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Editor’s Note: We invite you to join Thomas Jefferson (portrayed by Bill Barker) as he explores the remarkable history of the early American Republic and the principles that undergird it. From Jamestown to Plymouth, from the American Revolution to the Louisiana Purchase, the promise of free enterprise has driven the course of human history on this continent. The idea is simple—every man is born free and is endowed by his Creator with an inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of property, of happiness, of excellence. By understanding this idea at work in our history, we may garner both a respect for the principles that bind us together and a better understanding of the present. 

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This address was originally delivered at the Free Enterprise Institute’s 41st Annual Founders’ Day Breakfast (November 2017). The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.

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