Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Statesmanship Theses

Each Ashbrook Scholar writes a senior thesis (Statesmanship Thesis). The best is rewarded with publication and receives the Charles E. Parton Award. For 2006 we had two first class theses, both were recipients of the Parton Award. Lauren Calco’s "Hands of a Healer: Tolkien’s Understanding of Kingship," will be published in a few weeks, and I will bring it to your attention then. In the meantime, the other winner of the Parton Award is out: Deborah O’Malley,
"The Dictates of Conscience:" The Debate over Religious Liberty in Revolutionary Virginia, and here it is in a PDF file (63 pages). I hope you enjoy it. I think it’s very good work. Professor Jeffrey Sikkenga was her advisor.

Discussions - 1 Comment

Good thesis. But what if the declaration was simply much needed war rhetoric...what if it was simply written because George Washington Nathaniel Green and company needed something larger to hold together the continental army? What if seperating religion from the domain of the Anglican Church was a means of preventing factional friction between the various elements of the continental army. What if it was a fruit of liberty distinguishing the new regime from the old...in other words a crucial war claimed 1% of the american population and severed it from england...The anglican church with its holy land (full of brothels in new york)...the anglican church the church of loyalists...the anglican church...well the church of england! Certainly the dictates of consciousness changed most drastically during the year 1776 and most of our declarations at the time carried no real weight...but they spurred the immagination and thus the preseverence of the nation and allowed for new modes and orders to rise up. What if the arguments of Jefferson+company were necessary given the aims and political reality of the continental congress?

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