Civil War

The Spontaneous Disorder of Kansas-Nebraska

By |2019-11-22T11:38:12-06:00November 19th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Civil War, Democracy, History|

Stephen Douglas’s faith that democratic self-government on the American frontier would create a spontaneous order of lawful and virtuous communities, especially in the face of divisive issues like slavery, was disastrously misplaced and played a significant role in starting the Civil War. The Kansas-Nebraska Act passed 165 years ago this past spring, and as cannons [...]

A Reading of the Gettysburg Address

By |2019-11-18T22:03:18-06:00November 18th, 2019|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Civil War, Declaration of Independence, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, 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 text. [...]

Alexander Stephens & the “Cornerstone Speech”

By |2019-08-12T14:07:19-06:00August 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 [...]

Boyd Cathey’s “The Land We Love” as an Admonition to My Co-Religionists

By |2019-08-02T23:09:38-06:00August 2nd, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Catholicism, Christianity, Civil War, Politics, South, War|

Under advanced liberalism there is an expectation that anybody who so much as dares to speak civilly to or about any figure associated with the Confederacy is to be deemed persona non grata. For Catholics as Catholics, such sweeping and absolutist expectations are simply unacceptable. Forth from its scabbard, high in the air Beneath [...]

Lord Acton and the American Civil War

By |2019-10-03T14:39:20-06:00February 7th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Civil War, Classical Liberalism, History, John C. Calhoun, South|

Lord Acton believed that the wrong side won the American Civil War. Such a judgment could hardly be said to be a minor detail of someone’s historical worldview, yet this judgment has somehow been obscured… “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Among Catholic students of political thought, few figures are more liable [...]

Robert E. Lee Reconsidered

By |2019-10-08T17:11:36-06:00February 6th, 2019|Categories: Robert E. Lee|

Clearly, Robert E. Lee’s reputation has plummeted from the lofty height it once occupied. It is time to clear a path through the rubble of toppled statues and discarded plaques to examine the qualities of the authentic Lee, as well as the turn of mind that would relegate him to historical ignominy... I. “What excellence is [...]

The First Shots of the Civil War: The Star of the West

By |2018-11-14T23:30:37-06:00November 13th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Bradley Birzer Fort Sumter Series, Bradley J. Birzer, Civil War, Constitution, History, Senior Contributors, War|

The Union soldiers defending Forts Sumter and Moultrie in Charleston Harbor had come to believe that their honor, as well as the honor of the Constitution and the federal government, was at stake... Star of the West Shortly after dawn, around 6 am, on January 9, 1861, Captain Abner Doubleday spotted a steamer [...]

The Attack on Memory

By |2019-07-29T14:14:30-06:00June 21st, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Andrew Lytle, Civil Society, Richard Weaver, Robert E. Lee, South|

History is the “remembered past,” remembered according to values and virtues that are the inheritance of a particular people. The story as told gives meaning to the “facts,” and the story must be told to be remembered… “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I [...]

A Requiem for Manners

By |2019-05-09T12:12:24-06:00June 17th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Conservatism, Culture, Edmund Burke, History, Robert E. Lee, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Timeless Essays, Virtue|

Christian chivalry harmonized human relations. Without it, society could only be held together by brute force and cold reason. Gone would be the warmth of considerate human relations, corrupted would be the morals of men, and all would be reduced to slaves… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity [...]

The Good Man’s Bad Cause: A Lesson From “Julius Caesar”

By |2019-03-07T10:46:22-06:00May 22nd, 2018|Categories: History, Robert E. Lee, William Shakespeare|

In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Brutus, the noblest Roman of them all, ends his life working with people he cannot respect, haunted by visions of the friend he has murdered, and in a cause that fails and deserves to fail… The man fighting for a bad cause is always in a hurry, chased by the guilt of [...]