Is America Still Exceptional After the Coronavirus Crisis?

By |2020-05-31T16:11:11-05:00May 31st, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Barack Obama, Coronavirus, Politics|

A recent commentary suggests that American exceptionalism has been shattered by the COVID-19 crisis. If we are indeed left “shattered” and “battered” by a mere virus and our response to it, the rest of the world may one day wish that an exceptional America was still on hand to deal with forces seeking to [...]

What Might a Federalist Paper “No. 86” Have Looked Like?

By |2020-05-29T16:38:12-05:00May 29th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Federalist Papers, Imagination, Modernity, Virtue, Wisdom|

To the People of the State of New York: Having previously exposed the unfailing dangers of Faction, the more pernicious and enticing danger of Efficiency may be revealed. Indeed, Efficiency, properly ordered as a servant, aids humanity in frugality. An efficient farmer may feed more people; an efficient merchant may employ more people; an [...]

Bailing Out the Academic Fleet?

By |2020-05-27T01:46:24-05:00May 26th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Coronavirus, David Deavel, Economics, Politics, Senior Contributors|

Many of us who work in higher education are aware that we are working on boats that are not only “academically adrift,” but which have been leaking furiously for years. Given the demographics and the broader economic devastation wrought by our foolish response to the Coronavirus, it is unlikely that even a bailout will [...]

American Foreign Policy and the Failure of Reason

By |2020-05-27T01:47:41-05:00May 26th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Democracy, Foreign Affairs, Government, Politics|

The recent failures of American foreign policy are not simply errors in prudential judgment. There is something deeper bubbling underneath American culture that led our elites to launch misguided military crusades to promote democracy in the Middle East and to engage in other imperial adventures. Writing recently in Spectator USA, the estimable Dan McCarthy [...]

Andrew Jackson and the Second Bank of the United States

By |2020-05-24T17:30:27-05:00May 24th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, History, Politics, Senior Contributors|

Even though President Andrew Jackson’s announcement that he was the embodiment of the American people was populist, demagogic, authoritarian, and absolutely in violation of the spirit of the U.S. Constitution, his views on the Second Bank of the United States most certainly embodied the views of the average American. By the end of 1819, [...]

The Divisions & Trade Wars Leading Up to the Monroe Doctrine

By |2020-05-21T14:25:21-05:00May 21st, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Economics, England, Free Trade, History, Senior Contributors|

Even though President James Monroe could not fix the economy or dismiss the Missouri question, he could certainly distract the nation from its problems. In his second inaugural address, he gleefully announced a new target for American anger: The British were not allowing free trade between the United States and the English-occupied West Indies. [...]

To Faithfully Follow ‘Roe’: How ‘Roe v. Wade’ Now Protects Human Life

By |2020-05-21T00:18:43-05:00May 20th, 2020|Categories: Abortion, American Republic, Compassion, Constitution|

As a majority of states have rejected the application of capital punishment in certain cases, United States law has moved toward mercy, away from cruelty. Consensus about human dignity and the inception of human life now calls for a similar move at the beginning of life. Just Mercy In his book Just Mercy, attorney Bryan [...]

The First and Second Banks of the United States

By |2020-05-19T14:21:25-05:00May 19th, 2020|Categories: Alexander Hamilton, American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Economic History, Economics, History, Senior Contributors|

The First Bank of the United States influenced much more than mere economics. Many scholars indeed believe that divisions caused by the Bank led to the creation of the first real political divisions in the country. By the standards set by the Second Bank of the United States, the First Bank was tame. The [...]

The Forgotten American System

By |2020-05-18T18:24:30-05:00May 18th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Economic History, Economics, Free Trade, History, Politics, Republicanism|

Many people are unfamiliar with the “American System,” the policy of protection as the bulwark of industrial independence, and the foundation of American development and prosperity. A return to the American System would be a major step toward increasing prosperity and restoring the traditional social order in the United States. When Donald Trump spoke [...]

Religious Liberty in an Age of Pandemic

By |2020-05-16T20:17:34-05:00May 16th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Constitution, First Amendment, Freedom, Liberty, Politics, Religion|

Is our nation witnessing a soft form of religious persecution beneath the cloak of public health? I pray and hope that this is not the case and that governments, preventing the free exercise of religion, will reverse course and allow church leaders to reopen their doors to once again proceed with the most essential [...]

The Monroe Doctrine

By |2020-05-18T15:15:33-05:00May 15th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Europe, Foreign Affairs, History, John Quincy Adams, Senior Contributors|

In his ideas regarding American foreign policy, James Monroe echoed both Washington and Jefferson, yet he had to worry about things neither of them did—in particular, European involvement in the affairs of the republics of the Western Hemisphere. His policy needed to follow the diplomatic thought of the previous administrations while also adapting to [...]

The Enterprising Colony: The Settling of Jamestown

By |2020-05-14T16:40:43-05:00May 13th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Economics, Freedom, History, Jamestown|

In the early seventeenth century, gentlemen adventurers and common tradesmen voyaged to Jamestown and established the first permanent English settlement in North America. They were free and independent Englishmen who risked their lives and fortunes to brave the dangers of the New World for personal profit and the glory of England. […]

President James Monroe and Republican Virtue

By |2020-05-11T10:00:26-05:00May 11th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Character, Government, History, Senior Contributors|

Whatever his failings as an imaginative thinker, President James Monroe’s own convictions were rooted deeply in the spirit and the letter of the U.S. Constitution. As he entered the White House in March 1817, he had little (well, less) use for James Madison’s newfound love of nationalism. While he entered the presidency too late [...]

A Republic If You Can Keep It: Religion, Civil Society, & America’s Founding

By |2020-05-09T10:32:18-05:00May 9th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Civil Society, Morality, Religion, Virtue|

Though civil libertarians rightly point out the dangers of an unchecked government, they blissfully ignore the dangers of an unchecked, unrestrained populace. It is thus worthwhile to return to the founders and examine what role they desired religion and morality to play in their new Republic. The story goes that as Benjamin Franklin departed [...]