American History

Voices from the American Founding on the Desirability of Standing Armies

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Friday, 18 April 2014. Posted in American History, History

America has the largest and most powerfully armed professional military in the world. What would the Founders think of this development?

Voices from the American Founding on the Desirability of Standing Armies

Among the American colonists at the time of the War for Independence, experience had taught that standing armies were a danger to peace and liberty. Of the complaints the colonists had against King George III listed by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence was that “He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.”

Race and Violence in the 'Welfare Magnet'

Written by John T. Bennett on Tuesday, 21 May 2013. Posted in American History, History

Milwaukee's 53206 Zip Code is a neighborhood beset by social disruption, poverty and violence, largely thanks to welfare and other big government progressive programs that have proven to be vastly disruptive over the last 50 years.

Race and Violence in the 'Welfare Magnet'

Want to guess that the real estate agents stay away from these facts: Half of the housing loans are for investors, 60 subprime lenders are in operation, 90 percent of family income-tax filers are single parents, and 90 percent of the jobs are held by non-residents.

James Madison: The Federalist No. 10

on Tuesday, 03 July 2012. Posted in American History, History

James Madison: The apportionment of taxes … is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is ... no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice.

James Madison: The Federalist No. 10

The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection (continued)

Daily Advertiser
Thursday, November 22, 1787
[James Madison]

To the People of the State of New York:

Margaret Sanger, Eugenics, and Genocide

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Thursday, 31 May 2012. Posted in American History, History

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, is one of the Left’s favorite heroes. But her true legacy is to be found in her advocacy of a Nazi-like eugenics totalitarianism for the United States.

Margaret Sanger, Eugenics, and Genocide

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele made news recently in combination with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham when he criticized the NAACP and its relationship with Planned Parenthood. According to Steele, the latter organization used “abortion to eliminate and limit the number of African Americans.”

From Times Past: On Putting Up a Stove Pipe

on Thursday, 22 December 2011. Posted in American History, History

stovepipe{jathumbnail off}

Putting up a stove is not so difficult in itself. It is the pipe that raises four-fifths of the mischief and all the dust. You may take down a stove with all the care in the world, and yet that pipe won’t come together again as it was before. You find this out when you are standing on a chair with your arms full of pipe, and your mouth full of soot. Your wife is standing on the floor in a position that enables her to see you, the pipe and the chair, and here she gives utterance to those remarks that are calculated to hasten a man into the extremes of insanity. Her dress is pinned over her waist, and her hands rest on her hips. She has got one of your hats on her head, and your linen coat on her back, and a pair of rubbers on her feet. There is about five cents’ worth of pot-black on her nose and a lot of flour on her chin, and altogether she is a spectacle that would inspire a dead man with distrust. And while you are up there trying to circumvent the awful contrariness of the pipe, and telling that you know some fool has been mixing it, she stands safely on the floor, and bombards you with such domestic mottoes as, “What’s the use of swearing so?” “You know no one has touched that pipe.” “You ain’t got any more patience than a child.” “Do be careful of that chair.” And then she goes off, and reappears with an armful more of pipe, and before you are aware of it she has got that pipe so horribly mixed up that it does seem no two pieces are alike.

All I Needed To Know About Socialism I Learned In A Grocery Parking Lot

Written by Beverly K. Eakman on Tuesday, 01 November 2011. Posted in American History, Opinion, History, Beverly Eakman

Food StampsThe receipt was on the floor of an Angeli’s County Market parking lot, located in the greater Denver area of Colorado. An alert fan of this columnist passed it along. This particular item got the desired attention. It speaks volumes about today’s cavalier attitude toward “public assistance,” what we used to call simply welfare — not only for the extravagances bought with other people’s tax dollars, but for the sheer arrogance of allowing such a blatant illustration of inappropriateness to slip through a customer’s fingers:  six cold-water lobsters, two porterhouse steaks, and five cases of Mountain Dew, the only purchases on the ticket, are shown paid for in food stamps.

Irrespective of party affiliation, most Americans today simply accept welfare. Many families are so addicted to government handouts, they scarcely are aware how much largesse comes to them from the labor of their fellow citizens. Somewhere along the line, “government money” lost its logical connection to “the people’s money.”

James Madison: The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection

on Saturday, 17 September 2011. Posted in American History, History

James Madison and Constitution Day.Constitution Day is celebrated on September 17. It is a day to reflect upon the rule of law, the nature of government, and its proper role. Famously, the Founding Fathers adopted the U.S. Constitution "in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity...."

Since the adoption of the Constitution, and especially since the beginning of the 20th century, the intent of the Constitution itself has been questioned, its continuing relevance examined and doubted, and, among politicians, its restrictions often ignored. Yet, it continues to be a vital force and a touchstone for those who seek to maximize liberty and restrict the tendency of government to grow in power at the expense of the individual.

Thomas Jefferson on the Writing of the Declaration

on Monday, 04 July 2011. Posted in American History, History

Thomas Jefferson and his letter to James MadisonThomas Jefferson to James Madison

Monticello, August 30, 1823

Dear Sir, ... The committee of five met; no such thing as a sub-committee was proposed, but they unanimously pressed on myself alone to undertake the draught. I consented; I drew it; but before I reported it to the committee, I communicated it separately to Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adams, requesting their corrections, because they were the two members of whose judgments and amendments I wished most to have the benefit before presenting it to the committee.... Their alterations were two or three only, and merely verbal. I then wrote a fair copy, reported it to the committee, and from them, unaltered, to Congress. This personal communication and consultation with Mr. Adams, he has misremembered into the actings of a sub-committee.

Pickering's observations, and Mr. Adams' in addition, "that it contained no new ideas, that it is a common-place compilation, its sentiments hacknied in Congress for two years before, and its essence contained in Otis' pamphlet," may all be true. Of that I am not to be the judge. Richard Henry Lee charged it as copied from Locke's treatise on government. Otis' pamphlet I never saw, and whether I had gathered my ideas from reading or reflection I do not know. I only know that I turned to neither book nor pamphlet while writing it. I did not consider it as any part of my charge to invent new ideas altogether, and to offer no sentiment which had ever been expressed before. Had Mr. Adams been so restrained, Congress would have lost the benefit of his bold and impressive advocations of the rights of Revolution. For no man's confident and fervid addresses, more than Mr. Adams', encouraged and supported us through the difficulties surrounding us, which, like the ceaseless action of gravity, weighed on us by night and by day. Yet on the same ground, we may ask what of these elevated thoughts was new, or can be affirmed never before to have entered the conceptions of man?

Thomas Jefferson: Rough Draft of the Declaration of Independence

on Monday, 04 July 2011. Posted in American History, History

Thomas Jefferson and the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.A Declaration of the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled.

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a people to advance from that subordination in which they have hitherto remained, and to assume among the powers of the earth the equal and independant station to which the laws of nature and of nature's god entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the change.

We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are created equal and independant, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these ends, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government shall become destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying it's foundation on such principles and organising it's powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. prudence indeed will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes: and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. but when a long train of abuses and usurpations, begun at a distinguished period, and pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to subject them to arbitrary power, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security. such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to expunge their former systems of government. the history of his present majesty, is a history of unremitting injuries and usurpations, among which no one fact stands single or solitary to contradict the uniform tenor of the rest, all of which have in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. to prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world, for the truth of which we pledge a faith yet unsullied by falsehood.

George Washington: Circular to the States

on Monday, 04 July 2011. Posted in American History, History

George WashingtonJune 14, 1783

When we consider the magnitude of the prize we contended for, the doubtful nature of the contest, and the favorable manner in which it has terminated, we shall find the greatest possible reason for gratitude and rejoicing; this is a theme that will afford infinite delight to every benevolent and liberal mind, whether the event in contemplation, be considered as the source of present enjoyment or the parent of future happiness; and we shall have equal occasion to felicitate ourselves on the lot which Providence has assigned us, whether we view it in a natural, a political or moral point of light.

The Citizens of America, placed in the most enviable condition, as the sole Lords and Proprietors of a vast Tract of Continent, comprehending all the various soils and climates of the World, and abounding with all the necessaries and conveniencies of life, are now by the late satisfactory pacification, acknowledged to be possessed of absolute freedom and Independency; They are, from this period, to be considered as the Actors on a most conspicuous Theatre, which seems to be peculiarly designated by Providence for the display of human greatness and felicity; Here, they are not only surrounded with every thing which can contribute to the completion of private and domestic enjoyment, but Heaven has crowned all its other blessings, by giving a fairer oppertunity for political happiness, than any other Nation has ever been favored with. Nothing can illustrate these observations more forcibly, than a recollection of the happy conjuncture of times and circumstances, under which our Republic assumed its rank among the Nations; The foundation of our Empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epocha when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period, the researches of the human mind, after social happiness, have been carried to a great extent, the Treasures of knowledge, acquired by the labours of Philosophers, Sages and Legislatures, through a long succession of years, are laid open for our use, and their collected wisdom may be happily applied in the Establishment of our forms of Government; the free cultivation of Letters, the unbounded extension of Commerce, the progressive refinement of Manners, the growing liberality of sentiment, and above all, the pure and benign light of Revelation, have had a meliorating influence on mankind and increased the blessings of Society. At this auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a Nation, and if their Citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be intirely their own.

Paul Revere: Two by Water and One by Land

on Monday, 04 July 2011. Posted in American History, History

Paul ReverePaul Revere to Jeremy Belknap.

[1798]

In the fall of 1774 and the winter of 1775, I was one of upwards of thirty, chiefly mechanics, who formed ourselves into a committee for the purpose of watching the movements if the British soldiers, and gaining every intelligence of the movements of the Tories. We held our meetings at the Green Dragon tavern. We were so careful that our meetings be kept secret that every time we met, every person swore upon the Bible that they would not discover any of our transactions but to Messrs. Hancock, Adams, Doctors Warren, Church and one or two more.

...In the winter, towards the spring, we frequently took turns, two and two, to watch the soldiers by patrolling the streets all night. The Saturday night preceding the 19th of April, about 12 o'clock at night, the boats belonging to the transports were all launched and carried under the sterns of the men-of-war. (They had been previously hauled up and repaired.) We likewise found that the grenadiers and light infantry were all taken off duty.

From these movements we expected something serious was to be transacted. On Tuesday evening, the 18th, it was observed that a number of soldiers were marching towards the bottom of the Common. About 10 o'clock, Dr. Warren sent in great haste for me and begged that I would immediately set off for Lexington, where Messrs. Hancock and Adams were, and acquaint them of the movement, and that it was thought they were the objects.

Gettysburg Launches Blogs and Special Events for Civil War 150th

on Sunday, 17 April 2011. Posted in American History, History

Gettysburg National Military Park joins other Civil War sites. To mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War, Gettysburg National Military Park is launching new social media programs, including a blog for history and current events and a blog for teachers and students of the Civil War.

From the Fields of Gettysburg is a new weekly blog by park rangers and historians that will explore a wide variety of history topics and park news.

"From the Fields of Gettysburg will be a wonderful resource for people anywhere in the world who want to know more about what happened here, and why it’s so important even today," said Scott Hartwig, a supervisory historian at Gettysburg National Military Park. "We can blog year-round, in any weather, and our visitors don’t even need to be in Gettysburg to participate."