Confederacy and Freedom

For too long defenders of Confederate heritage… have associated it with freedom and individual rights for all whites. The specter of the conquering Yankee invading the homeland to oppress the yeoman and steal his acre was the rallying cry.  Policy makers in the Confederacy used this propaganda to dupe poor whites  to defend the landedContinue reading “Confederacy and Freedom”

Changing the Office Forever

“The President is the direct representative of the American people…”  Andrew Jackson defiantly responded to his censure by the Senate.  Jacksonians believed the election victory in 1832 was a mandate from the people to kill the National Bank.  Jackson withdrew the nation’s deposits from the bank despite protests from Congress and his own Cabinet.  BankContinue reading “Changing the Office Forever”

Strange Bedfellows

The election of 1800 definitively shows that politics… do indeed make strange bedfellows.  Because of vagaries in the original constitutional language, Aaron Burr tied Thomas Jefferson with 73 electoral votes.  Burr had reneged on his word to stand as Jefferson’s running mate as many states divided their electoral votes between the two candidates.  The matterContinue reading “Strange Bedfellows”

Electoral Protections

The Electoral College was designed by…. Madison and Hamilton to help guarantee that Federal cooperation was protected in the election of the President.  Fearing that plurality would bring nationalized power to the executive branch, Madison argued that the mixed authority of Federalism was the best protector of republican virtue: The executive power will be derived fromContinue reading “Electoral Protections”

Unintended Consequences

The Senate of the United States was designed… to give equal representation to the States- a more disciplined, stable, and experienced legislative body.  Madison saw the dangers in the popularly elected House, for people were often, “subject to the [periodic] infection of violent passions… that such an institution may be sometimes necessary as a defenseContinue reading “Unintended Consequences”

The Best Biographies of George H.W. Bush

Originally posted on My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies:
In numerous ways, George H.W. Bush seems to have spent his life preparing for the presidency. A man of almost supernatural decency, Bush was the oldest-ever living president until his death thirty-eight days ago at the age of 94. (With fair winds and following seas,…

On Immigration

Jefferson discussed immigration to the United States in 1805: “Shall we refuse the unhappy fugitives from distress that hospitality which the savages of the wilderness extended to our fathers arriving in this land? Shall oppressed humanity find no asylum on this globe?” America was growing and Jefferson approved: “We contemplate this rapid growth, and theContinue reading “On Immigration”

A New Look at Grant

Frank P. Varney, General Grant and the Rewriting of History, California, Savas and Beatty, 2013 A critical examination of Grant’s memoirs and their effects on the historical record.    Professor Frank Varney’s first book is a bold effort to right historical wrongs…. and the wrongs were perpetrated by none other than US Grant.   Varney proposesContinue reading “A New Look at Grant”

Remarkable Restraint

Abraham Lincoln could have curried much political favor in the West had he ordered the executions of 303 Dakota Sioux – Instead, he reviewed each case. Despite the crushing defeat at Second Bull Run, the horrific carnage of Antietam, and the political fallout of issuing the Emancipation proclamation Lincoln still listened to the facts ofContinue reading “Remarkable Restraint”