We the People... Enlightened

"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education." (emphasis added) - Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Wm. C. Jarvis, 1820)

"How devoutly it is to be wished then, that the public opinion of the United States should be enlightened; that it should attach itself to their governments as delineated in the great charters, derived not from the usurped power of kings but from the legitimate authority of the people; and that it should guarantee, with a holy zeal, these political scriptures from every attempt to add to or diminish from them." (emphasis added) - James Madison, from his article, "Constitution."

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Noah Webster in his 1828 Dictionary defines "enlightened" as "furnished with clear views."  In this section we discuss and debate popular political and social issues, emphasizing the applicable Constitutional principles and philosophies. We encourage educated and substantive interaction by offering several study and reference guides created for this purpose.

LEXREX shares Thomas Jefferson's view stated above, and recognizes that personal responsibility must be an integral part of individual liberty for self-government to succeed. Benjamin Franklin conveyed the importance of personal responsibility when, upon leaving the Constitutional Convention, he stated, "We've given you a Republic, if you can keep it."

Study Guides

Elementary Catechism on the Constitution of the United States (Description) - LEXREX offers this new edition of an early American textbook. This book is an excellent starting point for learning the basics of the Constitution, with an easy question and answer format.  Includes additional documents not available in the original that explain several important issues! Great for all ages and backgrounds.

The American Ideal of 1776: Twelve Basic American Principles - Complete book online. This research work is probably the single-most valuable resource for understanding the principles of liberty. It presents in simple terms the traditional American principles and philosophies held and practiced by the Founders and Framers. The author worked for more than two decades (probably closer to three including prior research/writing) on this book.

Historical Documents

The Federalist Papers - Documents written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay in support of ratification of the Constitution of the United States, first appearing in newspapers in the State of New York.

Antifederalist Papers - Various Ant-Federalist writings of the day which appeared in many newspapers, presenting opposing views to the Federalist Papers. Many more writings with similar viewpoints exist than are included here. We're always interested in expanding the collection.

Laws, Writings, and other Important Documents - Online documents, including various writings and laws, in chronological order. By no means comprehensive, but it is the largest collection of online documents specifically concerning our nation's founding to our knowledge.

If you have a source for more documents you wish to recommend (be it a book, a link to a website, or a document you currently possess in electronic form), please contact us.