18th Century Meanings of Happiness and Liberty

Cross Posted from the Pennsylvania Tenth Amendment Center.

In this Glenn Beck interview,

Rick Santorum tells us that the 18th century definition of happiness is, “to do the morally right thing”.  When I heard this, I was surprised and fascinated, but also suspicious, so I decided to see if I could confirm that.  First, I checked the Dictionary of the English language by Samuel Johnson (1768, 3rd edition), where I found this…

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Nationalism, Federalism and the Civil War

I often read blogs, articles, news “reports” and the like – where the commentator refers to the current 10th Amendment Movement with a comment like Hugh Holub in the Tucson Citizen: “The Civil War was about the right of states to allow slavery. The Union won and slavery was outlawed.” Obviously, the southern states wanted…

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The burden of Northern history

There has been a spate of books on America’s presumed decline in recent days. Most now and ever before compare with the rise and fall of Rome. I’ve always thought we should be compared with two empires, Rome and Athens. Or better yet, Rome and Constantinople, equal and opposite cultural counter-forces for at least 1,000 years. But ours are red and blue and their capitals are New York City and Dallas.

This division was identified by Henry James in the late 1800s. “The Bostonians,” which might be seen as visionary today, contrasted the radical feminist and reformer, Olive, with the Southern cousin Basil, who dines with “a six-shooter and a bowie knife.” When asked, “Don’t you care for human progress?” he answers, “I don’t know — I never saw any.”

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