Browse our archive of original historical documents on the themes of this book:

- Founding Principles

- Slavery

- Property Rights

- Women and the Right to Vote

- Women and the Family

- Was the Founding Undemocratic? The Property Requirement for Voting

- Poverty and Welfare

- Immigration and the Moral Conditions of Citizenship

- Afterword: Liberals and Conservatives Abandon the Principles of the Founding


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Afterword: Liberals and Conservatives Abandon the Principles of the Founding

The New Freedom: A Call for the Emancipation of the Generous Energies of a People
Woodrow Wilson
Wilson, one of the early founders of 20th-century liberalism, rejects the principles of the founding in the name of Progress.

Commonwealth Club Address
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Roosevelt consciously changes the meaning of the Declaration of Independence to serve the cause of 20th-century liberalism.

Message to the Congress on the State of the Union
Franklin D. Roosevelt
January 11, 1944
FDR proposes a "second Bill of Rights" to improve upon the inadequate rights to life and liberty secured by the Founders.

Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure v. Massachusetts
Dissenting opinion by Tom Clark, Concurring opinion (appendix) by William Douglas
Douglas’s appendix, representative of modern liberalism, is an open rejection of the moral position of the Founders, in favor of what has come to be called the sexual revolution.

The Heresy of Equality: A Reply to Harry V. Jaffa
M.E. Bradford
A prominent conservative attacks Harry Jaffa’s defense of the principles of the Declaration of Independence.

Harris v. McRae
Dissenting opinion by Thurgood Marshall
Against the Founders’ view, Marshall argues that a right has no value if one does not have the money to pay for the exercise of that right; this money should be provided by government.

The Fundamentalists and the Constitution
Gordon Wood
A prominent historian of America’s founding objects to the view that there are permanent truths about human nature—truths that should be the basis of all just governments.

Speaking for the Humanities
American Council of Learned Societies
Six prominent humanities professors attack the idea that there are objective standards of just government.

We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident: The Rage for Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Robert Bork
A prominent conservative legal scholar argues that the principles of the Declaration of Independence are hostile to morality.


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