Ulysses S. Grant rode his popularity to political power.
Madison gave no sign in his pre-presidential career that he would flourish in the chief magistracy, and he lived up to expectations.
Lincoln’s navigation of the secession crisis and ensuing Civil War can legitimately be described as unprepared at best, and at moments susceptible to severe strategic missteps.
In foreign affairs, the Arthur administration was as devoid of accomplishment as almost any in American history.
Monroe was not a deep thinker, as were Jefferson and Madison, nor was he the charismatic leader that Washington was.
Although Van Buren himself was an effective politician, his years as president prompted scholars to rank Van Buren’s presidency as average, grouped among some of the least-effective and forgettable presidents in U.S. history
For Filmore, slavery was a moral wrong, and imposing on states’ rights was a legal wrong, but for U.S. history, the chimera of legislation that became the Compromise of 1850 was a catastrophic mistake.
Who can win in the new American economic order?
“Life is not eternal and death can separate us, but the Blockchain is forever.” - David Mondrus and Joyce Bayo on their blockchain wedding
Calls to regulate social media in the public interest fail to grapple with the messy details of policymaking, or the disparate desires of internet users
An economist and historian discuss the strengths and weaknesses libertarians tend to exhibit when communicating with new audiences and dealing with new ideas.
“The whole affair was a web of iniquity, but the subject of this wrong was a woman, & a weak, colored woman, & therefore contemptible.”
Smith constructed four maxims of taxation for public funding.
Sandefur explores how the idea of self-ownership has been expressed in American popular culture and intellectual discourse.
Implementing policies like those proposed by Thomas Piketty would undermine the government’s legitimacy, which depends on the limits to its powers.
Donohue explains how modern libertarianism traces back to the Antifederalists, the group opposed to the adoption of the U.S. Constitution.
Smith discusses the significant role played by John Chapman in the lives of Herbert Spencer, George Eliot, and G. H. Lewes.
Smith interrupts his usual series with a 30-question trivia quiz.