003: What is the heritage of American freedom?

Apollo Astronaut on the Moon with Old Glory

Our freedom comes from a distinct heritage, including the Babylonian Hammurabi’s Code, the Hebrews’ Ten Commandments, the Athenian Constitutions of Solon & Cleisthenes, the Roman Republic’s Twelve Tables, Jesus’ Golden Rule, the Byzantine Justinian’s Code, the English Magna Carta, Luther & Calvin’s ideas in the Protestant Reformation, Ignatius of Loyola’s Catholic counter-arguments, John Locke’s English Bill of Rights, and the philosophies of Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Jefferson. Our freedom has since matured alongside and in competition with the ideas of Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Sartre, and Derrida.

This heritage is crucial to both Progressives & Conservatives, reminding us that what unites us is more important than what divides us.

Progressives need to understand the unique history of protracted and successful self-scrutiny, constructive criticism, and social reform that characterizes Western Civilization. No other culture is so eager to rip itself apart and reinvent itself in order to bring positive change. Today’s Progressivism comes from the West’s unique reform tradition.

Conservatives, who purport to be defenders of tradition, should deeply understand that tradition that makes both the United States and the West exceptional.

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I am a veteran public school High School History Teacher, specializing in the history of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Western Civilization. Generations ago, Americans erroneously removed Western Civilization requirements from the High School curriculum. Here and elsewhere, I am trying to restore the teaching of this essential heritage to young Americans. I invite you to join me in this effort! In fact, without the efforts and talents of others, this initiative will surely fail.

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