Month: November 2015

The Whig Political Theory

The English Whigs were an influential, even revered, group for many of the colonists in America. Their beliefs resonated with ordinary, common people. The Whigs believed that “the promotion of the people’s happiness was the sole purpose of government.” Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic: 1776-1787, 20. Further, government was “a wise, a necessary, […]

More

The Adulation of the Founding Fathers

Gordon Wood began his 2006 book Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different by stating that “[n]o other major nation honors its past historical characters, especially characters who existed two centuries ago, in quite the manner we Americans do.” Gordon Wood, Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, 3. He continued, stating that Americans “want to know […]

More

Empire of Reason

The American Revolution is one of the most extraordinary revolutions to have taken place in world history. Not only would it result in the birth of one of the most influential and most powerful nations ever known, but it would also be a revolution with seemingly peculiar triggers. As Gordon Wood in The Creation of the […]

More

The Happiest People Upon the Earth

At the beginning of the 1800s, the American economy was becoming an unconventionally successful economy. Domestic commerce was “incalculably more valuable” than foreign commerce and “the home market for productions of the earth and manufactures is of more importance than all foreign ones.” Gordon Wood, Empire of Liberty, 707 quoting Nathan Miller, The Enterprise of a Free People: Aspects […]

More

The Most Sublime Gift of Heaven

In the early 1800s, America underwent a campaign of infrastructure building. The building of new roads, bridges, and canals were done in a spirit of “national grandeur and individual convenience.” Gordon Wood, Empire of Liberty, 730 quoting Charles G. Haines, Considerations on the Great Western Canal (Brooklyn, 1818), 11. In 1806, Samuel Blodgett, an economist and architect, concluded […]

More

An Outraged America

In March 1816, Congress passed a Compensation Act, “which raised the pay of congressmen from six dollars per diem to a salary of fifteen hundred dollars a year.” Gordon Wood, Empire of Liberty, 718-19. This was the first raise in the pay for congressmen since 1789. Id. at 719. Robert Wright, a Congressman in 1816, and previously […]

More