We the People... Informed
Can Americans continue to enjoy their freedoms and liberty without understanding our country's history and laws? Are we losing certain freedoms due to our ignorance in these areas? If you're not a lawyer or politician, why would you look into such things? Can the average person even begin to understand these subjects? ...especially without listening to boring lectures of Congressmen on C-Span or reading really thick books? Do Americans today share any of the philosophies, goals, and/or social and political challenges of their ancestors?
This Section provides basic fundamentals to prepare you to consider the issues and discussions in the Enlightened Section.
Here we present documents that start to answer the question "Why?" Why did the Founding Fathers and others study the principles of government and law, and later risk their lives for these principles? Next we present the actual texts of the Declaration, Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution.
Documents in Support of Liberty
The Value of Ideas
Here in a very brief statement we consider the value of ideas - the differences between facts, theories, and illusions. Read it and start classifying your own ideas today. (And we thought everyone's ideas were "equal," especially ours.) Written by syndicated columnist Dr. Thomas Sowell. Here's a starting point for other Thomas Sowell resources online, including his home page.
Putting Ideas Into Words, and How Words Affect Ideas
Here is an introduction to a dictionary from 1828 which provides clearer and more accurate definitions for the words used in the original writings of our country, and, not surprisingly, most of the words we still use today. We also compare dictionaries to determine their usefullness. Finally, we let British writer George Orwell explain the detrimental effects caused by the poor use of language. The items we consider here are universal to all subjects you might study.
American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster 1828 - Best dictionary produced yet in our opinion. Shows the roots in other languages of the words we use, and provides extremely accurate meanings of words. Also, discusses "changes" in language, and the errors present in many modern dictionaries.
"Politics and the English Language" - Article by British author George Orwell discusses how the poor choice of words negatively affects all communication.
An English primer (a glossary translating political rhetoric into plain English) Article by Dr. Thomas Sowell helps us understand the words used by politicians and the mainstream news media. Did he read the Orwell article before writing this? Visit Dr. Sowell's column online and his website.
Is there such a thing as historical fact?
George Orwell comments on the concept of historical fact. From Looking Back on the Spanish War, (1943)
"They knew that government was a plain, simple, intelligible thing, founded in nature and reason, and quite comprehensible by common sense."
- John Adams, in reference to the virtues of the American forefathers.