Used throughout the first half of the nineteenth century in schools and colleges, John Marshall’s own abridgment of his monumental five-volume biography of George Washington is now available in a Liberty Fund edition that once again brings the spirit of George Washington alive in America’s classrooms.
Observations on “The Two Sons of Oil” was written in 1811 in response to the Reverend Samuel B. Wylie’s work, The Two Sons of Oil, which was published in 1803. In this work of radical Presbyterian theology, Wylie pointed out what he considered to be deficiencies in the constitutions of both Pennsylvania and the United States and declared them to be immoral.
The Origin and Principles of the American Revolution is perhaps one of the most important books written on the American Revolution by a European author. It is an original study of the subject by a conservative, objective German observer who acknowledges the legitimacy of the American Revolution, but also asserts at the same time that it was not a revolution but a legitimate transition.
In his two volumes on the Revolution, Bernhard Knollenberg provides a basic narrative of events with extensive citations to the sources and a thorough discussion of the historiography. He concentrates on the political and constitutional clash between Parliament and the colonies that led to the Revolution. Social, economic, and intellectual history enter the story where needed, but Knollenberg was essentially a political historian. Although steeped in the sources and scrupulous about the facts, he wrote Whig history. His sympathies lay with the Americans. He believed that the British ministries were responsible for the crumbling of the empire and that the Americans represented the cause of liberty.
Origin of the American Revolution is the first of Bernhard Knollenberg’s two-part history concerning the basis of the conflict between England and its North American colonies from 1759 to 1766.
The Pacificus-Helvidius Debates of 1793–1794 matched Hamilton and Madison in the first chapter of an enduring discussion about the proper roles of executive and legislative branches in the conduct of American foreign policy. Ignited by President Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation of 1793, which annulled the eleventh article of America’s treaty with France of 1778, the debate addressed whether Washington had the authority to declare America neutral, despite the early alliance treaty with France. The Liberty Fund edition brings together for the first time all the relevant original documents of this controversy.
In Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution, 1787–1788, John Bach McMaster, a professor of American history, and Frederick D. Stone, librarian of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, assembled newspaper articles, editorials, and records about the debates in Pennsylvania’s ratifying convention. In addition to speeches and essays by both supporters and opponents of the Constitution, noninterpretive editorial comments are presented to introduce the documents and place them in the appropriate historical context. Also included in the volume are biographical sketches of key figures in Pennsylvania during this significant period of the American Founding, including Benjamin Franklin, Gouverneur Morris, Benjamin Rush, and James Wilson.
The early political culture of the American republic was so deeply influenced by the religious consciousness of the New England preachers that it was often through the political sermon that the political rhetoric of the period was formed, refined, and transmitted. Political sermons such as the fifty-five collected in this work are unique to America, in both kind and significance. Political Sermons of the American Founding Era thus fills an important need if the American founding period is to be adequately understood.
William Penn (1644–1718) played a crucial role in the articulation of religious liberty as a philosophical and political value during the second half of the seventeenth century and as a core element of the classical liberal tradition in general. Penn was not only one of the most vocal spokesmen for liberty of conscience in Restoration England, but he also oversaw a great colonizing endeavor that attempted to instantiate his tolerationist commitments in practice. His thought has relevance not only for scholars of English political and religious history, but also for those who are interested in the foundations of American religious liberty, political development, and colonial history. This volume illuminates the origins and development of Penn’s thought by presenting, for the first time, complete and annotated texts of all his important political works.
Alexander Hamilton, trusted military aide and secretary to General George Washington, wrote to persuade. He had the ability to clarify the complex issues of his time without oversimplifying them. From the basic core values established in his earlier writings to the more assertive vision of government in his mature work, we see how Hamilton’s thought responded to the emerging nation and how the nation was shaped by his ideas. This comprehensive collection of his early writings, from the period before and during the Revolutionary War, provides a fuller understanding of the development of his thinking.
The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams presents the principal shorter writings in which Adams addresses the prospect of revolution and the form of government proper to the new United States.
The Sacred Rights of Conscience contains original documents from both public and private papers, such as constitutions, statutes, legislative resolutions, speeches, sermons, newspapers, letters, and diaries. These documents provide a vivid reminder that religion was a dynamic factor in shaping American social, legal, and political culture and that there has been a struggle since the inception of the Republic to define the prudential and constitutional role of religion in public culture.