The Truth About American History: An Austro-Jeffersonian Perspective

1. Thomas Jefferson and the Principles of '98

BiographiesPolitical Theory

06/20/2005Audio/Video
The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 had criminalized excessive criticism of government. Jefferson feared it would be used in a partisan way. The Acts violated the Tenth Amendment by encroaching on a state prerogative.

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2. States' Rights in Theory and Practice

Political Theory

06/21/2005Audio/Video
The compact theory holds that self-governing sovereign states have rights to protect themselves, whereas the nationalist theory holds that nullification or secession would be insubordination. Nationalists view states as a single whole with no boundaries and a single aggregated people.

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3. The States' Rights Tradition Nobody Knows

Political Theory

06/22/2005Audio/Video
New England was not in favor of the War of 1812 and it considered seceding, but the death of Hamilton in his duel with Burr destroyed that plan. The idea of secession was more embraced by the Northern than by the Southern states.

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4. The Fourteenth Amendment

Legal SystemPolitical Theory

06/22/2005Audio/Video
This is a difficult issue. Most of the controversy is from Section One. What exactly does the first sentence mean? If the Fourteenth Amendment was in fact intended to bind the states to the Bill of Rights that the federal government could enforce, then it dramatically increases the police power of...

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5. The Great Depression, World War II, and American Prosperity, Part I

Booms and BustsU.S. HistoryWar and Foreign PolicyBusiness Cycles

06/22/2005Audio/Video
The 1920s had difficulties, but the depth of the Great Depression was in 1931. Any theory of boom-bust events must ask why so many entrepreneurs made terrible errors in a cluster. Why do busts hit capital goods industries harder than they do consumer goods industries?

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6. The Great Depression, World War II, and American Prosperity, Part II

Booms and BustsU.S. HistoryWar and Foreign PolicyBusiness Cycles

06/23/2005Audio/Video
FDR’s stated New Deal purpose was to keep work weeks short and to extend minimum wages which were extremely high. But, production is what makes demand possible and what increases purchasing power, not federal mandates...

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7. Major Episodes in American Labor History: An Austrian Reevaluation, Part I

U.S. HistoryMonopoly and Competition

06/24/2005Audio/Video
The standard tale of labor history in American is largely false. Unions did not cause a rising standard of living. Employers were forbidden to encourage union membership, but they could compel union membership.

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8. Major Episodes in American Labor History: An Austrian Reevaluation, Part II

U.S. HistoryMonopoly and Competition

06/24/2005Audio/Video
Up until the 1930s there was freedom of contract between workers and employers by which they could make, accept, or reject any offers of remuneration. With the 1930s comes the idea of exclusive bargaining agents decided upon by a majority of workers, and compulsory to all.

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9. The American Presidency: Critical Episodes in Its Growth, Part I

BiographiesU.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

06/25/2005Audio/Video
No President should leave a citizen in doubt about his person or property. However, this original comforting view is contrasted with more modern theory of the Presidency in which Wilson held the President to be the “unifying force of the country”. He represents no constituency, but the...

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10. The American Presidency: Critical Episodes in Its Growth, Part II

BiographiesU.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

06/25/2005Audio/Video
The Mexican War 1846-48 involved unpaid debts to Americans, a desire for West coast territory, and the issue of Texas whose independence was not recognized by Mexico. The Southern boundary was in dispute also.

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