Constitution 201: A Free Online Class from Hillsdale College

Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States by Howard Chandler ChristyThe political season offers many opportunities for family learning and discussion. For Americans, any discussion of our government should begin with a thorough understanding of the content and purpose of the  Constitution of the United States. But for most of us, it’s been awhile since we studied the Constitution (if we ever did). And few have studied American progressivism and its political antecedents. As we move toward  election season, a refresher course in these things can offer fruitful conversations and bring more clarity to your choices than all the campaign ads and debates you could endure.

Constitution 201: The Progressive Rejection of the Constitution and the Rise of Bureaucratic Despotism is a ten-week online course taught by the faculty of Hillsdale College. It will offer “an in-depth look at American progressivism–its historical roots and principles; its rejection of America’s founding principles and Constitution; its political successes in the New Deal, the Great Society, and recent years; the ongoing debate between progressives (or modern liberals) and conservatives, the chances of a constitutional revival.” The course is open to all who wish to register, and it’s free (though there is an optional donation of $50 to cover the expenses of making this available to everyone).

You may also want to take Hillsdale’s Constitution 101: The Meaning and History of the Constitution, also offered free. It’s pre-recorded and ready to listen to at any time. Together, these two courses offer a solid introduction or refresher course on deeply important matters. A solid grasp of history and an understanding of the founding principles of the United States can keep your family from being swayed by emotional hyperbole or distracted by trivia, and these courses are a good start.

If you’re unable to take the classes at this time, you may at least sign up for a free subscription to Imprimis, Hillsdale’s high quality, totally free newsletter. Described as “A Monthly Digest on Liberty and the Defense of America’s Founding Principles,” Imprimis features a thoughtful article on important topics. I’ve received it for years, and find it inspiring and instructive.   

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”

Edmund Burke (1729-1797)


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