James Madison

The Legacy of the Founding Fathers

The Founding Fathers have a complicated legacy, and that legacy is constantly undergoing change. While the reverence of the Founding Fathers fluctuates generation-by-generation, certain questions emerge about the Founding Fathers’ effectiveness in setting the foundation for the United States. Gordon Wood, in Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, presented the Founding Fathers’ legacy as: “If […]

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The War of 1812

The War of 1812 is often a forgotten war in modern times. It was a war that tested the Americans’ resolve in staying an independent nation and ultimately a war that brought together Americans in a way that no previous event had. Gordon Wood, Empire of Liberty, 699. It was also a war that brought about […]

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The Justifications for Slavery

Early Americans, both pro-slavery and anti-slavery, explored the potential justifications for slavery in the United States. In 1764, James Otis of Massachusetts asked “Can any logical inference in favor of slavery be drawn from a flat nose, a long or short face?” after pondering why only blacks had been enslaved. James Otis, The Rights of the […]

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The Assertive Judiciary

In the early years of the Republic, there was an itching for reformation of the systems and processes that had come to define colonial life. This reformation began with “enactment of an increasing number of laws.” Gordon Wood, Empire of Liberty, 405. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison led this movement of reformation. While they and […]

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The Zeal for Land

Thomas Jefferson, from his earliest years, imagined that all of the North American land known in the 1790s would one day belong to the United States. He imagined that Florida would become part of the United States, that Cuba would join, that Mexico’s provinces would join, and that ultimately, Canada would join as well. Gordon […]

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Economic Sanctions

Washington’s writings are replete with revelations about the hopes and aspirations for the country. Often, it is common for modern Americans to think that the Founding Fathers, despite all of their wisdom, could hardly imagine what the United States would become. For instance, now, the world is interconnected in a way as never before. One […]

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