Knowing America’s history well is one of the first steps to becoming a well-rounded and knowledgeable conservative. It’s not always easy to remember the many dates, speeches, people, and events from the past 235 years, and The Heritage Foundation knows that. As a result, we have created a new one-stop shop for America’s first principles and historical inquiries on the newly designed Heritage First Principles website.
With Congress in constant battles over tax policy and budgetary issues, the key questions underlying nearly every issue can be answered by America’s first principles. Our Founders gave us a map to guide the country—the Constitution—and it provides a reference for actions in government and public life.
As Judge Janice Rogers Brown once said: “Without a return to first principles, we will end up arguing that conservatives can preside over the welfare state more efficiently than liberals. That hardly seems a distinction on which the pivot of human history should turn.”
In Heritage’s new online resource for first principles education, viewers will find links for information on America’s founding, conservatism, the rise of progressivism and how America’s first principles still apply today. The site is easily divided into key themes including: The American Founding, Constitutional Government, Lincoln and the Civil War, Progressivism & Liberalism, Conservatism, Foreign Policy, and Economic Thought.
Those interested in national security, foreign policy, immigration, and elections will also find extensive and helpful information.
Regardless of your level of knowledge, you can find items of interest in this new, unique format that includes basic information, question and answers, book recommendations, key articles, and more. Unlike other websites that simply collect public-domain sources and republish them as is, Heritage explains the context and importance of the documents presented. Individuals can dig as deep as they want through a helpful categorization of documents.
The goal is to highlight primary documents that a thoughtful conservative should learn and remember. These include famous speeches like Washington’s Farewell Address and FDR’s Second Bill of Rights speech.
First principles are not just ideas from several hundred years ago—they should guide America on today’s toughest policy questions. Find out more in “Applications: What these principles mean for the policies and politics of today.”