Did America Have a Founding?

Did America really have a “founding”?

It depends on how you frame the question. If America was a “proposition nation” as Lincoln and modern politicos on both the left and right argue, then yes, the United States had a distinct “founding” based on new principles.

But what if it was a continuation of the Anglo-American tradition or a byproduct of Western Civilization?

What if the United States was a continuous result of the centuries of legal, political, and social thought?

You could argue that the establishment of the 13 united States of America represented a “founding” as it was a result of an independence movement. Each State eventually produced a new written constitution and the generation who went to war with Britain in 1775 drafted two constitutions for the central government.

The written constitution was a unique creation of the founding generation, but it was based on the “ancient constitutions” of England and Great Britain, and the founding generation carefully discussed history while drafting and ratifying their several constitutions.

These were men grounded in Western Civilization.

The American experiment was different from other republican models and certainly was adapted to the Anglo-American tradition, but it did not represent a striking departure from the political and social order prevalent before 1775. It did not embrace a king, but it did not embrace mass democracy, either.

It was a “conservative” independence movement, not a revolution.

Regardless, this is a fun topic to discuss, so I do so on episode 555 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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