The Ravishing Rays of the Glory of Independence

By |2019-06-27T11:11:12-05:00October 30th, 2015|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Declaration of Independence, Featured, John Adams|

Yesterday, the greatest question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was nor will be decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, and as such they have, and of [...]

Are Self-Evident Truths True?

By |2019-09-12T13:52:36-05:00August 2nd, 2015|Categories: American Founding, Declaration of Independence, Featured, Republicanism|

Is there a political philosophy in the Declaration of Independence? One step toward answering this question—not the only step, but from the philosopher’s point of view the most fundamental—is to ask whether the “self-evident truths” of the Declaration are really true after all. Another way of putting it, which I once saw in a [...]

The Declaration of Independence: Translucent Poetry

By |2019-07-03T11:40:10-05:00July 4th, 2015|Categories: American Founding, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, E.B., Eva Brann, Featured, James Madison, Samuel Adams, St. John's College, Thomas Jefferson|

Section I  The Legacy of the Declaration When American schoolchildren first discover that they have a place in the world they sometimes give their addresses a wonderful form. Transformed for our case, it would be: “Proper Name, St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland, the United States of America, the North American continent, the Earth, the Solar [...]

The Gospel of Lincoln

By |2016-07-04T01:02:52-05:00July 1st, 2015|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Featured|Tags: |

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address has achieved a status as American Scripture equaled only by the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and Washington’s Farewell Address. In merely 271 words, the wartime president fused his epoch’s most powerful and disruptive tendencies—nationalism, democratism, and German idealism—into a civil religion indebted to the language of Christianity, but devoid of [...]

A Critique of “The Founders’ Key”

By |2018-09-20T12:36:15-05:00June 27th, 2015|Categories: American Founding, Books, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Featured|

The Founders’ Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It, by Larry P. Arnn. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012. 224 pp. The Founders’ Key by Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, explores the unity between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, criticizes the [...]

A Reading of the Gettysburg Address

By |2019-11-14T12:02:16-06:00March 17th, 2015|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, Alexis de Tocqueville, Civil War, Declaration of Independence, Democracy in America, E.B., Eva Brann, St. John's College|

Liberal education ought to be less a matter of becoming well read than a matter of learning to read well, of acquiring arts of awareness, the interpretative or “trivial” arts. Some works, written by men who are productive masters of these arts, are exemplary for their interpretative application. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is such a [...]

From Mother England to Uncle Sam: An English American Ponders the Fourth of July

By |2016-07-04T01:02:54-05:00July 3rd, 2014|Categories: Declaration of Independence, England, Family, Featured, Joseph Pearce|

Can an Englishman ever be an American? It is a simple enough question, to which, perhaps, there is ultimately a simple enough answer: Yes or no. The problem is that the simple answer begins as a tougher question: Yes or no? And this question is difficult to answer because it raises further questions. What [...]

Declarations, Compacts, and the American Constitutional Tradition

By |2019-07-30T14:47:11-05:00January 5th, 2014|Categories: Bruce Frohnen, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Featured, Mayflower Compact, Politics|

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–Declaration of Independence Having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of [...]

The Imaginary Abe Lincoln

By |2016-07-04T01:02:56-05:00March 15th, 2013|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Featured, Federalist Papers, Joe Sobran|

Abraham Lincoln Harry Jaffa says Jack Kemp and I have been conducting an “uncivil war” over Abraham Lincoln’s character. Well, for my part, I deny it. Kemp called me one of the current “assassins of Lincoln’s character,” which I thought was a little rabid, inasmuch as I had given Lincoln praise as [...]

History of States’ Rights, 1774-1817

By |2020-01-02T12:11:45-06:00February 7th, 2013|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Charles Carroll, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Featured, Federalist Papers, Forrest McDonald|

On the eve of the American Revolution, most American thinkers had embraced the idea of all rights (and, therefore, sovereignty) being inherited.[1] Americans, as brothers and descendents of Englishmen, were entitled to the rights inherited from the English through the development of Anglo-Saxon common law and through the several political battles, such as those witnessed [...]

The Right to Happiness

By |2019-12-26T11:25:10-06:00December 16th, 2012|Categories: Christianity, Declaration of Independence, Featured, Fr. James Schall, Happiness, Rights|Tags: |

An amusing citation from Margaret Thatcher reads: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” The socialists, however, were not the only ones who would run out of other people’s money. Democracies are quite capable of duplicating this feat.

 The question is this: What entitles us to acquire [...]

Equality: Commitment or Ideal?

By |2019-11-18T22:06:07-06:00August 20th, 2012|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Featured, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Politics, Willmoore Kendall|Tags: |

The idea is as old, of course, as that magical first sentence of the Gettysburg Address: “Fourscore and seven years ago our forefathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and”—but here we must begin to underline—”dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Nay, older: Lincoln had [...]

The Declaration of Independence & the Kendall Thesis

By |2019-07-23T14:05:32-05:00August 14th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Featured, M. E. Bradford, Willmoore Kendall|Tags: |

Our collective confusion about the American experience begins at the beginning. Most Americans who think about such questions imagine that they understand the Declaration of Independence, though many of them may be puzzled that it did not (and does not) produce the results one might expect from the commitments which they believe it makes. [...]

Thomas Jefferson & the Declaration of Independence: The Power of a Free People

By |2019-09-12T13:30:35-05:00May 24th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Declaration of Independence, Featured, Political Science Reviewer, Thomas Jefferson|

One of America’s most cherished symbols is the Declaration of Independence and its Promethean author, Thomas Jefferson—a document and a man blurred together by myth… It is not accidental that the Greek word for history (historia) is a derivative of the verb meaning to narrate what one has learnt, for all history is, in [...]