In 1776, the signers of the Declaration of Independence declared “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” They had ideas about government that were very important to them. These ideas were important enough to risk their worldly possessions and even their lives. Why? What could be so important?

After the Constitutional Convention in 1787, a woman approached Ben Franklin. She asked what the convention had created. Ben Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

When Ben Franklin said this, what did he mean? What is a republic? What does it mean to keep it? Have we, in some sense, lost what the Founders felt was so important? These are some of the questions and ideas we explore here.

Here, we will promote the ideas of the American Founding. These include decentralized government, personal liberty, and constrained governmental powers. How can we apply those principles to real public policy issues of today? We will also explore those ideas from a philosophical perspective.

We are not concerned with personalities here. First, we are concerned with the distinctly American ideas about government forged in the second half of the 18th Century and how to practically apply them today. Second, we are concerned with the great Western intellectual tradition. This broader tradition set the stage for the American Republic.

If we are to keep the republic designed in 1787, its ideas — indeed, its spirit — must live in the hearts and minds of her citizens. That is the goal we seek to advance.