Documents & Texts for 2011 Academy

It is an ancient and sound principle of learning that one must begin with what is familiar. In the case of America, what is familiar turns out, surprisingly, to be an ideal starting point. From the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, there are three documents in American history with which almost all American students and teachers are already familiar: The Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

The knowledge of these three documents is serendipitous because what these documents have in common is the most important and distinctively American idea, the "proposition," as Lincoln called it—the "creed" as King called it—to which America is dedicated. Thomas Jefferson expressed this proposition as a self-evident truth in the most famous American words ever written: "All men are created equal." The political idea expressed in these words is at the heart of each of these historic documents. These documents are also historically and rhetorically linked to each other as the deservedly most well-known memorials of three great epochs in the American story: The birth and definition of American freedom in the 18th century; the great crisis of the American experiment and the "new birth of freedom" in the 19th century; and the fulfillment of the American promise of freedom a century later in the 20th century. While these documents were the alpha and the omega of the Presidential Academy, we had very good reasons to consider other documents, deeds, and significant issues in American history.

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Readings for 2011 Academy

Philadelphia

  • Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States of America (or & "Ashbrook Center booklet& ")
  • Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, eds. The Founders' Constitution: Volume 1, The Major Themes (University of Chicago, 1987) ISBN: 0226463893
  • John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, ed. C.B. Macpherson (Hackett, 1980) ISBN: 0915144867
  • David Hackett Fischer, Washington's Crossing (Oxford, 2006) ISBN: 019518159X
  • Alexander Hamilton, et al., The Federalist Papers, Clinton Rossiter, ed., and Charles R. Kesler, intro. (Signet, 2003) ISBN: 0451528816
  • William B. Allen and Gordon Lloyd, eds., The Essential Antifederalist, 2nd ed. (Rowman and Littlefield, 2002) ISBN: 0742521885
  • Gordon Lloyd and Margie Lloyd, eds., The Essential Bill of Rights: Original Arguments and Fundamental Documents (University Press of America, 1998) ISBN: 0761810765
  • James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 (W.W. Norton and Co., 1987) ISBN 0393304051
  • Photocopied Reading Packet A (or "PRP" *) of additional primary source materials.

Gettysburg

  • Roy P. Basler, Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings (Da Capo, 2001)
  • James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom (Oxford, 2003) ISBN: 019516895X
  • Allen C. Guelzo, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (Simon & Schuster, 2005) ISBN: 0743262972
  • Allen C. Guelzo, Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates that Defined America (Simon & Schuster, 2008) ISBN: 0743273206
  • Harry V. Jaffa, Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates (University of Chicago, 1999) ISBN: 0226391132
  • James M. McPherson, Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg (Crown, 2003), ISBN: 0609610236
  • Robert Walter Johannsen, ed., The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858, (Oxford, 1965)
  • Lucas E. Morel, Lincoln's Sacred Effort: Defining Religion's Role in American Self-Government (Lexington Books, 2000)
  • Gary W. Gallagher, Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know about the Civil War (The University of North Carolina Press, 2008), ISBN: 0807832065
  • Photocopied Reading Packet A (or "PRP" *) of additional primary source materials

Washington, DC

  • Howard Brotz, ed., African-American Social and Political Thought, 1850-1920 (Transaction, 1991) ISBN: 1560005637
  • Ronald J. Pestritto, Woodrow Wilson: The Essential Political Writings (Lexington, 2005) ISBN: 0739109510
  • W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (Dover Publications, 1994) ISBN: 0486280411
  • Eric J. Sundquist, King's Dream: The legacy of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Speech (Yale University Press, 2009) ISBN: 0300158599
  • Adam Fairclough, Better Day Coming: Blacks and Equality, 1890-2000 (Penguin, 2002) ISBN: 0142001295
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches that Changed the World (Harper San Francisco, 1992) ISBN: 0062505521
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can't Wait (Signet, 2000) ISBN: 0451527534
  • Malcolm X, George Breitman, ed., Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements (Grove/Atlantic, 1990) ISBN: 0802132138
  • Juan Williams, Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America–and What We Can Do About It (Three Rivers Press, 2007), ISBN: 030733824X.
  • Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (Vintage, 2008) ISBN: 0307455874
  • Photocopied Reading Packet B (or "PRP" *) of additional primary source materials

* – Page numbers listed indicate only the first page of required reading.

Philadelphia
Theme: The Birth of American Self-Government

Primary Text: The Declaration of Independence
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…"

Sunday, July 10, 2011


7:30 pm - 9:00 pm: Session 1 with Professor Morel (Independence Ballroom in the Independence Visitor Center)

Topic: "Apple of Gold": The Centrality of the Declaration of Independence in American Political Life

Focus: Why is it important to understand the Declaration of Independence? What does the Declaration say, and why and how does it say it? What does the Declaration not say, and why and how does it not say it? What is the significance of Jefferson's draft of the Declaration? What does the Declaration mean, and what does the Declaration not mean?

Readings:

 

Monday, July 11, 2011


9:00 am - 10:30 am: Session 2 with Professor Morel (Independence Ballroom in the Independence Visitor Center)

Topic: Developing the American Mind (1689, 1721, 1774-1780)

Focus: Thomas Jefferson wrote that in drafting the Declaration of Independence he meant to give expression to "the American mind." What does the Declaration tell us about the American mind as it related to the foundations, forms, and purposes of the newly sovereign United States? What is the political logic of the argument of the Declaration? What is the philosophical and historical heritage on which the Declaration draws? How does the Declaration reflect a Lockean or Enlightenment understanding of politics? Reflections include the course of human events, one people, the laws of nature and of nature's God, decent respect for the opinions of mankind, self evident truths, equality, rights, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, consent, prudence, the ends of government, the right to abolish government and institute new government, facts submitted to a candid world, sacred honor, and more.

Readings:

Supplemental/Optional Reading:

  • Lloyd and Lloyd, The Essential Bill of Rights

10:50 am - 12:20 pm: Session 3 with Professor Lloyd (Independence Ballroom in the Independence Visitor Center)

Topic: The Constitutional Convention, Parts I & II – The Alternative Plans and the Connecticut Compromise

Focus: Of what significance were the rules adopted by the Convention? In what respects did the Virginia Plan represent a new constitution rather than a mere revision of the Articles? What were delegates' initial reactions and questions concerning the Virginia Plan? What parts of the Plan were rejected or amended? What did the delegates mean when they spoke of a national government as opposed to a federal government? What different principles animate the New Jersey and Virginia Plans and the Hamilton Proposal? Why were they even introduced? What are the arguments for representation of the states, as opposed to the people, in the federal government? Consider the discussions of the executive power, bicameralism, and the role of the judiciary in the context of "republican principles." What do "republican principles" say about the sources of power, the powers, and the structure of the federal government? Is Madison's extended republic argument a departure from republican principles?

What accounts for the persistence of the New Jersey Plan supporters despite their defeat earlier? What are the arguments against the "legality" and "practicality" of the Amended Virginia Plan? When and how did the Connecticut Compromise emerge as a viable alternative? How did the "partly national, partly federal" concept enter the discussion? Why did Madison argue that the issue facing the delegates was not small states vs. large states but the slavery question? What is the significance of who was elected to the Gerry Committee? Who changed their minds and why during this month long discussion over representation? Who favored and who opposed the Connecticut Compromise? What else, besides the representation issue, was discussed during this part of the Convention?

Readings:

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm: Session 4 with Professor Lloyd (Independence Ballroom in the Independence Visitor Center)

Topic: The Constitutional Convention, Parts III & IV – The Committee of Detail Report and The End is in Sight

Focus: Who was elected to the Committee of Detail and what has been their position so far with respect to the republican and federal issues? How does the Committee on Detail Report differ from the original and amended Virginia Plans and what significant recommendations did it make? Who was elected to the Slave Trade Committee and what had they said about slavery up to that point? How did the slavery provisions undergo changes during the deliberations?

The Brearley Committee was created to take care of "leftovers." How did it handle the disputes concerning the Executive branch? Who was on the Committee of Style and how did the Report differ from the Committee of Detail Report? What last hour changes did the delegates make to the Report? Why did Randolph, Mason, and Gerry decide against signing the Constitution? Were their reasons similar? Did the delegates attempt to accommodate their objections? What is the significance of Franklin's "Rising Sun" speech on the last day of the Convention?

Readings:

 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


9:00 am – 10:30 am: Session 5 with Professor Morel (Independence Ballroom in the Independence Visitor Center)

Topic: The Federalist Papers, Part I – Proposed Constitution of 1787 and Its Defense

Focus: What is the structure of the argument of The Federalist? (For example, consider the outline Publius sketches in the first essay.) Why is a union of the American states not simply an option but a necessity for the survival of self-government? What improvements in "the science of politics" did Publius think necessary to make the republican form of government defensible? What is Federalist 10's republican remedy for the problem of faction? What are the defects of the Confederation, according to Publius? Why is there "an absolute necessity for an entire change in the first principles of the system"? Why are the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union unable to preserve union?

Readings:

  • The Federalist Papers,1-22, especially 1-10, 15, 22
  • Constitution of the United States of America (Ashbrook Center booklet), 9-25

Supplemental/Optional Reading:

  • William B. Allen, "Best Friends: The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution," (PRP)

10:50 am - 12:20 pm: Session 6 with Professor Morel (Independence Ballroom in the Independence Visitor Center)

Topic: The Federalist Papers, Part II – The Need for (More) Constitutional "Energy" to Preserve the American Union

Focus: What does Publius mean by "energy," and what forms does he think it should take in a federal government? How does he defend a "general power of taxation" in a federal government (cf. the requisition power under the Articles of Confederation)? How does Publius respond to objections to the "necessary and proper clause"? How does he interpret "the supreme law of the land" clause? How does Publius relate the nature of political representation to the power of taxation?

Readings:

  • The Federalist Papers, 23-36, especially 23, 33, 35, 36

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm: Session 7 with Professor Lloyd (Independence Ballroom in the Independence Visitor Center)

Topic: The Federalist Papers, Part III – The Sum of Power and the Separation of Powers

Focus: Outline Federalist 37-51. What, according to Madison, are "the great difficulties of founding?" What is "delicate" about the two questions raised at the end of Federalist 43? "The time has been when it was incumbent on us all to veil the ideas which this paragraph exhibits. The scene is now changed, and with it, the part which the same motives dictate." What does Publius mean by this last sentence in the penultimate paragraph of 43? What articles and clauses of the Constitution are discussed in 43 and 44? How, in Federalist 43, does Publius defend the Convention's proposal to supersede the Confederation "without the unanimous consent of the parties to it"?

Why, in the American representative republic, should the people "indulge all their jealousy and exhaust all their precautions" against the legislative branch? What are Publius' criticisms of Thomas Jefferson's suggestions for maintaining the separation of powers? Why does Publius think that it is necessary to have the "prejudices of the community" on the side of even the most rational government? What kinds of prejudices is he thinking of? Publius states that "it is the reason of the public alone that ought to controul and regulate the government. The passions ought to be controuled and regulated by the government." How does he reconcile this principle with the republican principle that government "derives all its powers directly or indirectly from …the people"? Why would "an extinction of parties necessarily [imply] either a universal alarm for the public safety, or an absolute extinction of liberty"? What is the principle of separation of powers? What is the greatest threat in the American republic to separation of powers, and why is this the greatest threat?

Readings:

  • The Federalist Papers, 37-51, esp. 37-40, 43, 45, 47-49, 51
  • Constitution of the United States of America (Ashbrook Center booklet), 9-25

 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


9:00 am - 10:30 am: Session 8 with Professor Morel (Independence Ballroom in the Independence Visitor Center)

Topic: The Federalist Papers, Part IV – Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches

Focus: What qualities did Publius expect or take for granted in the American people who would be living under the proposed constitution? In what ways was the constitution a response to these qualities? How does the new constitution balance a concern for safety with a concern for utility? What qualities did Publius expect in the people who would serve respectively in the House of Representatives, the Senate, the office of President, and the Supreme Court? How did the functioning of each of these branches and of the constitution as a whole involve the operation of these qualities? What are the relations of the composition, powers, mode of selection, and tenure of office of the House of Representatives, Senate, Executive, and Judiciary to the political purposes these offices were meant to serve and to the overall purposes to be served by the constitution? How, in particular, do any of these elements contribute to the effective functioning of the separation of powers?

Readings:

  • The Federalist Papers, 52-85, esp. 52-53, 55, 57, 62-63, 67, 70-73, 78
  • Constitution of the United States of America (Ashbrook Center booklet), 9-25

10:50 am - 12:20 pm: Session 9 with Professor Lloyd (Independence Ballroom in the Independence Visitor Center)

Topic: Ratification and the Anti-Federalists

Focus: What is the enduring significance of the nine-month campaign to secure ratification of the Constitution? Just how closely did the Constitution come to not being ratified? Who were the main actors in the ratification struggle and what were their arguments?

Readings:

  • Allen and Lloyd, The Essential Antifederalist
    • Brutus essays, chaps. 2-4 (Selections), 105-121, 174-200, 251-57
  • Lloyd and Lloyd, eds., The Essential Bill of Rights
    • State Ratifying Conventions, 301-319

Supplemental/Optional Reading:

  • Allen and Lloyd, The Essential Antifederalist
    • Timeline, xxxii-xxxvi

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm: Session 10 with Professor Lloyd (Independence Ballroom in the Independence Visitor Center)

Topic: The Bill of Rights

Focus: The proposed constitution of 1787 did not contain a bill of rights. Why did James Madison agree to introduce a Bill of Rights in the First Congress? What were the arguments in favor and against the adoption of the Bill of Rights? How reliable are the original documents surrounding ratification and the adoption of the Bill of Rights?

Readings:

  • Lloyd and Lloyd, eds., The Essential Bill of Rights
    • James Wilson Speech (Oct. 6, 1787), 283-286
    • Jefferson-Madison Correspondence, 319-331
    • Congressional History of the Bill of Rights, 344-357
  • The Federalist Papers, 84

Supplemental/Optional Reading:

  • Lloyd and Lloyd, The Essential Bill of Rights
    • James Madison Speech (June 8, 1789), 331-344

 

Thursday, July 14, 2011


10:15 am - 12:00 pm: Session 11 with Dr. David Hackett Fischer (Independence Ballroom in the Independence Visitor Center)

Topic: The Revolutionary Era  

Focus: How did the American colonists define liberty and freedom as they sought to secure their independence from mother England? During the Revolutionary War, what difficulties did the Americans face in fighting for liberty while maintaining the supremacy of civilian over military authority?

Reading:

  • Fischer, Washington's Crossing, esp. 1-50, 138-59, 206-62, 363-79

Gettysburg
Theme: The Testing of American Self-Government

Primary Text: Abraham Lincoln, "Gettysburg Address"
"That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

 

Friday, July 15, 2011


7:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Session 12 with Professors Morel and Guelzo (Gettysburg Hotel Eisenhower Room)

Topic: Lincoln and 21st-Century America

Focus: In the face of modern-day critics from both the Right and the Left, does Lincoln still "belong to the ages"?

Readings:

Supplemental/Optional Readings:

  • Michael Lind, What Lincoln Believed: The Values and Convictions of America's Greatest President, 191-232, 334-338 (PRP)

 

Saturday, July 16, 2011


9:00 am - 10:30 am: Session 13 with Professor Morel (Gettysburg Hotel Eisenhower Room)

Topic: The Rule of Law, Slavery, and the Future of Self-Government

Focus: What is "reverence for the laws" and why does Lincoln think it is so important to "the perpetuation of our political institutions"? Who or what is the "towering genius" that poses the greatest threat to American self-government? What does Lincoln's criticism of "old school" temperance reformers suggest about the proper mode of political debate for a self-governing people? What role does Lincoln believe religion plays in a self-governing society?

Readings:

Supplemental/Optional Readings:

  • Roy P. Basler, Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings
  • Jaffa, Crisis of the House Divided, chaps. 9, 10
  • McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, chap. 5

10:50 am - 12:20 pm: Session 14 with Professor Guelzo (Gettysburg Hotel Eisenhower Room)

Topic: Abolitionism and Constitutional Self-Government

Focus: According to Garrison, what is wrong with gradual abolition of slavery? Does he think the Constitution is pro-freedom or pro-slavery? Why does Garrison not endorse political reform as the cure for the nation's ills? What is Frederick Douglass's view of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution? Does he view blacks in the United States as Americans? What do blacks in America need to flourish as human beings and as citizens? What is the key principle that Lincoln proposes for the "fusion" of various political interests into a new party? Contrast Lincoln's approach to eliminating slavery with Garrison's. What does Lincoln mean by comparing America to "a house divided against itself"? Why is Lincoln not an abolitionist?

Readings:

Supplemental/Optional Readings:

  • Jaffa, Crisis of the House Divided, chaps. 7-8
  • Adam Gopnik, "John Brown's Body," 1-5 (PRP)
  • Diana Schaub, "Frederick Douglass's Constitution," 459-74 (PRP)

 

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm: Session 15 with Professor Guelzo (Gettysburg Hotel Eisenhower Room)

Topic: Lincoln Confronts Stephen Douglas's Popular Sovereignty

Focus: What does Stephen Douglas mean by "popular sovereignty"? Why does Lincoln view the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 as a reversal of American policy towards domestic slavery? How does "indifference" about the spread of slavery amount to "covert real zeal" for its spread? How does Lincoln justify previous national compromises with slavery? What is Lincoln's definition of self-government and how does it inform his political rhetoric and policy proposals? What is Lincoln's definition of democracy? What role does Lincoln think the Declaration of Independence plays in contemporary political practice? Why does Lincoln advise against a Republican call for repeal of the fugitive slave law? What connection does Lincoln make between liberty, union, and the Constitution?

Readings:

Supplemental/Optional Readings:

  • Jaffa, Crisis of the House Divided, Epigrams, p. 15, and chaps. 3, 4
  • McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, chap. 6

 

Sunday, July 17, 2011


2:15 pm - 6:00 pm: Gettysburg Battlefield Bus Tour with Dr. Gary Gallagher

The Gettysburg National Military Park is preserved as a symbol of America's struggle to survive as a nation and as a lasting memorial to the armies and soldiers who served in the great conflict. The Battle of Gettysburg was a critical turning point in the Civil War, a conflict that determined the fate of the United States.

Readings:

  • McPherson, Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg
  • Gallagher, Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten, Introduction, and Chapters 1 and 3

 

Monday, July 18, 2011


9:00 am - 10:30 am: Session 16 with Professor Guelzo (Gettysburg Hotel Eisenhower Room)

Topic: Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858

Focus: Contrast Lincoln's understanding of the relation between public opinion and political rule with that of Stephen Douglas. What does Douglas mean by "diversity" and how does he use it to attack Lincoln's alleged doctrine of "uniformity"? Why does Douglas think Lincoln is wrong to criticize the Dred Scott opinion? How does Lincoln answer Douglas's charges? What does Lincoln mean by the "moral lights" of the community? In the second debate, how does Lincoln force Douglas into a quandary regarding popular sovereignty and support for the Dred Scott opinion? (See Douglas's argument about "unfriendly legislation.") In the seventh debate, what is Lincoln's understanding of the Founders' views regarding slavery? How does Lincoln show that the rhetoric of Douglas makes him a kind of abolitionist in practice?

Readings:

  • Roy P. Basler, Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings
    • A House Divided (June 16, 1858), 372-381
    • Last Speech in Springfield, Illinois (October 30, 1858), 480-481
    • Letter to Doctor C.H. Ray (November 20, 1858), 482-483
  • The Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1858), 1st, 2nd, and 7th Debates, 37-115, 286-329

Supplemental/Optional Readings:

10:50 am - 12:20 pm: Session 17 with Professor Morel (Gettysburg Hotel Eisenhower Room)

Topic: The Rights and Wrongs of Secession

Focus: What reasons did Southern secession commissioners give for seceding from the Union? What reasons did Alexander Stephens give in defense of the Southern Confederacy?

Readings:

Supplemental/Optional Readings:

  • McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, chap. 8
  • Mackubin Thomas Owens, "The Case Against Secession" (PRP)

2:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Gettysburg Battlefield Tour with Dr. Gary Gallagher

Readings:

  • McPherson, Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg
  • Gallagher, Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten, Chapters 2, 4, and Epilogue

 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


9:00 am - 10:30 am: Session 18 with Professor Guelzo (Gettysburg Hotel Eisenhower Room)

Topic: Lincoln's Election, Secession, and the Civil War

Focus: As Lincoln recounts the early history of the federal government, what authority did it exercise over slavery? What problems do southerners have with the Republican Party, and how does Lincoln respond to their charges? Why does Lincoln claim that the southern disposition during the 1860 election year was to "rule or ruin in all events"? What is his advice to Republicans as they face opposition over the slavery controversy? In his address to the New Jersey Senate, why does Lincoln call the American citizenry God's "almost chosen people"? What is Lincoln's declared agenda as the incoming president? Why does he think secession unjustified and illegitimate? What is Lincoln's view of the authority of the Supreme Court? What does Lincoln mean by "the better angels of our nature"? How does Lincoln think the country can avoid civil war?

Readings:

Supplemental/Optional Readings:

  • McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, chap. 7

10:50 am - 12:20 pm: Session 19 with Professor Guelzo (Gettysburg Hotel Ballroom)

Topic: Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation

Focus: The Emancipation Proclamation did not free a single slave in areas loyal to the federal government, e.g., the border states of Maryland, Kentucky, Delaware, or Missouri. What did it accomplish? What did Frederick Douglass think about the Emancipation Proclamation at the time and then in retrospect? On emancipation, Lincoln moved too slowly for the radicals and abolitionists and too fast for the Democrats. How would you assess Lincoln's actions?

Readings:

Supplemental/Optional Readings:

  • Lucas E. Morel, "Forced into Gory Lincoln Revisionism" (PRP)
  • Don E. Fehrenbacher, "Only His Stepchildren: Lincoln & the Negro" (PRP)
  • James M. McPherson, "The 'Glory' Story" (PRP)

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm: Session 20 with Professor Morel (Gettysburg Hotel Ballroom)

Topic: Lincoln and Civil Liberties

Focus: Lincoln claimed to be fighting a war that would lead to "a new birth of freedom," yet some claim he violated civil liberties on an unprecedented scale. How can a war for liberty be reconciled with such violations of civil liberties? Were the steps he took during the war constitutional? Why or why not? Compare and contrast Taney's opinion in ex parte Merryman and Lincoln's apologia in his letter to Erastus Corning and the New York Democrats.

Readings:

Supplemental/Optional Reading:

  • McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, pp. 284-90 (Merryman episode), 591-99 (Vallandigham episode)
  • Don E. Fehrenbacher, "Lincoln and the Constitution" (PRP)
  • Herman Belz, "Lincoln and the Constitution: The Dictatorship Question Revisited" (PRP)

 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


9:00 am - 10:30 am: Session 21 Seminar with Professor Morel (Gettysburg Hotel Eisenhower Room)

Topic: "A New Birth of Freedom" (Gettysburg Address) and Lincoln's Re-election (Second Inaugural Address)

Focus: Why does Lincoln call "all men are created equal" a "proposition" instead of a "self-evident truth"? How does he see the Civil War as a test? How does he define "dedication" and why does Lincoln depreciate what was said at the Gettysburg dedication? What is "the great task" that remains for the American people? What is the "new birth of freedom" he calls the nation to experience?

What are Lincoln's objectives as the newly re-elected president? Why emphasize that both sides tried to avoid war? Why is there no explicit mention of the South as the cause of rebellion in the Second Inaugural Address? According to Lincoln, who or what was the cause of the Civil War? Why does he appeal to God's judgment to discern the meaning of the Civil War? How does the Second Inaugural Address forge a connection between America's past and America's future? Why does Lincoln use his Second Inaugural Address to explain the meaning of the preceding four years?

Readings:

Supplemental/Optional Reading:

  • Lucas E. Morel, Lincoln's Sacred Effort, chap. 2 (Gettysburg Address) and 5 (Second Inaugural)
  • Michael P. Vorenberg, "A King's Cure, A King's Style: Lincoln, Leadership, and the Thirteenth Amendment" (PRP)

10:50 am - 12:20 pm: Session 22 with Professor Morel (Gettysburg Hotel Ballroom)

Topic: Frederick Douglass–Reconstruction and the Future of Black Americans

Focus: Just as Douglass was the leading figure in the fight to secure the natural right to liberty for blacks in America, he was the leading figure in the post-war struggle to secure civil rights for African-Americans. Why does Douglass favor justice ("fair play") over charity ("benevolence") for black Americans? Why does Douglass counsel black Americans against "race pride"? Why does Douglass consider "the Negro problem" a misnomer for "the nation's problem" and how does this affect the kind of solutions proposed to help black Americans? What was his critique of the emigrationist position? Does he believe in black reparations? If color prejudice is the bane of black Americans, what principles and policies does Douglass propose to eliminate it from American society?

Readings:

Washington, D.C.
Theme: The Fulfillment of America's Promise of Self-Government

Primary Text: Martin Luther King, Jr., "I Have a Dream"
"I have a dream my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

 

Friday, July 22, 2011


9:00 am - 10:30 am: Session 23 with Professors Morel and Burkett (Hyatt Regency Room)

Topic: The Modern Era Confronts the American Founding

Focus: What did the American founding and Civil War look like to politicians and public intellectuals at the start of the 20th century?

Readings:

10:50 am - 12:20 pm: Session 24 with Professor Morel (Hyatt Regency Room)

Topics: Booker T. Washington; W.E.B. Du Bois

Focus: What did Washington believe were the most urgent priorities for blacks at the close of the 19th century? On what issues was Washington prepared to compromise and why? What were the goals of Washington's program and how did these differ from the recommendations of W.E.B. Du Bois? Why does Du Bois seek to "conserve" the races? How would "the conservation of the races" help the future of the Negro race as well as the future of world civilization? What principles of the American regime appear to run counter to Du Bois's emphasis on "race organizations" and "race solidarity"? What does Du Bois mean by the "talented tenth"? Compare Washington and Du Bois on the purpose of education.

Readings:

Supplemental/Optional Readings:

    Booker T. Washington:
  • >Washington, Up From Slavery (1901), chap. 3, "The Struggle for an Education," 42-62 (PRP)
  • Washington, Address on Abraham Lincoln, (February 12, 1909), 33-39 (PRP)
  • Louis Harlan, "Booker T. Washington in Biographical Perspective" (October 1970), 1581-1599 (PRP)
  • Fairclough, Better Day Coming, chap. 3
  • W.E.B. Du Bois:

  • Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
  • Fairclough, Better Day Coming, chap. 4

 

Saturday, July 23, 2011


9:00 am - 10:30 am: Session 25 with Professor Burkett (Hyatt Regency Room)

Topics: The Progressive Reform and Self-Government

Focus: The Progressives fought for reform at the turn of the century. What principled form did their criticism take of the Declaration, the Constitution, and political decentralization? They revered Lincoln, yet did not emulate his devotion to the Declaration of Independence, but invoked the preamble to the Constitution to make democracy more active. Jefferson's and Hamilton's views became living arguments again, but with interesting shifts. Self-government was in need of some assistance. What effect did their reforms—for example, direct primaries, initiative, referendum—have on federalism, separation of powers, and political parties? What legacy did the Progressives, Woodrow Wilson in particular, leave the nation?

Readings:

10:50 am - 12:20 pm: Session 26 with Professor Morel (Hyatt Regency Room)

Topics: Marcus Garvey; Brown v. Board of Education

Focus: Why does Garvey respond to color prejudice in America more pessimistically than Douglass, Washington, or Du Bois? How does the American context after World War I shape Garvey's solutions for the plight of black Americans? Why is a Negro nation so important for progress in the protection of the rights of Negroes anywhere in the world?

In Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court briefly traces the history of public schools in America. How does this help the Court argue against racially segregated schools? What role do legal precedents play in the Court's argument against "separate but equal" schools? What is meant by "intangible considerations" and how does this help the Court establish that the mere act of separating school children by race produces an unequal education? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Court's opinion in Brown? If segregated schools did not produce "a feeling of inferiority" on the part of black children, would these schools be unconstitutional according to Brown?

Readings:

Supplemental/Optional Readings:

  • Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights, "Brown's Backlash," 385-440 (PRP)
  • Fairclough, Better Day Coming, chaps. 6-8

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm: Session 27 with Professor Burkett (Hyatt Regency Room)

Topic: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Democratic Leadership

Focus: The political and constitutional legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt is impressive. What was his extraordinary achievement? In what ways did he improve upon Jefferson's, Lincoln's, and the Progressives' understanding of democratic life and political structures? How did his New Deal envision a powerful, active, and programmatically ambitious national government? How was this related to the possibility of self-government? What is his legacy?

Readings:

Supplemental/Optional Readings:

  • Ralph Ellison, "The Myth of the Flawed White Southerner" (1968), 76-87 (PRP)
  • Fairclough, chaps. 7-9

 

Sunday, July 24, 2011


1:00 pm - 2:30 pm: Session 28 with Professor Morel (Hyatt Regency Room)

Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr., Non-Violent Resistance, and the American Dream

Focus: Why does King reject force as a response to oppression? What is the major concern of the white clergymen who counsel King to stay away from Birmingham? What are the four stages of civil disobedience? How does King's nonviolent resistance against a particular law actually support obedience to the government and laws? Why does King blame white moderates more than fringe elements like the Ku Klux Klan for lack of progress in securing civil rights for black Americans?

Readings:

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm: Session 29 with Professor Morel (Hyatt Regency Room)

Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the American Dream

Focus: What is the role of the church and God in King's leadership of the modern Civil Rights Movement? In his "I Have a Dream" speech, does King combine religion and politics in a way that upholds or subverts what has come to be known as the "wall of separation" between church and state? Does King's proposal for a "Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged" indicate a shift from his earlier vision of the American dream? Does King's advocacy of "compensatory or preferential treatment" look more to race or poverty as its justification? Is the G.I. Bill of Rights a good analogy for King's promotion of a federal, economic program to help blacks and the disadvantaged, generally? What does "black power" mean to King? What does President Johnson mean by comparing "equality as a right" with "equality as a result"?

Readings:

Supplemental/Optional Readings:

  • Bayard Rustin, "From Protest to Politics: The Future of the Civil Rights Movement" (1964), 116-129 (PRP)
  • King, I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches
    • "Where Do We Go from Here?" (August 16, 1967), 169-79
  • Christopher Lasch, The True and Only Heaven, 386-411 (PRP)
  • Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial (in progress)

7:30 pm - 10:00 pm: Session 30 with Juan Williams (Hyatt Regency Room)

Topic: President Obama: Culmination of the Civil Rights Movement?

Focus: What role did Thurgood Marshall play in the Civil Rights Movement? What was his view of the American founding? What was his opinion of contemporary activists for civil rights, like Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X?

Readings:

  • Barack Obama, "A More Perfect Union" (March 18, 2008), 1-7 (PRP)
  • Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope, chaps. 2, 3, and 7

Supplemental/Optional Readings:

  • David Samuels, "Invisible Man: How Ralph Ellison Explains Barack Obama" (Oct. 22, 2008)(PRP)

 

Monday, July 25, 2011


9:00 am - 10:30 am: Session 31 with Professor Morel (Hyatt Regency Room)

Topic: Malcolm X

Focus: How does Malcolm X's theology inform his political thinking? Malcolm X insists that there is no legitimate intermediate position between "the ballot" and "the bullet." He is highly critical of King's reliance on "civil" disobedience. Is he correct? How does his understanding of political action, and particularly the justification for violence, compare to the right of revolution as articulated by John Locke and enshrined in the Declaration of Independence? Why did Malcolm X reject integration as an aim of the civil rights struggle? Why must Black Nationalism be an internationalist movement?

Readings:

 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


4:00 pm - 5:30 pm: Session 32 with Professor Burkett (Hyatt Regency Room)

Topic: The Reagan Era and the New Deal Legacy

Focus: Reagan seemed to campaign against Roosevelt's legacy, but delighted in pointing out that he voted for him four times. Yet, he seemed to be interested in cutting back the size of the federal government and making its programs less ambitious. What were his purposes in doing so? Was his failure to cut back the size of government due primarily to Reagan's policies during an era of "divided government," or rather more a reflection of FDR's success?

Readings (PRP):

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm: Seminar 33 with Professor Burkett (Hyatt Regency Room)

Topic: George W. Bush's Founding Faith and Barack Obama's Gospel of Hope

Focus: President Bush seemed intent on arguing that his policies, both domestic and foreign, derive directly from the principles of the founding. He argues that self-government needs to be re-invigorated and places emphasis on the obligations of citizenship, and sometimes public spiritedness is difficult. He reminds us that citizenship is not a matter of birth and blood, but rather, "we are bound by ideals," and those ideals have to be learned. Is he right?

President Obama frequently praises the American founders and other traditional American icons (e.g., Abraham Lincoln), but also emphasizes America's ability to change and identifies "hope" as the essential American creed. To what extent is Obama beholden to the American founding and in what ways does he depart from the Founders? Does his election as the first black American to the presidency move the United States into a post-racial world? What do Obama's speeches and writings indicate about his understanding of the role race plays in the 21st century?

Readings (PRP):


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