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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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Engel v. Vitale Decision Excerpts | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

21 Min

What is the proper relationship between church and state in the U.S.? Americans have debated this question throughout our history, and the Supreme Court has issued a variety of rulings on the subject throughout the years. In this Primary Source Close Read, Josh and Tony take a look at excerpts from the case of Engel v. Vitale and examine the Supreme Court's ruling in this landmark decision concerning school prayer.

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Public Good & Individual Rights: Federalist 10 Explained *Part 2* | A Primary Source Close Read

16 Min

How does the structure of our federal government promote the common good? This is one of the questions Kirk Higgins examines in part two of his analysis of James Madison’s Federalist 10. How can the government balance the competing interests of the public good and the rights of individual citizens? What constitutes a republican form of government? What makes a republican government work?

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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 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 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 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 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?

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Supreme Court Cases on the Free Exercise Clause | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI

20 Min

The Free Exercise Clause states: "Congress shall make no law...prohibiting the free exercise (of religion)," but how exactly can this be applied to everyday life, and where can it become complicated? In this Close Read, Josh and Tony dissect some of the most famous Supreme Court cases involving the Free Exercise Clause. What happens when an individual's religious beliefs conflict with employment expectations or state law?

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Why Does the Constitution Matter? with Anastasia Boden | BRI’s #ConstitutionDayLive

20 Min

Why does the Constitution matter? In this special edition of Primary Source Close Reads, Kirk Higgins is joined by Anastasia Boden, practicing Constitutional lawyer at the Pacific Legal Foundation, to discuss the 9th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution. How have they been interpreted and used in Supreme Court decisions? Why are these Amendments--and the Constitution as a whole—so important to us today?