From Union to Empire: Essays in the Jeffersonian Tradition

By |2019-04-12T22:05:33-05:00April 12th, 2019|

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 |2019-04-10T22:39:31-05:00April 10th, 2019|

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 [...]

The Nationalists at the Constitutional Convention

By |2019-04-07T20:53:47-05:00April 7th, 2019|

Had the Nationalists carried the day in 1776 and turned the Continental Congress into a national government, implied powers would have been the normal constitutional practice from the moment of independence… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Nathan Coleman, as he considers the role and legacy [...]

The Articles of Confederation and State Sovereignty

By |2019-03-31T21:32:32-05:00March 31st, 2019|

Article II of the Articles of Confederation codified that one of the purposes of the American Revolution was the protection of state sovereignty, by making state sovereignty a fundamental aspect of the American constitutional order… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Nathan Coleman. The crisis with [...]

The Ethical Center of American Constitutionalism

By |2019-03-25T07:17:52-05:00March 24th, 2019|

The direction that constitutional practice has taken in the past hundred years shows that the Framers’ conception of republican government has passed and the era of populist democracy has arrived. The underlying transformation of the unwritten constitution renders efforts to return to the Framers’ original intent problematic. Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series [...]

A Brief Summary of Traditionalism

By |2019-03-07T16:19:47-05:00March 21st, 2019|

The fundamental Traditionalist principle is that truth, which includes morality, is both knowable and unchanging. But is a traditionalist society possible in today’s day and age? The best way, I have found, to sum up my own views of society and politics is to call myself a Traditionalist. I was rather surprised to learn [...]

Progressivism and Democracy

By |2019-03-10T14:45:13-05:00March 10th, 2019|

Could democratic government solve, or even effectively address, the problems of a modern society? For decades, this question vexed Progressive reformers as they navigated the transformation of the United States from a country of small farms and rural communities to a nation of factories, corporations, and cities. Before the Civil War, Americans never doubted [...]

The Wall: Echoes of a Distant Empire

By |2019-03-03T22:19:09-05:00March 3rd, 2019|

How often have we not seen, even in our own lives, that actions we take to preserve something we cherish end up destroying that which we seek to protect? Patriotism may be the last refuge of a scoundrel, but the desire for security and the yearning for justice are forever the final refuge of [...]

What President Trump Has in Common With President Polk

By |2019-02-15T11:41:08-05:00February 15th, 2019|

If James K. Polk can be credited with adding a huge swath of territory to the American empire, might Donald Trump one day be credited with preserving that long ago victory by reversing the gradual makeover of the southwestern United States? The game of presidential parallels can be endlessly fascinating. Sometimes it can also [...]

Public Opinion in James Bryce’s “The American Commonwealth”

By |2019-02-07T13:02:45-05:00February 7th, 2019|

We see that the creation of one’s own opinions is to a large degree a community affair. According to James Bryce, the individual has a powerful role in crafting a nation’s political discourse, but can only be involved in doing so if they act in concert with others. This neither denies the possibility of conflicting [...]

Lord Acton and the American Civil War

By |2019-02-07T12:32:08-05:00February 7th, 2019|

Lord Acton believed that the wrong side won the American Civil War. Such a judgment could hardly be said to be a minor detail of someone’s historical worldview, yet this judgment has somehow been obscured… “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Among Catholic students of political thought, few figures are more liable [...]

Franklin Pierce, Political Protest, & the Dilemmas of Democracy

By |2019-01-08T23:01:25-05:00January 8th, 2019|

Franklin Pierce’s suspicions reflected a tension within the antebellum Democratic Party in relation to slavery—how can we reconcile an advocacy of democratic decision-making with the existence of transcendent moral values, the Constitution with the Bible? On the stump in New Boston, New Hampshire in early January 1852, Franklin Pierce gave a long oration during [...]

Versailles at 100

By |2018-12-31T12:59:10-05:00January 1st, 2019|

The Great War, in Woodrow Wilson’s view, had to become precisely what the delegates to the Congress of Vienna feared: a moral crusade, an instrument of social and political revolution… For American president Woodrow Wilson, the First World War was the “war to end all wars” by making “the world safe for democracy,” not [...]