Antifederalists and Federalists found common cause in comprehending human nature. That said, each faction responded to this comprehension in widely conflicting ways, establishing an unassailable gulf over the vision of America’s future, the scope and scale of the national government, and conceptions of virtue and vice. Where Antifederalists sought to enforce virtue by establishing an Agrarian Nation and providing for increased yeoman membership in the House of Representatives, Federalists preferred to harness the vices in human nature. By exploiting vice, Federalists dreamt of an expansive, diverse, and formidable America that enticed only the best and most deserving into government service.
Read the rest here.
As always, see my graduate work here.
Thomas Kidd has a nice piece on George Washington for his birthday over at The Gospel Coalition:
If Washington’s personal faith remains shadowy, his public employment of religious rhetoric was constant and heartfelt. As the war’s tide turned toward the Americans, despite all the bungling and hardships of the Continental Army, the general became more convinced that God had chosen him as the man to lead America, Moses-like, out of British captivity.
Some might see Washington’s providentialist rhetoric as manipulative, but in Chernow’s biography it seems genuine. The exhausted Washington, presenting his military resignation before Congress at the end of the war, brought the chamber to tears as the insisted that only “a confidence in the rectitude of our cause, the support of the supreme power of the union, and the patronage of heaven” sustained him and the army through the hellish war. His voice breaking with emotion, he commended “our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God.”
Read the rest here.
Michael Novak died over the weekend. Samuel Gregg has a wonderful tribute at Public Discourse:
For in the end, Novak was always wrestling with distinctly religious questions. As his bestselling Belief and Unbelief illustrates, Novak engaged seriously with those people of good will who struggle to believe that there is a God, let alone the God who is Truth and Love revealed in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. That in turn led Novak to ponder why human beings, made as imago Dei, were capable of such great evil and profound good. And if there was any figure who made the word “saint” real to Novak, it was unquestionably his fellow Slav, Saint John Paul II.
The world has lost a humble spirit and a powerful intellect.
Read the rest of Gregg’s tribute here.
I’m not usually at a loss for words, but this left me speechless and stupefied. Rod Dreher has the details at The American Conservative.
Oh how a once mighty and prestigious university (and also one of the oldest in the country) has fallen. And a nominally Catholic (or at least Jesuit) one at that!
How did New York City influence Alexander Hamilton’s view of human nature? My latest paper here.
Also check out the rest of my graduate work here.