History

The Feminine Genius of Jane Austen

By |2019-08-16T23:08:45-05:00August 15th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Great Books, History, Jane Austen, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Jane Austen is more than a giantess among women writers. She is also a giantess among the giants, holding a place of pride and prominence among the greatest writers of either sex and of all ages. She doesn’t merely tower above George Elliot, Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, and the Brontë sisters, she also towers above [...]

Woodstock 50: What Went Wrong Then and Now

By |2019-08-14T21:55:25-05:00August 14th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Culture War, History, Modernity, Music|

If America is polarized and directionless today, it is partly due to the cultural revolution that emanated from Woodstock. The solution is not to recreate Woodstock fifty years later, but to reject it as the cultural and moral disaster that it was. Woodstock represented what America would eventually become—a broken and dysfunctional society. It shows [...]

Alexander Stephens & the “Cornerstone Speech”

By |2019-08-12T14:07:19-05:00August 12th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Civil War, Equality, Government, History, Politics, Secession, Slavery, South, War|

History is complex, messy, and unyielding to our dearest wishes for easy categorization. That Alexander Stephens understood the Confederacy through its cornerstone of slavery is plainly true and explained in his own words. But the “Cornerstone Speech” goes further, planting the other corners of the Confederate state in concerns over federalism and sovereignty. Anxious [...]

The First World War Economy & the Rise of American Power

By |2019-08-11T23:28:44-05:00August 11th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Economics, History, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors, War, World War I|

The architects of the Great War set the world on the path to self-destruction. Although the worst has not taken place, the world still treads along the same perilous course. For human beings have yet to devise a sure way of imposing rational limits on irrational acts of violence. I. The Progressives could not [...]

Christopher Dawson on Becoming the Enemy in World War II

By |2019-08-09T21:40:28-05:00August 9th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christopher Dawson, Government, History, Politics, Senior Contributors, The Imaginative Conservative, War, Western Civilization, World War II|

Christopher Dawson worried about the actual physical changes wrought by World War II, but he worried far more about the moral changes. He lamented that even the democracies of the United Kingdom and the United States had come to resemble Nazi Germany far more than their nineteenth-century historical selves did. Throughout his writing career, [...]

An Introduction to English War Poetry

By |2019-08-09T21:38:25-05:00August 9th, 2019|Categories: Death, England, History, Literature, Poetry, War, World War I|

The poet’s career doesn’t end once he dies. The soldier’s career arguably does. The poet-soldier, then, has died physically, but what remains of him is his art. Both Edward Thomas and Francis Ledwidge managed to create something that transcended their persons and lasted long after being killed in war. When we think of English [...]

Publius on the Relation of the Federal Government to the States

By |2019-08-08T23:10:24-05:00August 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 [...]

“Reason, Faith, & the Struggle for Western Civilization”: Illuminating the Past & Present

By |2019-08-07T22:05:08-05:00August 7th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Faith, History, Philosophy, Pope Benedict XVI, Reason, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

It is a bright note of hope, set against the present daunting darkness, that shines throughout Samuel Gregg’s “Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization,” both illuminating the past and shedding much-needed light on the present situation. Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization, by Samuel Gregg (256 pages, Gateway Editions, 2019) [...]

Consequentialism & the Atomic Bomb in World War II

By |2019-08-05T21:23:26-05:00August 5th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Foreign Affairs, History, Morality, Politics, War|

Consequentialism falls short because it blurs the distinction between murder and killing in war, the latter of which—while not always adhering to Gospel truth—is a grim necessity in the defense of the state. The misapplication of consequentialism to the atomic missions does a severe disservice to history. I. One need not be an aficionado [...]

On the Anniversary of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Birth

By |2019-08-03T07:44:10-05:00August 3rd, 2019|Categories: Culture, History, Literature, Poetry|

Percy Bysshe Shelley’s extensive reading of the greatest classical thinkers led him to a deep love of beauty. Though he was hounded out of his country, slandered and ostracized, he became, after his death, immortal, as his works spread and succeeding generations were able to experience their beauty and profundity. Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) is [...]

New York’s Admission to the Union

By |2019-07-25T22:07:51-05:00July 25th, 2019|Categories: Alexander Hamilton, American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, History, John Jay|

New York showed its wealth of wisdom in ratifying the Constitution and becoming the 11th state in a fledgling nation. While the Empire State’s ratification was not required under the new Constitution for there to be a United States, had the vote gone the other way, the United States may have been for naught [...]

The Past-Present

By |2019-07-18T12:54:06-05:00July 22nd, 2019|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, History, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Senior Contributors, St. John's College, Time, Tradition|

The past is, indeed, a place in which to take refuge when it is necessary to pull back, to contemplate life, and to mull things over. The present is the phase for brisk deliberation, decision, and action; for being in that sleepwalking state in which we do, more or less surefootedly, the one thing [...]