the imaginative conservative logo

American Founding

Our Puritans were the most serious of philanthropists. They became pilgrims not in the service of some get-rich-quick scheme, but to make an idea real. They developed unprecedented political institutions grounded in heartfelt democratic civic duty, and they provided for the education of everyone as creatures not...

The so-called American Revolution was a rebellion to preserve and reinstitute long-established liberties and to develop a system of governance that put those liberties on a more secure foundation. We might even think of the “Revolution” as a rebellion that prevented or postponed a revolution...
2 2505

Presidential farewells constitute a great American conversation among the nation’s chief executives and open our view onto a large and detailed panorama of the past... Farewell, Mr. President Tonight, Tuesday, January 10, 2017, Barack Obama will deliver...

We ought to locate the basis of American conservatism in our colonial past, at a time when the English Tory variant of the old order of Europe had a real presence in our civilization, and we ought to remember that the old Tory order survived in the...

The founders never wished to create merely a centralized political universe. Yet, Federalists did aim to produce a central governing body as the sun of our political universe. That is why they came to be called Federalists... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers...

In sharp contrast to John Marshall’s elitist orientation—with its em­phasis on the primacy of the national government, and restraint of the excesses of democracy—Thomas Jefferson’s philosophy was at once populistic and highly individualistic... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to...

Resistance to drafting was widespread in Revolutionary America. Almost all of this opposition to conscription came from Patriots... Farmers have never fared well by historians. As T.H. Breen has complained, farmers frequently have been falsely...

In moral qualities, the character of George Washington is the most truly dignified that was ever presented to the respect and admiration of mankind... Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from Washington and the Generals of the American Revolution, by Rufus Wilmot Griswold and William...

The American Founders knew from history that a curriculum successful at teaching its graduates to think, communicate, and lead could produce anarchy or tyranny instead of ordered liberty, unless those skills were practiced by leaders committed to virtue and the love of liberty... Today’s offering in...

That we remember the Articles of Confederation poorly has far more to do with the ultimate success of American nationalists than it does with actual failure or success of the Articles themselves... The Articles of...

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...