In Defense of the Old Republic: The Problem of the Imperial Presidency

By |2020-11-20T09:41:32-06:00November 15th, 2020|Categories: Constitutional Convention, Featured, Federalist Papers, George W. Carey, Government, Presidency, Timeless Essays|Tags: |

The dangers associated with the imperial presidency are compounded by an awareness that, while new and more expansive theories of executive authority are seriously advanced, the office is not attracting individuals of high moral and intellectual character. The Philadelphia Constitution may be dead, but the basic problems which troubled the Framers—e.g., preserving the rule of [...]

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 efficient [...]

Publius on the Relation of the Federal Government to the States

By |2020-03-27T08:30:36-05:00August 8th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Federalist Papers, Government, History, James Madison, Politics|

James Madison wrote in “The Federalist” that the Constitution puts the states to the test: The stronger federal government will inaugurate a kind of competition in good government, breaking the states’ monopolies. Having founded republican regimes in America, regimes animated by respect for the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God as enunciated in their [...]

American Eden: The Rise and Fall of New World Man

By |2020-04-03T00:07:31-05:00June 30th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Federalist Papers, James Madison, Literature, Mark Malvasi, Thomas Jefferson, Timeless Essays|

Americans transcribed the Edenic myth and heralded the supremacy of the New World over the Old. Yet, many could not suppress the fear that they were already losing their sense of purity, innocence, and power, and would in time come face to face with the disappointments of history, the sorrows of the human condition, and [...]

The Ethical Center of American Constitutionalism

By |2020-09-16T23:39:24-05:00March 24th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Democracy, Federalist Papers, Modernity, Timeless Essays|

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. Much has been written in the past century [...]

History on Proper Principles: The Legacy of Forrest McDonald

By |2019-09-24T15:31:53-05:00January 7th, 2019|Categories: Alexander Hamilton, American Founding, American Republic, Federalist Papers, Forrest McDonald, History, Literature, Timeless Essays|

Forrest McDonald demonstrated that the historian above all must be a pragmatist who looks at the reality of the past as it was, who gets his hands dirty by putting in long hours of research, who makes sense of vast quantities of data, and who then communicates what he has found in an understandable and [...]

A Popular Defense of Our Undemocratic Constitution

By |2020-03-03T17:23:15-06:00October 28th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Constitution, Democracy, Electoral College, Federalism, Federalist Papers, Wyoming Catholic College|

If we consider the Founders’ arguments for the Constitution, we find not only that they intended it to be undemocratic, but that they would defend even its most undemocratic elements on “popular” grounds. What might appear to the partisans of democracy today as outdated roadblocks to efficient government are for the Founders politically salutary forms [...]

The Tyranny of the Present Moment

By |2018-10-25T16:13:42-05:00November 15th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Featured, Federalist Papers, Glenn Arbery, Liberal Learning, Progressivism, Wyoming Catholic College|

The Founders saw their historical moment in terms that transcended the moment… Recently, Wyoming Catholic College hosted its first public lecture of the Annual Lecture Series, featuring Dr. R.J. Pestritto of Hillsdale College who spoke on “Progressivism, Political Philosophy, and the American Political Tradition.” This year’s students, all of them dressed in their formal best, [...]

How Conservatives & Liberals View The Federalist

By |2019-05-02T11:04:48-05:00November 9th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Conservatism, Constitution, Featured, Federalist, Federalist Papers, History, Liberal|

In The Federalist, Publius writes of “new” and “improved” “principles” of the “science of politics,” and he urges his countrymen to abandon the classical teachings concerning the possibilities of republican government over an extensive territory… Conservatives—American and otherwise—have always held The Federalist in extremely high regard. Virtually all would agree with Clinton Rossiter that it stands with the Declaration [...]

Promised Land, Crusader State: U.S. Foreign Policy Since 1776

By |2021-02-01T14:48:55-06:00September 28th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Christianity, Federalist Papers, George Washington, History, Jamestown, National Security|

During her first century, America’s foreign policy closely guarded her place as a holy land, set apart from the wicked Old World. The purpose of foreign policy was to keep the corrupt outer world from shaping our nation. Who are we, we Americans? Are we champions of liberty, both civil and religious, both at home [...]

The Spirit of American Constitutionalism

By |2019-04-18T13:23:20-05:00September 24th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Edmund Burke, Featured, Federalist Papers, John Dickinson, Timeless Essays|

The Constitution described by the Letters of Fabius is a model of prudence and moderation, based not primarily on theoretical arguments, but on experience and an extensive knowledge of history… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Gregory S. Ahern as he explores how John Dickinson’s Fabius Letters influenced the Constitutional Convention. —W. [...]

Was James Madison an Opponent of Democracy?

By |2021-03-15T15:33:23-05:00September 3rd, 2017|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Featured, Federalist Papers, James Madison, Timeless Essays|

What made James Madison unique among his generation and has subsequently made his legacy invaluable was his commitment to the “sacred fire of liberty” and his steadfast refusal to abandon either his republican commitment to popular participation or his liberal commitments to justice and the protection of individual rights. Scholarship on the political thought and [...]

The Foreign Policy of George Washington

By |2020-12-03T14:17:27-06:00August 20th, 2017|Categories: Alexander Hamilton, American Founding, Constitution, Featured, Federalist Papers, George Washington, James Madison, War|

The war between France and Great Britain was the first major crisis faced by the country under the new Constitution. It was a test that the Washington Administration helped the nation pass with flying colors. The following essay is an examination of the Washington administration’s handling of the first major foreign policy crisis facing the [...]

Constitutional Morality vs. Class Warfare: The Right Rhetoric for a Republic

By |2019-06-06T18:46:00-05:00July 9th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Constitution, Featured, Federalist Papers, Republicanism, Rhetoric, Timeless Essays, Wyoming Catholic College|

For some time now, our political rhetoric has increasingly moved toward an opposition between classes, causing tension—indeed a kind of warfare—between what Aristotle called the few rich and the many poor. Our founders worked hard to bridge this gap… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Virginia Arbery as [...]

Go to Top