We the Teachers

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

Ft. Collins Seminar on American History & Government

Ridgeview Classical Schools hosted an Ashbrook Seminar in American History and Government on January 31st for a group of teachers from around and near Fort Collins. Professor Peter Myers facilitated a day-long discussion about Civil Rights, in which teachers were able to discuss the evolution of the ideas, laws, and movement related to this important thread in American history and society.

Of particular interest to participants were the ideas of legal rights, political rights, and social rights, and how the three contribute to, and yet differ from one another. Additionally, teachers discussed the legal ambiguity that existed after the end of the Civil War, and how southern states sought, through legislation like the Black Codes, to define freedmen and give them what was considered to be acceptable legal status – all before the 14th Amendment was ratified, making them citizens.

Teachers also had an opportunity to discuss in detail the writings of Bayard Rustin, a civil rights thinker whose ideas formed part of the foundation of Martin Luther King, Jr’s methods of nonviolent protest.

Ft. Collins Seminar

If you’d like to read some of the documents used for this seminar, please refer to the links below.

Black Codes of Mississippi (1865)

Civil Rights Act of 1866

Bayard Rustin, selections:

Martin Luther King, Jr., selections available here:

  •      “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (April 16, 1963)
  •      “I Have a Dream” (August 28, 1963)
  •      “The Black Power Defined” (June 11, 1967)

 

Tampa Seminar on American History & Government

On Saturday, January 31st, 2015 teachers from multiple school districts convened at Hillsborough Community College to discuss the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Debates with the esteemed Dr. Eric Sands of Berry College providing his scholarly knowledge and guidance.

Tampa Seminar on American History & Gov't

The Anti-Federalist writings are oft forgotten in history classes mostly due to the fact that “they lost” as Dr. Sands stated, however “The Anti-Federalist writings and warnings, especially of Brutus, seem more relevant today than ever.” The essays of Centinel, Brutus and Federal Farmer expressed concerns that a powerful national government would weaken states rights, representatives in Congress would be too far removed from their constituents to effectively govern on their behalf, and the judicial branch would become too activist. Richard R expressed his thought that the writings were almost prophetic in nature, “almost Nostradamus-like”.

Participants enjoyed spirited discussions and lively debates on a number of issues: the extent of the necessary and proper clause,the proper role of government and the limiting of executive power to name a few.

If you would like to ponder these profound essays yourself, please view selected reading from this seminar below to experience some of the debates:

For additional resources, visit our online exhibit with timelines, biographies and extensive writings on the Federalist - Anti-Federalist Debates created by Dr. Gordon Lloyd.

 

Ft. Myers Seminar on American History & Government

On Saturday, January 17th, 2015 at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, Florida the Ashbrook Center hosted a Seminar on the Abraham Lincoln. The esteemed Dr. Eric Sands provided his scholarly knowledge to local high school teachers who joined us for the day.

“President Lincoln is such an enigmatic character yet so personal to all of us,” said Dr. Sands. “He is consistently ranked as number one on all Presidential polls.” Indeed, more books have been written about Abraham Lincoln than any other American figure. Teachers enjoyed profound conversations and discussed Lincoln’s view on Popular Sovereignty, Slavery, Secession and Constitutional Limits. We spent a great deal of time comparing the ideals within the  Gettysburg Address (on Liberty and Equality) to the ones written by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.

Paul P stated, “I thoroughly enjoyed the Ashbrook Seminar and wished I had known about them sooner.”

Perhaps you would like to ponder these great documents yourself.  To experience the writings of Abraham Lincoln please click the links below:

 

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.

Apply Now for Ashbrook Seminars in American History & Government

We have started scheduling our 2015 day long seminars and the application process is now open.

The most important work in America is teaching American history and government. This work is essential to preserving what has always been distinctly good about America. We are dedicated to making every American history and government class in America its best.

TeachingAmericanHistory.org is a project of Ashbrook at Ashland University. We provide social studies educators from across the country with opportunities to explore themes in American history and government through the use of primary sources. This spring educators can take advantage of the unique Ashbrook discussion-based format programs in their state. Not only will you be engaged in thoughtful conversation, you will be learning the content your students need.

Upcoming Ashbrook Seminars in

American History & Government

Colorado Seminars:

  • Saturday, January 31st, 2015 – Ft. Collins

    • Topic: Civil Rights; Discussion Leader: Peter Myers

  • Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 – Denver – Hosted by Denver Public Schools

    • High School Session Topic: Religion & Reform: Three Episodes in American History; Discussion Leader: David Tucker

    • Middle School Session Topic: Lincoln and Reconstruction; Discussion Leader: Peter Schramm

  • Saturday, March 7th, 2015 – Colorado Springs

    • Topic: Madison and Hamilton: Competing Visions for America; Discussion Leader: Joseph Postell, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs

  • Saturday, April 11th, 2015 – Denver

    • Topic: The Constitution and Limited Government; Discussion Leader: Scott Yenor, Boise State University

APPLY HERE FOR SEMINARS IN COLORADO

North Carolina Seminars:

  • Saturday, March 28th, 2015 – Asheville

    • Topic: The American Founding; Discussion Leader: Professor David Alvis, Wofford College, Assistant Professor in Government

  • Saturday, April 4th, 2015 – Fayetteville

    • Topic: Social Reform 1790-1850 – Temperance, Abolition and the End of the World; Discussion Leader: Professor David Tucker  Senior Fellow and Director of MAHG Program;

  • Saturday, April 11th, 2015 – Charlotte

    • Topic: The Supreme Court; Discussion Leader: Professor David Alvis, Wofford College, Assistant Professor in Government

  • Saturday, April 25th, 2015 – Raleigh

    • Topic: The Federalists Papers and the Constitution; Discussion Leader: Professor David Foster, Chair and Associate Professor of Political Science

APPLY HERE FOR SEMINARS IN NORTH CAROLINA

Florida Seminars:

  • Saturday, January 17th, 2015 – Ft. Myers

    • Topic: Abraham Lincoln; Discussion Leader: Professor Eric Sands, Berry College, Assistant Professor of Government

  • Saturday, January 31st, 2015 – Tampa

    • Topic: Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist Debate; Discussion Leader: Professor Eric Sands, Berry College, Assistant Professor of Government

  • Saturday, February 14th, 2015 – Ft. Lauderdale

    • Topic: Roosevelt, Wilson and Progressive Reform; Discussion Leader: Professor Chris Burkett, Ashland University

  • Saturday, February 21st, 2015 – Jacksonville

    • Topic: Nationalism and Imperialism in the Gilded Age; Discussion Leader: Professor Michael Schwarz, Ashland University, Assistant Professor of History

  • Saturday, February 28th, 2015 – Pensacola

    • Topic: Civil Rights; Discussion Leader: Professor Emily Hess, Visiting Assistant Professor of History

  • Saturday, March 7th, 2015 – Tallahassee

    • Topic: Abraham Lincoln; Discussion Leader: Professor Peter Schramm, Ashland University, Professor of Political Science

  • Saturday, March 14th, 2015 – Gainesville

    • Topic: Origins of the Cold War; Discussion Leader: Professor John Moser, Ashland University, Professor of History

APPLY HERE FOR SEMINARS IN FLORIDA

Note: Application acceptance is limited to the first 30 registrants.

Check back often as we will be adding new dates in new areas throughout the year.

#Teaching #AmericanHistory #USHistory #AshbrookTeacher

Attention Florida Teachers: Don’t Miss Our January Roundtables

The Ashbrook Center would like to invite you to join us for our content-knowledge development one-day seminars this January in Florida. Our unique format engages all participants in thoughtful discussion on particular documents and ideas as we sit in the round. We encourage our participants to think critically to create a meaningful conversation between peers. Added benefits for you: these seminars are being offered at NO COST and we offer certificates of completion, which you can apply toward your recertification hours.

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Ft. Myers – Saturday, January 17, 2015

Topic: Abraham Lincoln

REGISTER NOW

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Tampa – Saturday, January 31, 2015

Topic: Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist Debate

REGISTER NOW

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To view the schedule of roundtables for February through March, please click here.

Please note, due to the format of these seminars space is limited to the first 30 registrants.

If you have any questions about these programs, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to meeting you at one of our programs.

#teaching #americanhistory #wethepeopleblog #ashbrookteacher

American Controversies Webinar – “Did Lincoln Violate the Constitution?”

Ashbrook’s latest installment in the ‘American Controversies’ series of webinars took place on Saturday, 13 December 2014, on the topic of whether or not President Lincoln violated the Constitution through his use of executive authority before and during the Civil War. Professor Chris Burkett of Ashland University moderated the discussion between professors Eric Sands and Jonathan White, taking questions from many of the 105 people from across the country who viewed the live webinar.

Of particular interest was the idea that, in light of the Article II’s generally vague explanation of executive authority, the extent to which – if any – Lincoln violated the spirit of the Constitution versus what it actually says. You can view an archived copy here, along with the documents used during the discussion.

November ‘American Controversies’ Webinar

Last Saturday, November 15th, the Ashbrook Center hosted its latest ‘American Controversies’ webinar, this time focusing on the issues of nullification and secession, and whether or not there is a right to either with the American system of law and government. Relying on a collection of documents including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and numerous speeches and letters from throughout the first half of the 19th Century, scholars discussed the issue and worked through a number of excellent questions from the many participants. Of particular interest were the attempts by Southerners at a legal or moral rationale for secession, and whether or not any of them were truly valid. The entire 86-minute session is archived, along with links to the documents referenced.

To listen to this archived session, please click here.

Register for future webinars here.

Securing Wisdom & Virtue in Government One-Day Seminar in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Florida Atlantic University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida hosted the Ashbrook Center Seminar on the Federalist Papers last Saturday, November 14th, 2014. The esteemed Prof. David Foster provided his scholarly knowledge to local high school teachers who joined us for the day.

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The Federalist Papers are considered some of Americas most important documents as written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. They are complex and often difficult for a student (and adult) to comprehend, however, local teachers came together and discussed some of the basic ideas of the Federalist Papers. What is virtue, or energy and how are these concepts necessary to good governance? Madison and Hamilton acknowledge the vices of human nature such as factions and passions as well and wrote about the mechanisms needed to keep those elements in check.

Teachers enjoyed profound conversations and discussed not only the intent of Framers when writing these Papers, but also their relevance today. Participants discussed at length Federalist 57 with particular attention to, “I answer, the genius of the whole system, the nature of manly spirit which actuates the people of America, a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.” What does “manly spirit” mean and how does it nourish freedom?

Laurie M. from Weston stated “this seminar helped me to better focus my understanding and appreciation of the Federalist Papers.  I am energized by new and different (and much more interesting) ways to use the Federalist Papers in my classroom.”

Perhaps you would like to ponder these great texts yourself. Please visit the selected reading below to experience the writings of James Madison and Alexander Hamilton.

Session 1 – The House of Representatives:

Session 2 – The Senate

Session 3 – The Executive and the Judiciary

Reconstruction One-Day Seminar in Denver, CO

Last weekend ten teachers from around Colorado took part in a discussion about Reconstruction, led by Professor Scott Yenor of Boise State University. The three sessions and documents chosen for each helped participants focus on the justifications used by the South to account for secession fully understand the challenges that Lincoln and the country faced in trying to re-unite the country after the war.

Of particular interest during the discussion was the problem of self-government in the South: as a cornerstone of the American system, how could it be ensured if it meant that it would enable those states to undercut the goals of Reconstruction? Participants also unpacked and discussed in detail, through selected documents, the practical challenge of determining criteria for readmission to the Union for individuals and states, and the conciliatory tone struck by Lincoln’s original plans for Reconstruction.

Overall, we came away with a much greater appreciation for just how difficult was the challenge Lincoln faced in trying to win the war, and win it in a way that would enable him to rebuild the country – politically, economically, and socially.

To view a selection of readings discussed at this one-day seminar, please visit the links below -

Early Reconstruction and Union:

Reconstruction During the War:

Reconstruction at the End of the War:

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