The Dazzling 1830 Defense of a Strong Federal Government

New England Statesman Daniel Webster Found Religion in Centralized National Power When it Served His Region’s Interests

For generations, school children memorized the ending to Daniel Webster’s “Second Reply to Hayne,” delivered during the famous Webster-Hayne debate of January 1830. This most-famous-of-debates began in a modest fashion, with an argument over westward expansion and morphed into a discussion of tariffs and then nationalism versus states’ rights. Over time, the discussion came to symbolize something much more about American unity, as Webster’s soaring defense of nationalism and American nationhood, crowned with the words “Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable,” became a civics lesson in the …

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Extraditions Are Not About Justice

The Highly Politicized Process of Transferring Fugitives Across Borders Was Primarily Designed to Prevent Impunity

Myths naturally swirl around colorful international fugitives like Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, global arms trafficker Viktor Bout, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. But myths are also common …

The 19th-Century African-American Soldier Who Fought for Filipino Liberation

Angry at the Treatment of Blacks in the US, in 1899 David Fagan Deserted His Regiment and Became a Household Name Back Home

In 1899, during a campaign on the island of Luzon to entrap the Filipino revolutionary president Emilio Aguinaldo, a 21-year-old buffalo soldier named David Fagen deserted from the American army. …

Making the California Legislature 50 Percent Female Should Be Easy

The Gender Quotas Used in European Countries Offer a Straightforward Path to Parity—and More Democracy

A few months ago, the new mayor of South Pasadena appointed 18 people to the voluntary local commissions that advise the council in the San Gabriel Valley city.

Routine? Yes, except …

When San Francisco Kicked Hollywood to the Curb

Angered by Negative Depictions of Their City, in the Early 1970s Civic Leaders Regulated Filmmakers Out of Town

Canada’s motion picture industry earned the nickname “Hollywood North” because the country so often serves as a center of location production for American films. But in the early 1970s, this …

Religious Belief Was a 17th-Century Invention

Once Tightly Guarded by Church Authorities, John Locke Redefined Faith as Personal Choice

Until very recently, atheism was neither widespread nor respectable, but today 11 percent of Americans claim not to believe in God. Many people have speculated on where all these atheists …