De-Christianizing America

By |2015-06-03T20:35:08-05:00June 3rd, 2015|Categories: American West, Christianity|

“This is a Christian nation,” said the Supreme Court in 1892. “America was born a Christian nation,” echoed Woodrow Wilson. Harry Truman affirmed it: “This is a Christian nation.” But in 2009, Barack Hussein Obama begged to differ: “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.” Comes now a Pew Research Center survey that reveals [...]

The Painful Beauty of the American West

By |2021-03-01T12:50:38-06:00October 30th, 2013|Categories: American West, Bradley J. Birzer, Senior Contributors|

For me, the Teton Range of the American West will always be the best America has to offer: huge spaces, demanding spires, and painful beauty This past summer, I had the high privilege of traveling into the great American West several times. Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. Frankly, there’s nothing quite like massive, wide-open [...]

American Flags, Ideology and the King’s Curse

By |2013-12-11T10:22:51-06:00October 11th, 2013|Categories: American West, Culture, Immigration, Myth, Stephen Masty|

In Monty Python’s comic diner skit every dish came with Spam, either a little or a lot. Is America the same with ideology? Does Ideological America touch everything and corrupt everything it touches, and can it turn back? Or, in the words of President Obama’s periodic, and oftentimes unpleasant, Chicago preacher, have “the chickens come [...]

Finding and Losing Train Culture

By |2019-11-08T16:03:33-06:00July 27th, 2013|Categories: American West, Bruce Frohnen, Culture|

My family and I are in the process of moving to a small town in northwest Ohio called Fostoria. We are here for practical reasons—it is the town closest to where I work that has a good Catholic school. That said, I have found the people, on the whole, to be quite charming and welcoming. [...]

Reflections on the New “Western History” of the 1990s

By |2019-08-22T22:06:57-05:00August 4th, 2012|Categories: American West, Bradley J. Birzer|

Huddled in a room at the Columbian Exposition in 1893, a group of academics listened to the last of several presenters, Frederick Jackson Turner, read his paper, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History.” “The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward,” the young [...]

“The Middle Ground”: A New Way to Examine Indian-White Relations

By |2020-03-10T12:11:18-05:00July 30th, 2012|Categories: American West, Books, Bradley J. Birzer|Tags: |

Since 1991, a new conception of Indian-white relations, known as the “middle ground,” has slowly emerged in Indian and western American historiography, challenging the old and New Western History and Indian history paradigms. The relations between Native Americans and white settlers—the middle ground—served as a gigantic trade zone in which culture became the economic goods [...]

The Northwest Ordinance: The Most Republican Law in History?

By |2020-07-12T16:55:38-05:00July 13th, 2011|Categories: American Republic, American West, Bradley J. Birzer|

In 1787, the U.S Congress unanimously passed the most republican law in Western history—the Northwest Ordinance, in which Americans argued that real sovereignty resides in the individual human person in association. On this day in 1787, the Congress of the United States unanimously passed what my colleague, friend, and mentor John Willson has called the [...]

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