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Now displaying: April, 2012
Apr 30, 2012

Show 833 Part 10 of 10. Constitution 101. The Meaning and History of the Constitution.

 For the entire course including Overview, video of the lecture, Readings, Study Guide, Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx  

 

Welcome to Week 10

“The Recovery of the Constitution”

To watch the video of this lecture visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/week_10_lecture.aspx

 

Overview

Statesmanship, for Franklin D. Roosevelt, entailed the “redefinition” of “rights in terms of a changing and growing social order.” Fulfilling the promise of Progressivism, President Roosevelt’s New Deal gave rise to unlimited government. In contrast to Franklin D. Roosevelt and his ideological successors, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan sought the restoration of limited government. Today, our choice is clear: Will we live by the principles of the American Founding, or by the values of the Progressives?

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his campaign for the presidency in 1932 by emphasizing the Progressive understanding of history and by calling for the “redefinition” of the old idea of rights. His “New Deal,” a series of economic programs ostensibly aimed at extricating America from the Great Depression, vastly enlarged the size and scope of the federal government. Unelected bureaucratic agencies—“the administrative state”—became a fact of American life.

 

Roosevelt’s call for a “Second Bill of Rights” sought to add “security” to the rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Describing the “old rights” of life and liberty as “inadequate” without underlying economic security, Roosevelt called for new economic rights for all, including the right to a job, a home, a fair wage, education, and medical care. With these rights guaranteed, Roosevelt argued, real political equality finally could be achieved.

 

Following President Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy’s “New Frontier” and Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” continued the transformation of the relationship between the American people and their government. President Johnson redefined the government’s role by redefining equality itself: equality must be a “result” rather than a “right.” Expanded federal control over education, transportation, welfare, and medical care soon followed.

 

Announcing that “with the present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,” Ronald Reagan appealed to the principles of the American Founding in seeking to reduce the size and scope of the federal government. Maintaining that Progressivism and the consent of the governed are incompatible, Reagan called for a return to individual self-rule and national self-government.

  

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 About the Lecturer:

Larry P. Arnn is the twelfth president of Hillsdale College.  Under Dr. Arnn’s leadership since May of 2000, Hillsdale College has conducted the $608 million Founders Campaign for capital and endowment goals, launched the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship (located in Washington, D.C.), expanded the core curriculum to include a required course on the U.S. Constitution, and established an Honor Code that all matriculates to the College sign.  As a professor of politics and history at Hillsdale, Dr. Arnn regularly teaches courses on Aristotle, on Winston Churchill and on the American Constitution.

 

Dr. Arnn is on the board of directors of The Heritage Foundation and the Claremont Institute.  From 1985 to 2000, he served as President of the Claremont Institute.  Formerly the director of research for Sir Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill, Dr. Arnn is the author of Liberty and Learning: The Evolution of American Education and The Founders’ Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What we Risk by Losing It.  He received his B.A. at Arkansas State University, graduating with highest distinction, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Claremont Graduate School.

 

For the entire course including Overview, video of the lecture, Readings, Study Guide,

Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx  

 

 Look up American Conservative University on Itunes.

 

For those on our website:

To download this show, right click the direct download file below and select "Save target as..." and save the file on your computer. Mac users should hold down the control key when clicking to get the "Save as..." option.

Apr 25, 2012

Show 832 Part 9 of 10. Constitution 101. The Meaning and History of the Constitution.

For the entire course including Overview, video of the lecture, Readings, Study Guide, Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx

 Welcome to Week 9

“The Progressive Rejection of the Founding”

Overview

Progressivism is the belief that America needs to move or “progress” beyond the principles of the American Founding. Organized politically more than a hundred years ago, Progressivism insists upon flexibility in political forms unbound by fixed and universal principles. Progressives hold that human nature is malleable and that society is perfectible. Affirming the inexorable, positive march of history, Progressives see the need for unelected experts who would supervise a vast administration of government.

 

Progressivism is rooted in the philosophy of European thinkers, most notably the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel. Progressivism takes its name from a faith in “historical progress.” According to the leading lights of Progressivism, including Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and John Dewey, human nature has evolved beyond the limitations that the Founders identified. Far from fearing man’s capacity for evil, Progressives held that properly enlightened human beings could be entrusted with power and not abuse it.

 

The Progressive idea of historical progress is tied to the idea of historical contingency, which means that each period of history is guided by different and unique values that change over time. The “self-evident truths” that the Founders upheld in the Declaration of Independence, including natural rights, are no longer applicable. Circumstances, not eternal principles, ultimately dictate justice.

 

If human nature is improving, and fixed principles do not exist, government must be updated according to the new reality. The Constitution’s arrangement of government, based upon the separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism, only impeded effective government, according to Progressives. The limited government of the Founding is rejected in favor of a “living Constitution.”

 

 

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About the Lecturer:

Ronald J. Pestritto is the Charles and Lucia Shipley Chair in the American Constitution, Associate Professor of Politics, and Dean of the Graduate School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College. He is also a senior fellow with the College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship. Dr. Pestritto teaches courses in American politics and political philosophy, with a focus on the political thought of the Progressives.

 

A senior fellow of the Claremont Institute and an academic fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Dr. Pestritto has served as a visiting scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University. He is the author of Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism and Criminal Law: Punishment and Political Thought in the Origins of America; editor of Woodrow Wilson: The Essential Political Writings; and co-editor of American Progressivism: A Reader, as well as a three-book series on American political thought. He has published articles and reviews in the Wall Street Journal and the Claremont Review of Books. He received his B.A. from Claremont

 

For the entire course including Overview, video of the lecture, Readings, Study Guide,

Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx  

 

 Look up American Conservative University on Itunes.

 

For those on our website:

To download this show, right click the direct download file below and select "Save target as..." and save the file on your computer. Mac users should hold down the control key when clicking to get the "Save as..." option.

Apr 25, 2012

Show 831 Part 8 of 10. Constitution 101. The Meaning and History of the Constitution.

 For the entire course including Overview, video of the lecture, Readings, Study Guide,

Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx  

 

 Welcome to Week 8

“Abraham Lincoln and the Constitution”

Overview

Abraham Lincoln’s fidelity to the Declaration of Independence is equally a fidelity to the Constitution. The Constitution takes its moral life from the principles of liberty and equality, and was created to serve those principles. We are divided as a nation today, as in Lincoln’s time, because we have severed the connection between these two documents.

 

Lincoln’s “Fragment on the Constitution and the Union” contains the central theme of Lincoln’s life and work. Drawing upon biblical language, Lincoln describes the Declaration of Independence as an “apple of gold,” and the Constitution as the “frame of silver” around it. We cannot consider the Constitution independently of the purpose which it was designed to serve.

 

The Constitution acts to guard the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. As the embodiment of the Declaration’s principles, the Constitution created a frame of government with a clear objective. The Constitution is not a collection of compromises, or an empty vessel whose meaning can be redefined to meet the needs of the time; it is the embodiment of an eternal, immutable truth.

 

Abraham Lincoln defended the Union and sought to defeat the Confederate insurrection because he held that the principles of the Declaration and Constitution were inviolable. In his speeches and in his statecraft, Lincoln wished to demonstrate that self-government is not doomed to either be so strong that it overwhelms the rights of the people or so weak that it is incapable of surviving.

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About the Lecturer:

 Kevin Portteus is assistant professor of politics at Hillsdale College, where he has taught since 2008. Dr. Portteus is faculty advisor for the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program, and teaches courses in American political thought and American political institutions.

 

A visiting graduate faculty member in the American History and Government program at Ashland University, Dr. Portteus formerly taught at Belmont Abbey College and Mountain View College, in Dallas. Having published online through the Washington Times, Human Events, and BigGovernment.com, his book, Executive Details: Public Administration and American Constitutionalism, is under review for publication. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Ashland University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in politics from the University of Dallas.

 

 

For the entire course including Overview, video of the lecture, Readings, Study Guide,

Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx  

 

 Look up American Conservative University on Itunes.

 

For those on our website:

To download this show, right click the direct download file below and select "Save target as..." and save the file on your computer. Mac users should hold down the control key when clicking to get the "Save as..." option.

Apr 20, 2012

Show 829 Part 6 of 10. Constitution 101. The Meaning and History of the Constitution.

 

For the entire course including Overview, video of the lecture, Readings, Study Guide,

Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx

 

Welcome to Week 6

“Religion, Morality, and Property”

Overview-   The institutional separation of church and state—a revolutionary accomplishment of the American Founders—does not entail the separation of religion and politics. On the contrary, as the Northwest Ordinance states, “religion, morality and knowledge” are “necessary to good government.”

For America’s Founders, reason and revelation properly understood are complementary. “Almighty God hath created the mind free,” wrote Thomas Jefferson in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Human beings are fallible, yet despite this fact, they are capable of self-government.

With careful cultivation of one’s soul, attention to “the laws of nature and of nature’s God,” and the uplifting assistance of family, church, and the local community, an individual is able to tame base passions and live worthy of the blessings of liberty. Virtue is vital to good government.

Among the greatest of blessings—and the most important of rights—is religious liberty. Rejecting the low standard of mere “toleration” that existed elsewhere, the Founders enshrined liberty of conscience as a matter of right. It is immoral, they held, for any government to coerce religious belief. Yet they also argued that it is advisable for governments to recognize their reliance upon “Divine Providence,” and to provide for the support and encouragement of religion.

The government of the United States (or any of the fifty states) is not a church, and the church is not a governmental entity. This institutional separation, a clear statement of which is in the First Amendment, is a boon to both religion and politics, for instead of tying man’s religious fate to the future of the state, the establishment of religious liberty frees up religion so that it might flourish. This important point is missed by the Supreme Court’s misinterpretation, repeated numerous times since 1947, of Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation between church and state” metaphor.

To watch the video of this lecture visit:  http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/week_06_lecture.aspx

 

About the Lecturer-

 David J. Bobb is director of the Hillsdale College Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, in Washington, D.C., and lecturer in politics. Dr. Bobb teaches courses in American politics and political theory to students participating in the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program. Through teaching the enduring principles of the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution, the Kirby Center seeks to inspire citizens to live worthy of the blessings of liberty.

From 2001 to 2010 Dr. Bobb served as director of the Hillsdale College Charles R. and Kathleen K. Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence, a civic education program for high school teachers. Formerly a research associate at the Boston-based Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, he has published reviews and articles in Perspectives on Political Science, the Claremont Review of Books, the American Spectator, and the Washington Times. He blogs regularly for BigGovernment.com, and his book on humility as a political virtue is under review for publication. He received his B.A. from Hillsdale College, summa cum laude, and his Ph.D. in political science from Boston College.

For the entire course including Overview, video of the lecture, Readings, Study Guide,

Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx

 

Look up American Conservative University on Itunes.

 

To download this show, right click the direct download file below and select "Save target as..." and save the file on your computer. Mac users should hold down the control key when clicking to get the "Save as..." option.

Apr 18, 2012

Show 828 Part 5 of 10. Constitution 101. The Meaning and History of the Constitution.

 

For the entire course including Overview, video of the lecture, Readings, Study Guide,

Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx

 

Welcome to Week 5

“The Separation of Powers: Ensuring Good Government”

To watch the video of this lecture visit:  http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/week_05_lecture.aspx

Overview

The separation of powers helps to ensure good government at the same time it guards against tyranny. Independent in function but coordinated in the pursuit of justice, the three branches of government—legislative, executive, and judicial—must each have enough power to resist the encroachment of the others, and yet not so much that the liberty of the people is lost.

A political regime has three dimensions: the ruling institutions, the rulers, and the way of life of the people. In America, the rulers—the people themselves—and their ruling institutions—staffed by the people’s representatives—aim at securing the Creator-endowed natural rights of all citizens. The Framers did this in two ways. “Vertically” considered, our ruling institutions are defined by federalism, or the division of power between the national, state, and local governments. “Horizontally” considered, the ruling institutions of the federal government itself are separated and co-equal.

In the American regime, the Constitution is the “supreme law of the land.” No one branch is superior to it; all three branches have a duty to abide by it. While each of the three branches plays a unique role in the passage, execution, and interpretation of laws, all of the branches must work together in the governing process.

The legislative branch is closest to the people. It is also the branch in which the danger of majority tyranny lurks. The passions of the people are reflected most in the House of Representatives, where the members are elected for terms of two years. The Senate, with its six year terms, was designed to be a more stable legislative presence than the House.

The defining characteristic of the executive is “energy.” The president can act swiftly and decisively to deal with foreign threats and to enforce the law, and can also provide a check on legislative tyranny through the veto.

Members of the judiciary, the third branch of government, must exercise judgment in particular cases to secure individual rights. Through “judicial review,” the judiciary is given the authority to strike down laws that are contrary to the Constitution. But judicial review is not judicial supremacy; even the Supreme Court must rely upon the other branches once it has rendered judgment.

The checks that each branch can exercise against the encroachment of the others ultimately protect the liberties of the people. The separation of powers promotes justice and good government by having each branch perform its proper function. This institutional design allows the sovereign people to observe and to know which branch is responsible for which actions in order to hold each to account. The sense of mutual responsibility built into the separation of powers is a reflection of the moral and civic responsibility all Americans share.

About the Lecturer:

Will Morrisey is the William and Patricia LaMothe Chair in the U.S. Constitution and Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, where he has taught since 2000. He teaches courses in American politics, political philosophy, and comparative politics.

Dr. Morrisey is the author of eight books on statesmanship and political philosophy including Self-Government, The American Theme: Presidents of the Founding and Civil War; The Dilemma of Progressivism: How Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson Reshaped the American Regime of Self-Government; Regime Change: What It Is, Why It Matters; Culture in the Commercial Republic; and Reflections on DeGaulle. He is currently working on a study of the geopolitical strategies of Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle. He has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, the American Political Science Review, the Claremont Review of Politics, and Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy, of which he has served as an editor since 1979. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Kenyon College, and his Ph.D. in political science at the New School University.

About Constitution 101

 

“Constitution 101: The Meaning and History of the Constitution” is a free 10-week online course presented by Hillsdale College.

 

Featuring an expanded format from the “Introduction to the Constitution” lecture series with Hillsdale College President Dr. Larry Arnn, Constitution 101 follows closely the one-semester course required of all Hillsdale College undergraduate students.

 

In this course, you can:

 

•watch lectures from the same Hillsdale faculty who teach on campus;

•study the same readings taught in the College course;

•submit questions for weekly Q&A sessions with the faculty;

•access a course study guide;

•test your knowledge through weekly quizzes; and

•upon completion of the course, receive a certificate from Hillsdale College.

You must register in order to participate in Constitution 101. Even if you have already signed up for a previous Hillsdale webcast or seminar, we ask that you complete the simple registration process for Constitution 101. There is no cost to register for this course, but we ask that you consider a donation to support our efforts to educate millions of Americans about our nation’s Founding documents and principles.

 

For the entire course including Overview, video of the lecture, Readings, Study Guide,

Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx

 

Look up American Conservative University on Itunes.

 

To download this show, right click the direct download file below and select "Save target as..." and save the file on your computer. Mac users should hold down the control key when clicking to get the "Save as..." option

Apr 16, 2012

Show 827 Part 4 of  10. The Separation of Powers: Preventing Tyranny.

 Welcome to Week 4

“The Separation of Powers: Preventing Tyranny”

 

 To watch the video of this lecture visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/week_04_lecture.aspx

 

Overview-

Separation of powers is the central structural feature of the United States Constitution. The division of power among the three branches—legislative, executive, and judicial—is necessitated because human beings are imperfect. The imperfection of human nature means that well-structured government is necessary, though not sufficient, to prevent tyranny.

 

The United States Constitution is structurally designed in part to prevent tyranny. Separation of powers is the means by which power is divided and its accumulation in the hands of any single entity denied.

 

During the 1780s, most states had constitutions that formally divided the government’s power, yet in practice the legislatures dominated. The state constitutions required separation of powers in theory, but failed to deliver it in reality. As a result, the constitutions were little more than what Publius called “parchment barriers.”

 

In order for separation of powers to work, each branch of government must have the “constitutional means” to resist the encroachment of the other branches. This is what today we call “checks and balances.”

 

In addition to institutional checks and balances, there exist also the “personal motives” of people that will lead them to resist the encroachment of the other branches. Human nature is constant across the ages, according to Publius, and human beings are naturally ambitious. Instead of ignoring or attempting to suppress ambition, the Framers sought to channel it through the Constitution, so that it might serve the cause of liberty and justice rather than threaten it.

  

The Framers understood that human nature has noble characteristics that are essential to self-government, but also that it contains baser features, for which government must account. The Constitution’s structural separation of powers recognizes this truth, and in preventing tyranny makes self-government possible.

 

About the Lecturer-  

Kevin Portteus is assistant professor of politics at Hillsdale College, where he has taught since 2008. Dr. Portteus is faculty advisor for the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program, and teaches courses in American political thought and American political institutions.

 

A visiting graduate faculty member in the American History and Government program at Ashland University, Dr. Portteus formerly taught at Belmont Abbey College and Mountain View College, in Dallas. Having published online through the Washington Times, Human Events, and BigGovernment.com, his book, Executive Details: Public Administration and American Constitutionalism, is under review for publication. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Ashland University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in politics from the University of Dallas.

In this course, you can:

 

•watch lectures from the same Hillsdale faculty who teach on campus;

•study the same readings taught in the College course;

•submit questions for weekly Q&A sessions with the faculty;

•access a course study guide;

•test your knowledge through weekly quizzes; and

•upon completion of the course, receive a certificate from Hillsdale College.

You must register in order to participate in Constitution 101. Even if you have already signed up for a previous Hillsdale webcast or seminar, we ask that you complete the simple registration process for Constitution 101. There is no cost to register for this course, but we ask that you consider a donation to support our efforts to educate millions of Americans about our nation’s Founding documents and principles.

 

For the entire free course including Overview, video of the lectures, Readings, Study Guide,

Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx

Look up American Conservative University on Itunes.

To download this show, right click the direct download file below and select "Save target as..." and save the file on your computer. Mac users should hold down the control key when clicking to get the "Save as..." option.

Apr 15, 2012

 Show 830 Part 7 of 10. Constitution 101. The Meaning and History of the Constitution.

 

For the entire course including Overview, video of the lecture, Readings, Study Guide,

Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx

 

Welcome to Week 7

“Crisis of Constitutional Government”

 

To watch the video of this lecture visit:  

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/week_07_lecture.aspx

 

Overview-   At the heart of the American constitutional crisis of the mid-nineteenth century stood the moral, social, and political evil of slavery. At stake in this crisis was the future of republican self-government.

 

Abraham Lincoln saw the dilemma facing the nation as the “crisis of a house divided.” While the American Founders worked to put slavery, as Lincoln said, “on the course of ultimate extinction,” the institution had instead flourished in the first half of the nineteenth century. By the 1850s, efforts to expand slavery threatened to tear the nation apart.

 

Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas championed the idea that Americans living in the territories should choose whether or not slavery should be legal there. “Popular sovereignty” eventually became the law of the land with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

 

For Lincoln, “popular sovereignty” was an abandonment of moral principle. Man does not have a moral right to choose a moral wrong. Self-government cannot mean ruling other human beings without their consent. The Kansas-Nebraska Act, although disguised in the language of liberty and self-government, was in fact at odds with the core principles of the American regime.

 

The Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision marked a further departure from the principles of the American Founding. Writing for the majority in 1857, Chief Justice Roger Taney declared that the Founders never intended for the principles of natural right enunciated in the Declaration to apply to blacks—whether enslaved or emancipated. Furthermore, Congress had no right to ban slavery in the territories. For Lincoln and the opponents of slavery, this decision was not only constitutionally and historically wrong, but it also further enabled the legal expansion of slavery nationwide.

 

Lincoln and Douglas debated both popular sovereignty and the Dred Scott decision in their Illinois Senate race of 1858. Douglas maintained that self-government and slavery were compatible and mutually beneficial in certain climates, and it was up to the majority of citizens to determine whether or not the conditions prevailing in their territory or state made slavery useful. Lincoln countered that republicanism and slavery could never exist in harmony, and that self-government could never be compatible with the denial of consent. America, he held, could not long exist half slave and half free; it must become one or the other.

 

 

About the Lecturer:

Will Morrisey is the William and Patricia LaMothe Chair in the U.S. Constitution and Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, where he has taught since 2000. He teaches courses in American politics, political philosophy, and comparative politics.

 

Dr. Morrisey is the author of eight books on statesmanship and political philosophy including Self-Government, The American Theme: Presidents of the Founding and Civil War; The Dilemma of Progressivism: How Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson Reshaped the American Regime of Self-Government; Regime Change: What It Is, Why It Matters; Culture in the Commercial Republic; and Reflections on DeGaulle. He is currently working on a study of the geopolitical strategies of Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle. He has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, the American Political Science Review, the Claremont Review of Politics, and Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy, of which he has served as an editor since 1979. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Kenyon College, and his Ph.D. in political science at the New School University.

 

For the entire course including Overview, video of the lecture, Readings, Study Guide,

Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx

 

Look up American Conservative University on Itunes.

 

For those on our website:

To download this show, right click the direct download file below and select "Save target as..." and save the file on your computer. Mac users should hold down the control key when clicking to get the "Save as..." option.

Apr 13, 2012

Show 826 Part 3 of  10. Constitution 101. The Meaning and History of the Constitution.

 Part 3 of 10 The Problem of Majority Tyranny

To watch the video of this lecture visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/week_03_lecture.aspx   

 

Welcome to Week 3-

“The Problem of Majority Tyranny”

Overview

America was governed under the Articles of Confederation from 1781 to 1789. Unable to redress the problem of “majority tyranny,” the Articles were abandoned in favor of the Constitution, which created a “more perfect union.”

 

 About the Lecturer-

David J. Bobb is director of the Hillsdale College Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, in Washington, D.C., and lecturer in politics. Dr. Bobb teaches courses in American politics and political theory to students participating in the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program. Through teaching the enduring principles of the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution, the Kirby Center seeks to inspire citizens to live worthy of the blessings of liberty.

 

From 2001 to 2010 Dr. Bobb served as director of the Hillsdale College Charles R. and Kathleen K. Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence, a civic education program for high school teachers. Formerly a research associate at the Boston-based Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, he has published reviews and articles in Perspectives on Political Science, the Claremont Review of Books, the American Spectator, and the Washington Times. He blogs regularly for BigGovernment.com, and his book on humility as a political virtue is under review for publication. He received his B.A. from Hillsdale College, summa cum laude, and his Ph.D. in political science from Boston College.

 

In this course, you can:

 

•watch lectures from the same Hillsdale faculty who teach on campus;

•study the same readings taught in the College course;

•submit questions for weekly Q&A sessions with the faculty;

•access a course study guide;

•test your knowledge through weekly quizzes; and

•upon completion of the course, receive a certificate from Hillsdale College.

You must register in order to participate in Constitution 101. Even if you have already signed up for a previous Hillsdale webcast or seminar, we ask that you complete the simple registration process for Constitution 101. There is no cost to register for this course, but we ask that you consider a donation to support our efforts to educate millions of Americans about our nation’s Founding documents and principles.

 

For the entire free course including Overview, video of the lectures, Readings, Study Guide,

Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx

Look up American Conservative University on Itunes.

To download this show, right click the direct download file below and select "Save target as..." and save the file on your computer. Mac users should hold down the control key when clicking to get the "Save as..." option.

Apr 11, 2012

Show 825 Part 2 of  10. Constitution 101. The Meaning and History of the Constitution.

 

Part 2 of 10 The Declaration of Independence

To watch the video of this lecture visit:  http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/week_02_lecture.aspx

 

Overview

The soul of the American founding is located in the enduring political principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence. The meaning of these principles, especially equality, is decisively different than the definition given to those principles by modern progressivism.

Equality means that nature ordains no one to be the ruler of any other person. Each human being is also equal in his natural rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. These rights are inalienable and possessed simply by virtue of being human.

Equality, liberty, and natural rights require that legitimate government be republican. The truth that all human beings are born free, equal, and independent means that a just government must be based on the consent of the governed—a consent which must be expressed through ongoing elections. The political theory of the Declaration of Independence requires that government secure the natural rights of the citizens through adopting and enforcing criminal laws; adopting and enforcing civil laws regarding property, family, education, and provision for the poor; and providing for national defense.

If the regime fails to operate according to these principles, the people have a right and duty to alter or abolish the government and establish a new government which will secure rights through the consent of the governed.

The people thus play a vital role in protecting their rights. They must be educated in “religion, morality, and knowledge.” A people that is not virtuous will not be able to perpetuate free government.

Modern liberalism uses the same language of “equality” as the Declaration of Independence. Yet modern liberals mean something altogether different than what the Founders meant by those words. For the Progressives, “equality” means that government must redistribute wealth to provide equal access to resources. This idea necessitates government programs that help mankind liberate itself from its “natural limitations.”

The Declaration of Independence and modern Progressivism are fundamentally opposed to each other. The modern misunderstanding of “equality” threatens the whole of the American constitutional and moral order.

Thomas G. West is the Paul and Dawn Potter Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, where he has taught since 2011. Dr. West teaches courses in American politics, with a focus on the U.S. Constitution, civil rights, foreign policy, and the political thought of the American founding. He also teaches courses in political philosophy, with particular emphasis on Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke.

Prior to joining the faculty at Hillsdale, Dr. West was Professor of Politics at the University of Dallas, where he taught from 1974 to 2011. Formerly a visiting scholar at the Heritage Foundation and at Claremont McKenna College, Dr. West is a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute, where he teaches in the Institute’s Publius and Lincoln Fellows summer programs. He is the author of the best-selling Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America, and co-translator of Four Texts on Socrates: Plato’s Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito, and Aristophanes’ Clouds, of which there are more than 180,000 copies in print. He received his B.A. from Cornell University and his Ph.D. from the Claremont Graduate University.

About the Course Constitution 101

 

“Constitution 101: The Meaning and History of the Constitution” is a free 10-week online course presented by Hillsdale College.

 

Featuring an expanded format from the “Introduction to the Constitution” lecture series with Hillsdale College President Dr. Larry Arnn, Constitution 101 follows closely the one-semester course required of all Hillsdale College undergraduate students.

 

In this course, you can:

 

•watch lectures from the same Hillsdale faculty who teach on campus;

•study the same readings taught in the College course;

•submit questions for weekly Q&A sessions with the faculty;

•access a course study guide;

•test your knowledge through weekly quizzes; and

•upon completion of the course, receive a certificate from Hillsdale College.

You must register in order to participate in Constitution 101. Even if you have already signed up for a previous Hillsdale webcast or seminar, we ask that you complete the simple registration process for Constitution 101. There is no cost to register for this course, but we ask that you consider a donation to support our efforts to educate millions of Americans about our nation’s Founding documents and principles.

 

For the entire course including Overview, video of the lecture, Readings, Study Guide,

Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx

 

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To download this show, right click the direct download file below and select "Save target as..." and save the file on your computer. Mac users should hold down the control key when clicking to get the "Save as..." option.

 

Apr 9, 2012

Show 824 Part 1 of  10. Constitution 101. The Meaning and History of the Constitution.

 

About Constitution 101

 

“Constitution 101: The Meaning and History of the Constitution” is a free 10-week online course presented by Hillsdale College.

 

Featuring an expanded format from the “Introduction to the Constitution” lecture series with Hillsdale College President Dr. Larry Arnn, Constitution 101 follows closely the one-semester course required of all Hillsdale College undergraduate students.

 

In this course, you can:

 

•watch lectures from the same Hillsdale faculty who teach on campus;

•study the same readings taught in the College course;

•submit questions for weekly Q&A sessions with the faculty;

•access a course study guide;

•test your knowledge through weekly quizzes; and

•upon completion of the course, receive a certificate from Hillsdale College.

You must register in order to participate in Constitution 101. Even if you have already signed up for a previous Hillsdale webcast or seminar, we ask that you complete the simple registration process for Constitution 101. There is no cost to register for this course, but we ask that you consider a donation to support our efforts to educate millions of Americans about our nation’s Founding documents and principles.

 

For the entire course including Overview, video of the lecture, Readings, Study Guide,

Quiz, Q & A Session and Course Schedule visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/weekly_course_schedule.aspx

 

Part 1 of 10. The American Mind.

Overview

America’s Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson said, was the product of “the American mind.”  Our Constitution was made with the same purpose as the Declaration—to establish a regime where the people are sovereign, and the government protects the rights granted to them by their Creator.

 

The word “constitution” means “to ordain and establish something.”  It also means “to set a firm thing strongly in place.”  It is linked to two other words: statute and statue.  All three words—constitution, statute, and statue—connote a similar idea of establishing something lasting and beautiful.

 

The Constitution, then, is a work of art.  It gives America its form.  To fully know the “cause,” or purpose, of America, one must know the Declaration of Independence.  Thomas Jefferson, its author, mentioned four thinkers for their contribution to molding “the American mind”: Aristotle, Cicero, Algernon Sidney, and John Locke.

  

Studying these philosophers is a wondrous task in itself, and it greatly helps our understanding of America, just as it informed the statecraft of the Founders.  Knowing the meaning of the Declaration and Constitution is vital to the choice before us today as to whether we will live under a Constitution different than the one bequeathed to us. 

Readings

1.           “Letter to Henry Lee” - Thomas Jefferson

2.           “On the Commonwealth” - Marcus Tullius Cicero

3.           “Nicomachean Ethics” - Aristotle

4.           “The Politics” - Aristotle

5.           “Discourses Concerning Government” - Algernon Sidney

6.           “Second Treatise of Government” - John Locke

7.           “Fragment on the Constitution and the Union” - Abraham Lincoln

8.          “The Inspiration of the Declaration” - Calvin Coolidge


Do you want to go beyond the readings for Constitution 101? Order The U.S. Constitution: A Reader today!

 

 

Study Guide for part 1 of 10.

Week One Study Guide

Or visit:  

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/pdfs/01_Con101_StudyGuide_Week1.pdf

Apr 6, 2012

Show 823 Part 5 of 5. Introduction to the Constitution

Lecture Series featuring Dr. Larry Arnn, Hillsdale College President

This ACU podcast is part 5 of a 5 part series.

 

To watch the video of this audio presentation visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/intro_to_constitution.aspx

 

Part 5 of 5 Concluding Session: Q&A Webcast with Dr. Larry Arnn and nationally syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt

In this concluding session of the “Introduction to the Constitution” series, Dr. Larry Arnn, Hillsdale College President, will be joined by nationally syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt for an hour-long webcast, where they will discuss the main points of the series, and answer questions submitted by you, our viewers!

 

Apr 4, 2012

Show 822 Introduction to the Constitution

Lecture Series featuring Dr. Larry Arnn, Hillsdale College President

This ACU podcast is part 3 and 4 of a 5 part series.

 

To watch the video of this audio presentation visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/intro_to_constitution.aspx

 

Part 3 of 5: The Constitution: Separation of Powers and Limited Government

In this third lecture of the “Introduction to the Constitution” series, Dr. Larry Arnn, Hillsdale College President, continues his outline of the key arrangements of the Constitution. He discusses the principles of Separation of Powers and Limited Government, and how they relate to Representation and the ideas of Nature and Equality in the Declaration.

Lecture Three Study Guide (PDF)

 

Part 4 of 5: Bureaucratic Versus Constitutional Government

In this fourth lecture of the “Introduction to the Constitution” series, Dr. Larry Arnn, Hillsdale College President, draws a contrast between centralized, bureaucratic rule and constitutional government.   

Lecture Four Study Guide (PDF)

 

Apr 1, 2012

Show 821 Part 1 and 2 of 5.  Introduction to the Constitution

Lecture Series featuring Dr. Larry Arnn, Hillsdale College President

This ACU podcast is part 1 and 2 of a 5 part series.

 

To watch the video of this audio presentation visit:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/intro_to_constitution.aspx

 

Part One: The Declaration and the Constitution

In this first lecture of the “Introduction to the Constitution” series, Dr. Larry Arnn, Hillsdale College President, argues that the American republic’s meaning and proper method of operation is found in two documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He introduces the two main principles of the Declaration–Nature and Equality–and explains how they are key to understanding the arrangements of government found in the Constitution.

  

Part Two: The Constitution: Representative Government

In this second lecture of the “Introduction to the Constitution” series, Dr. Larry Arnn, Hillsdale College President, begins to outline the key arrangements of the Constitution. The topic of this lecture is the principle of Representative Government, which he argues is the most fundamental principle of the Constitution.

 

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