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 [...]

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 [...]

Thomas Jefferson in His Own Words

By |2018-09-23T10:11:31-05:00December 18th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Audio/Video, Conservatism, Declaration of Independence, Featured, Free Markets, Freedom, Thomas Jefferson|

Editor’s Note: We invite you to join Thomas Jefferson (portrayed by Bill Barker) as he explores the remarkable history of the early American Republic and the principles that undergird it. From Jamestown to Plymouth, from the American Revolution to the Louisiana Purchase, the promise of free enterprise has driven the course of human history [...]

Harry Jaffa, Walter Berns, & American Conservatism

By |2019-03-26T17:09:19-05:00November 5th, 2017|Categories: American Republic, Books, Conservatism, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Federalist, Leo Strauss, Patriotism, Russell Kirk|

Historical context, for members of the Straussian school, is “historicism,” a form of moral relativism that believes that there are no fixed truths, only ideas appropriate for their historical moment… Patriotism Is Not Enough: Harry Jaffa, Walter Berns, and the Arguments That Redefined American Conservatism by Steven Hayward (263 pages, Encounter Books, 2016) Dr. Steven [...]

Vindicating the Founders?

By |2019-03-21T10:44:35-05:00November 5th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Conservatism, Declaration of Independence, Equality, History, Liberalism, Slavery|

Conservatives should be troubled by Thomas West's claim that America has always been lib­eral and that the only historical discourse available today is that same liberalism... Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America, by Thomas G. West (211 pages, Rowman and Littlefield, 1997) Thomas West has written a courageous [...]

Harry Jaffa and the Demise of the Old Republic

By |2019-04-07T10:50:06-05:00October 31st, 2017|Categories: American Republic, Conservatism, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Edmund Burke, Featured, Foreign Affairs, History, Political Philosophy, Politics, Tradition|

Harry Jaffa’s constitutional history of America’s late-eighteenth-century is not credible nor, in keeping with many of his own pronouncements, is it conservative… The writing of history, as we have learned from authors as diverse as Thucydides, Voltaire, Nietzsche, Butterfield, Collingwood, and Oakeshott can and has been done in strikingly different ways while serving radically [...]

The Americanization of Conservatism

By |2019-01-07T14:11:26-05:00October 25th, 2017|Categories: Constitution, Culture, Declaration of Independence, Featured, Federalist, History, M. E. Bradford, Russell Kirk, Willmoore Kendall|

We need to develop a fully American variant of conservatism; to advance our understand­ing of the conservative nature of the political traditions we have inherited; and to do so with a dignity that will permit us to stand before God, the American public, and our conservative forebears… In the next century, because of both [...]

What Is Human Dignity?

By |2019-04-25T13:10:10-05:00July 8th, 2017|Categories: American Republic, Declaration of Independence, Immanuel Kant, Peter A. Lawler, Philosophy, Rights|

We display our dignity by imposing our will on nature to create a world where we can live as dignified beings—or not as miserably self-conscious and utterly precarious accidents… As we remember our friend Peter Augustine Lawler (1951–2017), we are proud to publish this selection from his insightful book Modern and American Dignity (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, [...]

Four Things Every American Should Know About Independence Day

By |2017-06-08T12:50:52-05:00July 3rd, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Declaration of Independence, History, Independence Day, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson|

The need for understanding our roots is as timeless as the human story itself and explains why we cling to the Declaration of Independence… Most people know that the Fourth of July—Independence Day—is a celebration of America’s separation from Great Britain. July 4, 1776 marks the beginning of the United States. It’s like our national [...]

“Meeting of Minds”: Cleopatra, Aquinas, Paine, & Teddy Roosevelt

By |2017-06-21T23:52:05-05:00June 21st, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Audio/Video, Declaration of Independence, Natural Law, St. Thomas Aquinas|

Editor's Note: Join host Steve Allen as he welcomes Cleopatra, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Paine, and Theodore Roosevelt to a discussion of questions of enduring significance. Topics include the merits and evils of imperialism, the American Revolution, the possibility of nobility in war, certitude of religious doctrine, and the best form of government. Hear Cleopatra and [...]

The American and French Revolutions Compared

By |2017-05-11T13:58:08-05:00May 7th, 2017|Categories: Alexander Hamilton, American Founding, Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers, History, Revolution, Timeless Essays|

Americans turned to the concrete lessons of history and experience to guide them in securing their liberty. The French, on the other hand, deified Reason above not only experience, but also above religion and divine revelation… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Sean Busick as he explores [...]

Confounding Father: Thomas Jefferson’s Image in His Own Time

By |2019-02-14T12:02:19-05:00April 27th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Declaration of Independence, Featured, History, Thomas Jefferson|

In a certain sense, Thomas Jefferson’s allies and enemies invented him in the years following his resignation from the Washington Administration. To the former, he became something akin to a Second Coming of the Savior, while to the latter, he seemed nothing less than a version of the Anti-Christ… Confounding Father: Thomas Jefferson’s Image [...]

Locating the Tory Tradition in American History

By |2017-03-03T11:22:56-05:00January 4th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Christianity, Declaration of Independence, Featured, History, Revolution|

We ought to locate the basis of American conservatism in our colonial past, at a time when the English Tory variant of the old order of Europe had a real presence in our civilization, and we ought to remember that the old Tory order survived in the American historical tradition despite the Revolution of '76, [...]