“The man to whom the country is most indebted for the great measure of independence is Mr. John Adams.” That was from a delegate to the Continental Congress. But how much do you know about this influential thinker and second president of the United States? Brad Thompson, Professor of Political Science at Clemson University, tells Adams’ remarkable story.
The Framers wrote the Constitution to protect the liberty of American citizens. But what exactly did “liberty” mean to them? More importantly, what should it mean to you? Eugene Volokh, professor of constitutional law at UCLA, explores this important issue.
“Not since Merrill Peterson’s Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation has a scholar attempted to write a comprehensive biography of the most complex Founding Father. In Jefferson, John B. Boles plumbs every facet of Thomas Jefferson’s life, all while situating him amid the sweeping upheaval of his times. We meet Jefferson the politician and political thinker — as well as Jefferson the architect, scientist, bibliophile, paleontologist, musician, and gourmet. We witness him drafting of the Declaration of Independence, negotiating the Louisiana Purchase, and inventing a politics that emphasized the states over the federal government — a political philosophy that shapes our national life to this day.
“Boles offers new insight into Jefferson’s actions and thinking on race. His Jefferson is not a hypocrite, but a tragic figure — a man who could not hold simultaneously to his views on abolition, democracy, and patriarchal responsibility. Yet despite his flaws, Jefferson’s ideas would outlive him and make him into nothing less than the architect of American liberty.”
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Most of us learned the key ideas of the Declaration of Independence in school: that “all men are created equal,” “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” that government’s job is “to secure these rights.” This was a radical departure from the way things had always been. Where did these revolutionary ideas come from? Ben Shapiro explains in this illuminating video.
Nearly every country on Earth is defined by race or ethnicity. Not America. What makes the United States different? Dennis Prager outlines the values that have allowed the American people to flourish and, unlike immigrants almost everywhere else, transformed those who arrived from across the globe into full Americans—regardless of where they were born.