Archive for June, 2013

Original Documents

The President of the United States by Woodrow Wilson – Reprinted from The U.S. Constitution, A Reader, Published by Hillsdale College

For Wilson, constitutional checks and balances and the separation of powers are indicative of the flawed thinking of America’s Founders. They are means of limiting government, when the fact is that government alone can provide the people’s needs. Wilson looks to the presidency–the singular voice of the people–as the best hope for overcoming the old […]

The Presidency: Making an Old Party Progressive by Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) – Reprinted from The U.S. Constitution, A Reader, Published by Hillsdale College

Roosevelt’s ascension to the presidency in 1901 upon the assassination of William McKinley marked the emergence of Progressivism on the national scene. From trust busting to railroad regulation, Roosevelt sought to expand federal power over a large swath of the American economy. In this excerpt from his autobiography, he offers a view of the Constitution […]

The Study of Administration by Woodrow Wilson – Reprinted from The U.S. Constitution, A Reader, Published by Hillsdale College

Writing a year before Congress created the Interstate Commerce Commission, the first independent regulatory agency, Wilson argues in this article that it is only through such agencies–separate from the political process and independent of the electorate–that government can pursue its necessary ends. November 2, 1886 I suppose that no practical science is ever studied where there […]

The Right of the People to Rule by Theodore Roosevelt – Reprinted from The U.S. Constitution, A Reader, Published by Hillsdale College

Roosevelt relinquished the presidency in 1908, believing that his Progressive legacy lay safely in the hands of his handpicked successor, William Howard Taft. Although Taft expanded many of Roosevelt’s policies and succeeded in passing through Congress the Sixteenth Amendment, permitting a national income tax, Roosevelt challenged Taft in the 1912 Republican primary. Losing the nomination, […]

Progressive Democracy by Herbert Croly (1869-1930) – Reprinted from The U.S. Constitution, A Reader, Published by Hillsdale College

In this book, Croly, a leading Progressive theorist and founder of The New Republic magazine, criticizes the Founders’ fear of tyranny of the majority and rejects their idea that government exists to protect individual rights. 1915 Chapter XII: The Advent of Direct Government …If economic, social, political and technical conditions had remained very much as they were […]

The Inspiration of the Declaration by Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) – Reprinted from The U.S. Constitution, A Reader, Published by Hillsdale College

President Coolidge delivered this speech on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Rejecting Progressivism root and branch, he defends America’s founding principles. July 5, 1926 We meet to celebrate the birthday of America. The coming of a new life always excites our interest. Although we know in the case of the individual that […]

Commonwealth Club Address by Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) – Reprinted from The U.S. Constitution, A Reader, Published by Hillsdale College

Delivered by Roosevelt to California’s Commonwealth Club during his first run for the White House, this speech was penned by Adolf Berle, a noted scholar and a member of Roosevelt’s “Brain Trust” who drew deeply upon earlier Progressive thought, especially that of John Dewey. September 23, 1932 …I want to speak not of politics but […]

Democratic Convention Address by Franklin D. Roosevelt – Reprinted from The U.S. Constitution, A Reader, Published by Hillsdale College

Having launched the New Deal, an ambitious program of political and economic re-engineering aimed at ending the Great Depression, President Roosevelt accepted his party’s nomination to run for a second term. In this speech at the 1936 Democratic Convention, he defends his programs–some of which had been struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court–and […]

What Good’s a Constitution? by Winston Churchill (1874-1965) – Reprinted from The U.S. Constitution, A Reader, Published by Hillsdale College

Written soon after Franklin Roosevelt’s Democratic Convention Address of 1936, this article by British statesman Winston Churchill points to the wide gulf between Churchill’s and Roosevelt’s economic views, even if five years later they would forge a close wartime alliance. Beyond their differences on economics, Churchill sees the American Constitution as an enduring source of […]

Annual Message to Congress by Franklin D. Roosevelt – Reprinted from The U.S. Constitution, A Reader, Published by Hillsdale College

As victory in the Second World War looked more and more likely, President Roosevelt turned his attention to postwar America. In this speech he proposes a “second Bill of Rights.” January 11, 1944 …It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace […]

Commencement Address at Yale University by John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) – Reprinted from The U.S. Constitution, A Reader, Published by Hillsdale College

President Kennedy’s New Frontier policies were consistent with the policies of his Progressive predecessors. Current problems, he suggests in this speech, call for technical expertise rather than old ideas. June 11, 1962 President Griswold, members of the faculty, graduates and their families, ladies and gentlemen: Let me begin by expressing my appreciation for the very […]

Remarks at the University of Michigan by Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) – Reprinted from The U.S. Constitution, A Reader, Published by Hillsdale College

In this commencement address, President Johnson introduces his Progressive idea of a “Great Society.” May 22, 1964 President Hatcher, Governor Romney, Senators McNamara and Hart, Congressmen Meader and Staebler, and other members of the fine Michigan delegation, members of the graduating class, my fellow Americans: It is a great pleasure to be here today. This […]

Commencement Address at Howard University by Lyndon B. Johnson – Reprinted from The U.S. Constitution, A Reader, Published by Hillsdale College

In this commencement address, President Johnson calls for a redefinition of equality. June 4, 1965 Dr. Nabrit, my fellow Americans: I am delighted at the chance to speak at this important and this historic institution. Howard has long been an outstanding center for the education of Negro Americans. Its students are of every race and […]

A Time for Choosing by Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) – Reprinted from The U.S. Constitution, A Reader, Published by Hillsdale College

In this nationally televised speech in support of Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican Party presidential candidate, Reagan challenges the Progressive principles behind President Johnson’s Great Society. The speech propelled Reagan to national prominence. October 27, 1964 I am going to talk of controversial things. I make no apology for this. I have been talking on […]

First Inaugural Address by Ronald Reagan – Reprinted from The U.S. Constitution, A Reader, Published by Hillsdale College

Breaking with historical precedent, Reagan’s first inauguration was held on the Capitol’s West Front, allowing him to refer in his speech to the presidential memorials and to Arlington National Cemetery in the distance. The first post-New Deal president to challenge the principles of the New Deal, Reagan presents his opposition in terms of reviving the […]

Essays on Founding Documents/Readings

Monday, June 3, 2013 – Essay #76 – The President of the United States by Woodrow Wilson – Guest Essayist: Professor Joerg Knipprath, Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 – Essay #77 – The Presidency: Making an Old Party Progressive by Theodore Roosevelt – Guest Essayist: James Legee, Graduate, Master of Arts in Political Science at Villanova University, Graduate Fellow at the Matthew J. Ryan Center for the study of Free Institutions and the Public Good

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 – Essay #78 – The Study of Administration by Woodrow Wilson – Guest Essayist: George Landrith, President of Frontiers of Freedom

Thursday, June 6, 2013 – Essay #79 – The Right of the People to Rule by Theodore Roosevelt – Guest Essayist: James Legee, Graduate, Master of Arts in Political Science at Villanova University, Graduate Fellow at the Matthew J. Ryan Center for the study of Free Institutions and the Public Good

Friday, June 7, 2013 – Essay #80 – Progressive Democracy by Herbert Croly – Guest Essayist: Professor Joerg Knipprath, Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School

Monday, June 10, 2013 – Essay #81 – The Inspiration Of The Declaration by Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) – Guest Essayist: Charles K. Rowley, Duncan Black Professor Emeritus of Economics at George Mason University and General Director of The Locke Institute in Fairfax, Virginia

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 – Essay #82 – “Commonwealth Club Address” by Franklin D. Roosevelt – Guest Essayist: Tony Williams, Program Director of the Washington-Jefferson-Madison Institute

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 – Essay #83 – Democratic Convention Address by Franklin Roosevelt – Guest Essayist: Tony Williams, Program Director of the Washington-Jefferson-Madison Institute

Thursday, June 13, 2013 – Essay #84 – What Good’s a Constitution? by Winston Churchill – Guest Essayist: Troy Kickler, Ph.D., Founding Director, North Carolina History Project and editor of www.northcarolinahistory.org

Friday, June 14, 2013 – Essay #85 – Annual Message to Congress by Franklin D. Roosevelt – Guest Essayist: Dr. Roberta Herzberg, Utah State University Department of Political Science

Monday, June 17, 2013 – Essay #86 – Commencement Address at Yale University by John F. Kennedy – Guest Essayist: Tony Williams, Program Director of the Washington-Jefferson-Madison Institute

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 – Essay #87 – Remarks at the University of Michigan by Lyndon B. Johnson – Guest Essayist: J. Eric Wise, Partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, New York City

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 – Essay #88 – Commencement Address at Howard University by Lyndon B. Johnson – Guest Essayist: David J. Bobb, Director, Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, Hillsdale College, Washington, D.C.

Friday, June 21, 2013 – Essay #90 – First Inaugural Address by Ronald Reagan – Guest Essayist: The Honorable John Boehner, 53rd Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

Thursday, June 20, 2013 – Essay #89 – “A Time for Choosing” by Ronald Reagan – Guest Essayist: The Honorable Jim Miller, President Reagan’s Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Member of his Cabinet