The American Crisis

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Paine, Thomas.

The Atlantic Crossword

Constitutional scholars such as Rosen argue that the rapid diffusion of all manner of information—the false and the decontextualized, especially—can just as easily expedite the formation of mobs. Last year, as Donald Trump who is undeniably talented in the dark art of mob formation launched his assault on the norms that undergird American democracy, Rosen and I fell into a discussion about James Madison, the fourth president.

BBC Rebels and Redcoats Episode 2: American Crisis:1776

I asked Rosen to imagine what Madison, the main proponent among the Founders of indirect democracy, would have made of Trump, of Trumpism, and of our coarse and frenzied political age. Madison, Rosen goes on to argue, would have found the populist reforms of the Progressive era, and gerrymandering, and political self-sorting all to be significant dangers as well. And then there is the matter of the out-of-control presidency.

Schlesinger Jr. The writers in this issue are unified in their understanding that democracy faces acute challenges today.

The Crisis Quotes

Because the stories in this issue concern the fate of democracy, by necessity they also concern technology. We find ourselves in the middle of a vast, unregulated, and insufficiently examined experiment to determine whether liberal democracy will be able to survive social media, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence.

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Under such conditions, liberal democracy and free-market economics might become obsolete. We asked Anne Applebaum, the Pulitzer Prize—winning author of Gulag: A History , to take us to Europe , where the arc of history is bending away from liberalism.

How Thomas Paine’s other pamphlet saved the Revolution

Tribalism is another of our concerns, and so we also asked the Yale Law professors Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld to examine the threat to what could be called American creedal nationalism—the notion that we are bound not by blood, ethnicity, race, or religion, but by respect for a common set of beliefs as articulated in the founding documents. And, as ever, we examine the gap between American ideals and American reality.

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  • Ibram X. Kendi, a professor of history and international relations at American University and the author of the National Book Award—winning Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America , argues that racism today is the equivalent of the slavery of yesteryear , which is to say, the issue that keeps America from becoming the more perfect union of our collective hope.

    We have tried to make this issue more than just an inquiry into the Trump presidency. Trump is a cause of our democratic deterioration, but he is also a symptom.

    Library of Congress

    Nevertheless, we felt it necessary to call upon our staff writer David Frum to assess the recent activities of the 45th president. In this, Trump is not acting alone. He is enabled by his party in Congress and its many supporters throughout the country.

    This issue represents the latest in a series of attempts by The Atlantic to understand the trajectory of democracy and the American idea. This pamphlet was number five in the series, originally published March 21, While Howe sent a letter of resignation in , he did not depart the Colonies until May of Paine attacks him generally for his unjust war against the colonies, and specifically for actions like distributing counterfeit colonial currency.

    The Copp Collection contains about books of early American imprint and shows a wide range of reading matter typical of a New England Puritan family living in a port town.

    The Crisis | work by Paine |

    Literacy was expected of many New Englanders, as Puritan doctrine required everyone to read the Bible. Other highlights of the library include the works of Shakespeare, almanacs, historical and political texts, and travel narratives. The Copp Collection contains a variety of household objects that the Copp family of Connecticut used from around until the mids. Part of the Puritan Great Migration from England to Boston, the family eventually made their home in New London County, Connecticut, where their textiles, clothes, utensils, ceramics, books, bibles, and letters provide a vivid picture of daily life.

    More of the collection from the Division of Home and Community Life can be viewed by searching accession number Comments Add a comment about this object Do you have something to share that would enrich our knowledge about this object?

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