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Results for A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

Video

Benjamin Banneker’s Letter to Thomas Jefferson & ‘UnSeen’ Portraiture | A Primary Source Close Read

41 Min

Even the most influential and prestigious among us aren’t without their faults, and Thomas Jefferson was no exception. In this Primary Close Read video, Kirk Higgins, Mary Patterson, and Elizabeth Evans compare Benjamin Banneker's letter to Thomas Jefferson and Titus Kaphar's interpretation of Thomas Jefferson's legacy in his painting "Behind the Myth of Benevolence." Why are these pieces important to our understanding of Jefferson? What do they tell us about the present moment in American history?

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Eisenhower’s Farewell Address | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

40 Min

Who was Dwight D. Eisenhower? While perhaps not discussed as often as other 20th century presidents, Eisenhower led the nation through a period of profound transformation in a deliberate manner that reflected his study of history and experience as a leader. In this video, Kirk Higgins and Professor of History at the College of the Sequoias, Dr. Stephen Tootle, discuss the legacy of Eisenhower’s Farewell Address. What does this speech reveal about his understanding of the presidency? What does Eisenhower see as America’s role in the world?

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Learning from The Sky is Now Her Limit Cartoon | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

29 Min

Mary Patterson and Elizabeth Evans take a deep dive into Elmer Andrews Bushnell’s powerful political cartoon, “The Sky Is Now Her Limit.” The cartoon’s publication coincided with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, celebrating the seemingly limitless opportunities that suffrage would unlock for women. Exploring the themes of equality and empowerment, Mary and Elizabeth make connections between this work and the impassioned struggles of contemporary leaders like Alice Paul. What does this cartoon convey about society during the time of the 19th Amendment's ratification?

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Reading “Cherokee Women Address Their Nation” | A Primary Source Close Read

23 Min

In 1817, a group of Cherokee women wrote an address against the trade of Cherokee lands for lands in Arkansas. In this primary close read video, BRI staff Kirk and Liz read this petition, "Cherokee Women Address Their Nation," delivered to the Cherokee National Council by the Cherokee women. How do these women establish their authority to speak at the council and how do they see the role of motherhood as it relates to land removal?

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Reading Andrew Jackson’s Veto of the National Bank | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

36 Min

BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with Dr. Todd Estes, professor of history at Oakland University and author of The Jay Treaty Debate, to give Andrew Jackson’s 1832 Veto Message a close read. In the veto message, Jackson argued that the bank corrupted politics and violated the Constitution. . What role do you believe the executive has in creating legislation? Why are checks and balances a vital part of our Constitution?

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Reading Bush v. Gore Decision Excerpts | A Primary Source Close Read

39 Min

What is the role of the Supreme Court in political disputes? In the close presidential election of 2000, the Supreme Court was asked to hand down an election-defining ruling which brought this question to the fore. Why did the Supreme Court take this case? What did it rule? And how did it reach this decision? In this Primary Close Read video, Kirk Higgins and Dr. Josh Dunn explore the story of this important Supreme Court case.

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Reading Excerpts from George Washington’s Diary (1753-1754) | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

24 Min

BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with historian and author Stephen F. Knott to talk about the fascinating excerpts from George Washington’s Diaries in our new digital history textbook, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Knott and Williams examine the text of Washington’s Diaries from 1753-1754 in which the young Virginian engaged in a key colonial diplomatic mission to the French Empire. They also explore the context of the larger imperial struggle involving the French, British, colonists, and Native Americans in North America during the mid-eighteenth century.

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Reading Excerpts from Mapp v. Ohio | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

5 Min

Join BRI staff Kirk Higgins and Joshua Schmid as they break down excerpts from Mapp v. Ohio, a landmark Supreme Court case that ruled that illegally obtained evidence cannot be used in a state court. They'll explore how the majority and dissenting opinions conveyed very different interpretations of how the 4th and 14th Amendments were meant to work together, and what role the exclusionary rule has in state law. Did this ruling promote or prevent fairness in our justice system?

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Reading Excerpts from South Dakota v. Dole | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

25 Min

What authority does Congress have over spending? To accompany our South Dakota v. Dole Homework Help video, Mary and Josh explore decision excerpts from the case to fully understand the majority and dissenting opinions. Is it constitutional if Congress only gives states funding for highways if they set the minimum drinking age to 21? To what extent should Congress protect the welfare of society, and where should the line be drawn?

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Reading Frederick Douglass & William Lloyd Garrison | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

35 Min

BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams is joined by Dan Monroe, associate professor of history and Department of History and Political Science chair at Millikin University, to explore Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison's drastically different views on the Constitution's relationship with slavery. Why did Garrison declare the Constitution a "covenant of death" while Douglass elevated it as a "glorious liberty document"? What stance did each abolitionist take on the Founding promise of liberty?

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Reading Frederick Douglass’ Letter to Thomas Auld | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

33 Min

Kirk Higgins is joined by David Bobb, President of the Bill of Rights Institute, to read Frederick Douglass’s 1848 letter to Thomas Auld, his former enslaver. Through the letter, they'll explore Douglass' incredible story and how he connected his horrific experiences as an enslaved man to a strong moral argument against slavery. How does Douglass define his own humanity and the natural rights of humankind?

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Reading James Madison’s Speech Proposing a Bill of Rights | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

27 Min

The Bill of Rights has become one of the foundational documents of the United States, but why was it not immediately enacted alongside the Constitution? In this Primary Close Read video, Kirk Higgins and Tony Williams examine James Madison’s proposal to Congress expressing the importance of including a Bill of Rights. How did the Bill of Rights contribute to preserving the civil liberties of the American people? What civil virtues did Madison use to make his argument to Congress?

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Reading Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” | A Primary Source Close Read

42 Min

How do you find the strength to stand up for what you believe in? In this Primary Close Read video, Kirk and Rachel are joined by Dr. Anika Prather, Professor in the Classics Department at Howard University and founder of The Living Water School, to read Martin Luther King, Jr's "Letter From a Birmingham Jail." They explore the ways King planned to right the wrongs of injustice, and how he urged others to act. How does King's letter convey hope for the American story?

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Reading Mr. “X”s “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

36 Min

What were the constitutional parameters of American foreign policy as Soviet influence began to eclipse eastern Europe? This was the very question a Mr. “X” sought to explore as the world entered a new phase in history – The Cold War. In this Primary Close Read video, BRI Staff Kirk Higgins and Tony Williams unpack “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” by George Kennan, aka Mr. “X.” How should the U.S. respond to Soviet expansion? What was the guiding motivation for Soviet aggression according to Kennan?

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Reading New York Times Co. v. U.S. Decision Excerpts | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

33 Min

In the midst of the Vietnam War, The New York Times released what the government considered to be highly sensitive information: the Pentagon Papers. In this video, Kirk Higgins and Joshua Schmid explore the Supreme Court case involving this matter, New York Times Company v. United States. How are we to balance the freedom of the press and our national security? To what extent can the government use its power of prior restraint to forcibly silence the press?

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Reading the “Port Huron Statement” | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

31 Min

While Americans today might have a rosy view of the 60s, not everyone living during that time saw it that way. On issues ranging from the Cold War to civil rights, a group of students called “the Students for a Democratic Society” offered their critique of society at large on June 15, 1962. In this video, Kirk Higgins and Joshua Schmid explore the topics addressed in the “Port Huron Statement.” What were the primary concerns that the “New Left” thought America could improve on? Do these criticisms still hold true today and if so how?

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Reading The Keating–Owen Child Labor Act of 1916 | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

22 Min

The balance of power between the federal and state governments in our country’s constitutional system has often led to tension between the two, complicating how each one addresses certain social issues. In this video, Kirk Higgins and Laura Vlk discuss the Keating-Owen Child Labor Act of 1916 and the complications that came with regulating child labor laws in its aftermath. Why did the Supreme Court ultimately rule against the act? Should the federal government have been allowed to use its power to address this problem?

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Reading the Marshall Plan Speech | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

33 Min

Reflecting on the recent 75th anniversary of V-J Day, Kirk and Tony break down the Marshall Plan Speech from 1947 to understand the inception of the U.S. program that would provide a war-torn Europe with more than $13 billion in aid. What were the political and humanitarian arguments that Secretary of State Marshall used to persuade Americans to support his plan? And what parts of the speech foreshadowed how America's role in the world would change?

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Reading Theodore Roosevelt’s “New Nationalism” Speech | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

38 Min

What should the balance of government intervention and economic liberty be in a capitalist society? BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams and guest Stephen Tootle, Professor of History at the College of the Sequoias, examine this question by looking through the eyes of Theodore Roosevelt in his speech, "The New Nationalism" (1910). They break down Roosevelt's views on government regulation of the economy and society against a backdrop of American industrialization, progressivism, and the rise of big business.

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Reading William Penn and John Winthrop | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

38 Min

BRI staff members Kirk Higgins and Tony Williams explore two intriguing 17th-century works that shed light on why colonial America was an appealing destination for European settlers in different ways. The seminal “Modell of Christian Charity” sermon delivered by John Winthrop in 1630 viewed the New World as an opportunity for Puritans to worship freely and escape the religious oppression of the corrupt Church of England. In a letter from 1683, William Penn painted an idyllic picture of Pennsylvania – including its beautiful land and bountiful natural resources – to entice people to immigrate to the new colony.

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Reading Wisconsin v. Yoder Decision Excerpts | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

26 Min

Who wins when religious liberty clashes with a government mandate? This was the question when members of the Amish community fought against a perceived infraction on their religious liberty in Wisconsin in 1971. In this Primary Close Read video, Kirk Higgins and Tony Williams explore a fascinating Supreme Court case: Wisconsin v. Yoder. Were members of the Amish community wrong in wanting to stop their children’s participation in public schools past the eighth grade? Was the government overreaching in trying to force parents to violate their religious conscience?