful to stop, to pause, and to give oneself distance enough to consider what must be recognized as good, and true, and beautiful, even in what seems a cesspool of existence. To give thanks, though, is not only necessary, it is salubrious! In [...]

The Other Founders: The Legacy of Anti-Federalism

By |2019-05-09T11:36:13-05:00November 1st, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Constitution, Democracy, Featured, Federalism, John Taylor of Caroline|

To a very great extent, it was the Anti-Federalists, through their rhetoric and writings, who kept alive the spirit of localism and salvaged the great ideal of limited government inherited from the Revolution... The Other Founders: Anti-Federalism and the Dissenting Tradition in America, 1788-1828 by Saul Cornell (University of North Carolina Press, 1999) The Anti-Federalists who [...]

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 [...]

George Washington: Indispensable Man

By |2018-10-28T21:48:22-05:00October 28th, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Character, George Washington, Timeless Essays|

George Washington was acutely aware that he had become a legend in his time, a true myth, and he recognized that the presidency made possible the institutionalization of the role he had been playing. That is to say, he endowed the presidency with the capacity—and the awesome responsibility—to serve as the symbol of the nation, [...]

What Is Still American in the Thought of Thomas Jefferson?

By |2018-09-04T14:31:32-05:00September 5th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Conservatism, History, Thomas Jefferson|

Thomas Jefferson’s glowing appraisal of the average person’s moral impulse and acceptance of Lockean social-compact theory as the best basis of an operative political philosophy naturally led him to another of his key political principles: federalism... Asked fifty or one hundred years ago, Americans would have identified Thomas Jefferson as a great hero, perhaps the great hero, of American [...]

John Randolph in His Own Words

By |2019-05-25T14:34:57-05:00August 7th, 2018|Categories: Books, Conservatism, History, John Randolph of Roanoke, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

Collected Letters of John Randolph of Roanoke to Dr. John Brockenbrough, 1812-1833, edited by Kenneth Shorey (157 pages, Transaction Books, 1988) Planter, statesman, orator, and diplomat, John Randolph of Roanoke (1773-1833) stands out as one of the most fascinating characters ever to strut across the stage of American politics. Born to one of the [...]

The Americanization of James Iredell

By |2019-05-09T10:30:25-05:00August 3rd, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, M. E. Bradford, Politics|

James Iredell’s careful apologia for the American cause—a teaching which he developed in a series of essays and public letters written from 1773-1778—clearly contains a foreshadowing of what he thought should be in a constitution for the United States… James Iredell was born at Lewes, Sussex County, England. He was the eldest of the [...]

Was Thomas Jefferson a Philosopher?

By |2019-03-23T07:33:25-05:00July 9th, 2018|Categories: American Founding, Declaration of Independence, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, Philosophy, St. John's College, Thomas Jefferson|

Thomas Jefferson is a kind of incarnate compendium of the Enlightenment. His remarkable openness to its spirit is the philosophical counterpart to his political sensitivity in making himself “a passive auditor of the opinions of others,” so as to catch the “harmonizing sentiments of the day” and to incorporate them into a document that [...]

“Foundations of the Republic”: The Declaration of Independence

By |2019-05-09T10:30:15-05:00July 4th, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Declaration of Independence, Freedom, History, Presidency|

The Declaration of Independence is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for [...]

The Fourth of July: An Englishman’s Perspective

By |2018-07-04T11:37:26-05:00July 3rd, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, England, Independence Day, Joseph Pearce|

Many moons ago, for this very journal, I wrote an essay entitled “Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving,” offering an Englishman’s perspective on the singularly American feast that ushers in the holiday season. In that article I compared my enthusiasm for Thanksgiving with “my relative indifference to the Fourth of July:” What is an Englishman, living [...]

A Healthy Respect for Limits: Recovering the American Founding

By |2019-03-26T16:43:59-05:00July 2nd, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Declaration of Independence, Independence Day, Mark Malvasi|

The Founding Fathers and their heirs wanted to establish and maintain a prosperous republic, yet they welcomed limitations on prosperity as much as they had welcomed restraints on power. This healthy respect for limits offers a way to recover the political and moral realism that contemporary Americans have lost… Somewhere I recall reading the [...]

Can the President Pardon Himself?

By |2019-04-25T15:39:35-05:00July 1st, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Government, Presidency, Sean Busick|

  It used to be a fundamental article of faith among American conservatives that the Constitution can only be understood in the context of the Founders’ original intentions. So, is it reasonable to believe that the Founders intended a president to have the power to pardon himself? The Constitution gives the president “Power to [...]