the imaginative conservative logo

American Founding

The lack of schooling in the formation of one of every four U.S. presidents underscores the paradox that even the most humble among them were often great champions of education in general and of the liberal arts in particular...

"Lay up the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in your hearts, and in your soul—teach them to your children—cling to them as to the issues of life—adhere to them as to the cords of your eternal salvation..."

John and Abigail Adams remained faithful to what they believed were the permanent things. How might twenty-first-century Americans use their correspondence to better address the public questions that touch upon the fundamentals of American constitutional liberty?...

Patriotism—the love of place, countrymen, and local traditions—lasted for millennia, until replaced by nationalism, which we believe is a natural outgrowth of tribal life, instead of an invention of Western Europe... I sat through...
John Quincy Adams

The Constitution consummated the work commenced by the Declaration of Independence—a work in which the people of the North American Union had achieved the most transcendent act of power that social man in his mortal condition can perform...

The American people have, unfortunately, come to see the president as the embodiment of their hopes, their dreams, and their nightmares. It is time to begin a conversation about the nature, goals, and limits of the U.S. Presidency...

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Mark C. Henrie, as he explores Russell Kirk's understanding of the American Constitutional founding. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher In the very first

What is true conservatism? That question, more than anything else, is the argument raging in the Republican Party today–one side fully represented in the party’s establishment wing, while the other resides in the hearts of true patriots...

The instinctive conservative response is to reject the idea of the living constitution for various and conflicting reasons. One such reason is the conservative recognition that even a free country depends on tradition. Federalist 49...

The Augustan Age refers to a time period broadly revolving around the restoration of order (if not necessarily liberty) at the end of the Roman republic and the beginning of the empire—roughly 50BC to 120AD. Many scholars label...

Editor's Note: In 1645, John Winthrop, the deputy-governor of Massachusetts, was impeached for interfering in a local militia election. Following his acquittal, Winthrop delivered a short speech, "On Liberty," which is reproduced below. Please note that spelling and punctuation have been modernized for the sake of clarity and...

One of the most illogical historical debates I’ve ever tried to follow concerns the personal religious conviction of our founding father George Washington. Presently there seem to be two opposing schools of propagandists. They can be divided more...

The cry, “That violates the separation of church and state!” has been the centerpiece of the secularist drive to marginalize Christianity in the public sphere since the 1940s. The real—and often neglected—question is what precisely that separation means...

The Federal Government is the creature of the States. It is not a party to the Constitution, but the result of it—the creation of that agreement which was made by the States as parties. It is a mere...