We the Teachers

Saturday Webinar: Do American Principles Require American Interventionism?

Listen to the audio here.

14 March 2015′s American Controversies webinar focused on foreign policy, and how American principles impact the decision to get involved overseas, where, and how. Scholars David Tucker and Stephen Knott discussed examples from Washington’s administration to the Obama presidency,  unpacking events and decisions including the War of 1812, Indian Removal, the annexation of Florida, the Spanish-American War, and more recent interventions in the Balkans, Africa, and elsewhere. 80 teachers from across the country attended and posed excellent questions, digging at the issue of where principles and pragmatism meet – and either clash or complement one another.

You can access a video copy of this webinar, along with the core documents used by the scholars, on this TeachingAmericanHistory.org archive page.

Join us for next month’s American Controversies webinar, the guiding question behind which will be “Are Congress or the Courts Too Strong or Too Weak?

Saturday Webinar: Has the Age of Enlightened Administration Come?

You can listen to the audio right here, and access the archive page – with the video – here.

Today’s webinar consisted of a fascinating discussion of the idea of governmental administration, and the ability and role of government – especially at the federal level – in exercising regulatory power. Panelists discussed the definition of ‘administration’ itself, as well as the difference between political perspectives on problem-solving versus ‘expert’ or ‘technical’ perspectives on the same. Specific examples from the early 20th Century – Roosevelt’s involvement in the coal strike and federal engagement with railroads – were discussed in detail, as well as presidential administrations from the late 19th through the early 21st Centuries.

Aside from the discussion itself, this session included a great deal of description and background information on the functions and organization of the executive bureaucracy, with detailed definitions of the different types of agencies that exist within it, how they function in relation to the president, and how this status impacts their ability to execute policy and regulations.

Bill of Rights Lecture Series: Session 6

The Ashbrook Center’s Professor Gordon Lloyd gave a six-part lecture series to a group of teachers at the Reagan Library, in which he discussed several key perspectives on the development, writing, ratification, and implementation of the Bill of Rights. Episodes run from 50-60 minutes each. In this, the final of 6 sessions, Dr. Lloyd ends with a discussion of James Madison, the father of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. A master reference chart of the origins of the rights found in the Bill of Rights is here, along with a short biography of James Madison, here.

Session 6: James Madison, Father of the Constitution and Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights Lecture Series: Session 5

The Ashbrook Center’s Professor Gordon Lloyd gave a six-part lecture series to a group of teachers at the Reagan Library, in which he discussed several key perspectives on the development, writing, ratification, and implementation of the Bill of Rights. Episodes run from 50-60 minutes each. Session 5′s topic is that of the first Congress, and how this body of legislators worked to draft what would become the Bill of Rights. Supplemental references for this session can be found here.

Session 5: The First Congress and the Bill of Rights

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Bill of Rights Lecture Series: Session 4

The Ashbrook Center’s Professor Gordon Lloyd gave a six-part lecture series to a group of teachers at the Reagan Library, in which he discussed several key perspectives on the development, writing, ratification, and implementation of the Bill of Rights. Episodes run from 50-60 minutes each. In Session 4, Dr. Lloyd discusses the political and legal processes by which the Constitution was ratified, and how these impacted the debate over whether the inclusion of a Bill of Rights was necessary or even desirable. For information about the Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist debates surrounding ratification, look here.

Session 4: Constitutional Ratification

Bill of Rights Lecture Series: Session 3

The Ashbrook Center’s Professor Gordon Lloyd gave a six-part lecture series to a group of teachers at the Reagan Library, in which he discussed several key perspectives on the development, writing, ratification, and implementation of the Bill of Rights. Episodes run from 50-60 minutes each. Session 3 focuses on the idea that the Constitution itself, as an instrument of both instituting and limited government, is a means of codifying and protecting rights – a Bill of Rights. Reference this page for a list of rights secured by the Constitution.

Session 3: The Constitution is a Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights Lecture Series: Session 2

The Ashbrook Center’s Professor Gordon Lloyd gave a six-part lecture series to a group of teachers at the Reagan Library, in which he discussed several key perspectives on the development, writing, ratification, and implementation of the Bill of Rights. Episodes run from 50-60 minutes each. Session 2 focuses on the state origins of the Bill of Rights. Given that the 13 colonies pre-dated the Union, and the Constitution, a thoughtful study of those political entities’ provisions related to rights is important, along with the thoughts of the Founders from those states. This page has a chart to use as a reference.

Session 2: State Origins of the Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights Lecture Series: Session 1

The Ashbrook Center’s Professor Gordon Lloyd gave a six-part lecture series to a group of teachers at the Reagan Library, in which he discussed several key perspectives on the development, writing, ratification, and implementation of the Bill of Rights. Episodes run from 50-60 minutes each. Session 1 concerns the English roots of the ideas found within the Bill of Rights, reaching back to Magna Carta and the intervening centuries. Use the chart found at this link as a reference during the lecture, or pass it along to students as a means by which to examine the roots of America’s views on fundamental rights. Session 1: The English Roots of the Bill of Rights

Webinar Audio: Has America Progressed Beyond Its Founding Principles?

Join Professors Chris Burkett, Peter Schramm, and Gordon Lloyd as they discuss this topic before an audience of teachers. This moderated discussion between scholars is about the relationship between Constitutional principles and traditions versus the Progressive political movements of the early 20th Century and today. You can view a video archive of the session, as well as related readings, here.

Pulitzer Prize-winning Historian David Hackett Fischer on the American Revolution

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Hackett Fischer joined the Ashbrook Center’s 2006 Presidential Academy program to deliver a lecture on The Revolutionary Era. He explored questions including: 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?

To listen to his lecture, click here.

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