Our country is at a tipping point, yet the last thing we need to do is start anew. “We don’t need to remake America or discover new and untested principles,” says Heritage’s Matt Spalding. At times like these, we should return to our First Principles, which provide us with the wisdom and guidance we need to get our country back on the right path.
The new First Principles section of the Heritage website is a one-stop shop to access the lessons of American political thought. The place to start (especially if you are just discovering this material) is with the “Basics.”
To ensure easy access, this section is divided into seven key themes: the American Founding, Constitutional Government, Lincoln and the Civil War, Progressivism and Liberalism, Conservatism, Foreign Policy, and Economic Thought.
Every theme begins with three carefully selected “must-read” Heritage Foundation publications. These publications serve as an introduction to the role that first principles play within American political thought and their broader implications within each particular theme.
After you have developed sufficient background knowledge from the “must read” publications, you can clear up more specific concerns in the question-and-answer section.
Confused about the difference between natural rights and human rights or the difference between socialism and progressivism? A succinct explanation is only a click away. Interested in clearing up misconceptions about slavery and the American Founding? Not sure if the government is violating your unalienable rights because you are not exactly sure what unalienable rights are? Find the answers to these questions and more in this interesting section of our site.
The “Basics” is a great way to get introduced to First Principles, and once you have mastered the “must-reads” and questions and answers, then move on to the primary sources.