Buchanan Did Nothing, but Meant Well…

In his fourth annual message to Congress, President James Buchanan addressed the crisis of Secession and how he intended to handle it… the results were underwhelming and have forever relegated him to the “worst Presidents” list.   “The course of events is so rapidly hastening forward that the emergency may soon arise when you mayContinue reading “Buchanan Did Nothing, but Meant Well…”

Jefferson’s Birthday

  Further proof that the trend of combining different commemorations into banker’s holidays… is truly foolish, look no further than Thomas Jefferson. Upon entering the executive mansion… citizens began petitioning him for the use of his birthday as a holiday, he gently reminded them, ‘The only birthday I ever commemorate, is that of our Independence,Continue reading “Jefferson’s Birthday”

Britain Lost the War of 1812

Why did the British lose the War of 1812… consensus history teaches that the Napoleonic wars kept mighty England from crushing the upstart Americans.  As expected, consensus historical lessons are wrapped too tightly, strangling the complexities from our past.  America won the war, but Britain lost it just as much.  We cannot pin this allContinue reading “Britain Lost the War of 1812”

Four Dozen Years of Reading

Birthdays often lead to reflection… 48 years have passed and reflection reveals a life devoted to the study of history.  A career in education has shown how rare academic commitment can be…. all I have ever wanted to do is history.  These books inspired, taught, and frustrated me along the journey. .. American Heritage HistoryContinue reading “Four Dozen Years of Reading”

Hamilton and the Military State

Alexander Hamilton warned his fellow citizens about the dangers of standing armies and a society dependent upon its military. In Federalist No.8 he cautioned: But in a country, where the perpetual menacings of danger oblige the government to be always prepared to repel it, her armies must be numerous enough for instant defense. The continualContinue reading “Hamilton and the Military State”

Madison and State Legislatures

James Madison observed following Shays’s Rebellion in 1786: “It is said that…a great proportion of the offenders choose rather to risk the consequences of their treason, than to submit to the conditions annexed to the amnesty; that they not only appear openly on public occasions, but distinguish themselves by badges of their character; and thatContinue reading “Madison and State Legislatures”

Madison and Party

The current political parties are trying to harness the power of the disinterested masses by stoking fears and passions rooted in volatile issues like immigration and the culture wars. Both parties want to maintain a majority and implement policy. Neither side has been given such a mandate by the people. Any minority with greater thanContinue reading “Madison and Party”

Caution with Constitutional Amendment

Routine teaching about the US Constitution… instructs students that its genius is found in the fact that it can be changed.  This dogma can be traced to the influence of Charles Beard’s contention that it was purely an economic document, and well timed amendments rescued our republic from new world feudalism.  Such orthodoxy perfectly definesContinue reading “Caution with Constitutional Amendment”

Jefferson’s Birthday

  Further proof that the trend of combining different commemorations into banker’s holidays… is truly foolish, look no further than Thomas Jefferson. Upon entering the executive mansion… citizens began petitioning him for the use of his birthday as a holiday, he gently reminded them, ‘The only birthday I ever commemorate, is that of our Independence,Continue reading “Jefferson’s Birthday”

Unintended Consequences

The Senate of the United States was designed… to give equal representation to the States- a more disciplined, stable, and experienced legislative body.  Madison saw the dangers in the popularly elected House, for people were often, “subject to the [periodic] infection of violent passions… that such an institution may be sometimes necessary as a defenseContinue reading “Unintended Consequences”