Union and Unity in the 21st Century

Union and Unity in the 21st Century
September 9, 2014 12:30 ET

In Federalist 2, John Jay argues for the ratification of the Constitution on the grounds that the Americans of his day naturally -- and providentially -- formed one people, united by a common heritage, language, religion, set of political principles, and sacrifice during the Revolutionary War. On the other hand, James Madison argues for ratification in Federalist 10 on the grounds that the heterogeneous population of the extended American republic makes it more capable of combating the problem of faction and, therefore, preserving a decent popular government over time. Just what sort of unity, then, is necessary for the United States to flourish? How has our answer to this question -- and our unity itself -- changed over the last century under the influence of Progressive thinkers and political leaders? And what sort of union and unity can Americans expect in the 21st century, given the state of public discourse on issues that divide Americans?

Professor David Corbin teaches classical political philosophy, politics and literature, and American political history at The King's College. He has written a book on Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War (VDM, 2009) and has co-authored Keeping Our Republic: Principles for a Political Reformation (Resource Publications, 2011) and a book on Aristotle's Politics (Continuum, 2009). He is currently working on a manuscript titled Shakespeare's Prince. He's a former New Hampshire state legislator who resides with his wife Catie in New York City and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, and has five children: Alex, Catherine, Patrick, Eliza, and Jack.

Matthew Parks is an Assistant Professor of Politics at The King's College (NYC), where he teaches courses in American political thought and political rhetoric. He has written and spoken on the American Founders, Abraham Lincoln, and the generation of statesmen in between. He is the co-author (with David Corbin) of Keeping Our Republic: Principles for a Political Reformation (Resource Publications, 2011). He lives in New York City with his wife and three young children.

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