Tariffs Did Not Cause the Civil War

Historians, politicians, and neo-secessionists who argue that the Civil War… was caused by the Federal government’s manipulation of tariffs are at best terribly deluded, at worst, they are scurrilous ideologues with a shameful political agenda. A brief history lesson for Tom DiLorenzo, Governor Greg Abbott, President Donald Trump, the Freedom Caucus, Ron and Rand Paul, Continue reading “Tariffs Did Not Cause the Civil War”

Polk and Texas

James K. Polk made no secret during the campaign of 1844…  of his desire to annex Texas.  It was what the Texans wanted and expansionists demanded.  John Tyler bowed to political pressure from Whigs after they defeated the first treaty and failed to act on annexation.   Only the swell of support from Polk’s fiery rhetoric forced the lameContinue reading “Polk and Texas”

Eisenhower and Civil Rights

Eisenhower lacked the rhetorical flourishes of Jack Kennedy… but when it came to defending Civil Rights in America, Ike accomplished far more than his successor.  Popular history has embraced Kennedy as a Civil Rights champion and largely ignored the record of Eisenhower.  This is largely due to the martyrdom  bestowed on Kennedy and Ike’s measuredContinue reading “Eisenhower and Civil Rights”

On Impeachment

Should the current Chief Executive be worried? Supporters of corrupt Presidents, from Andrew Johnson to Bill Clinton… all use the same erroneous argument about the Impeachment provision of the Constitution.  “But he didn’t commit a high crime!”      If only our Framers had specific indictable crimes in mind when they included… the all important ImpeachmentContinue reading “On Impeachment”

The Great Dissent

Justice John Marshall Harlan, a former slave owner, issued the only dissent in the 1896 Supreme Court ruling, Plessy v. Ferguson. This case declared the doctrine of “Separate but equal” to be Constitutionally protected. Harlan’s scathing dissent exposed segregation laws for what they were- But in view of the Constitution, in the eye of theContinue reading “The Great Dissent”

Polk’s Rise

Great men with larger-than-life personalities … do not always make the best Presidents.  Too much of their focus is directed inward, and the needs of the electorate are overlooked (see Jackson.)  Consistency is required when dealing with momentous issues. A top ten President James Knox Polk was the right man… in the right place, at theContinue reading “Polk’s Rise”

Douglass Out of Context

Armchair historians like Colin Kaepernick often quote Frederick Douglass when making disingenuous points about civil rights history. Douglass is too often misquoted or valuable context is ignored, most persistently in regards to Abraham Lincoln and emancipation. In history, context does matter.   Frederick Douglass is often cited as proof that slaves never cared for LincolnContinue reading “Douglass Out of Context”

Madison Would Never Agree

Words James Madison never uttered…. but when considering the US Senate as it exists today, the naive can almost hear the Father of the Constitution proclaim the following lunacy with pride: So let’s describe the US Senate as it exists today… The United States Senate will be chosen by popularity contest in each state.  ThereContinue reading “Madison Would Never Agree”

Best Biographies of Jefferson

There is excellent Jefferson scholarship… available to interested readers.  Current scholars seem bound by political correctness to debase the Jeffersonian legacy with tales of slave concubines and youthful indiscretions.  Look to the work of the established Jefferson scholars to find the elusive inroads to one of America’s greatest, but most enigmatic minds. Jefferson and the NewContinue reading “Best Biographies of Jefferson”

Jefferson and Religious Restraint

How strange it is to hear evangelicals… claim Thomas Jefferson as one of their own, when in his day, he was accused of being an infidel by the Christian clergy.  Jefferson left little doubt about his religious beliefs in his voluminous personal papers.  It is his place in our history and especially our founding that drives advocatesContinue reading “Jefferson and Religious Restraint”