American political history is full of principled, intense, and sometimes angry debate, from the era of the War for Independence through today. Perhaps the price of self-government in a diverse society is a sharp-elbowed disagreement over what government of, by, and for the people ought to do or not do, and how. Join us this year as we examine ten great debates, some of which were between two individuals, like those between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, while others were between groups in society, like the Patriots and Loyalists during the American Revolution. All serve as examples of strongly-held principles being worked out in the public square, each seeking to guide social and political affairs of the time.
Great American Debates will also serve as a companion series to TAH.org’s new Documents and Debates two-volume documents reader, which provides clusters of documents based around 30 separate turning points or critical moments in American History, from the earliest colonies to the Obama years. Great American Debates will draw from these two volumes, which can be purchased or downloaded in various formats from this post. Most documents for each of these episodes will be drawn from those two volumes, with suggested readings indicated on each episode page.
Download copies of the two volumes – PDF and iTunes versions are free.