Appeared in Vol. 3 No. 3

Over the past two years, a great deal of interest in the foundations of the United States of America has been promoted under the commercial and patriotic guise of the bicentenniel. In F&R’s effort to understand and learn from the American past, we present the first of a series of articles on the ‘founding fathers” by Donald J. D’Elia. The series will focus on the strengths, weaknesses, and significance of the founders’ ideas. Ideas which became the major tributaries into the American cultural stream. In the analysis of Thomas Jefferson which follows, Dr. D’Elia lays the groundwork for a truly Catholic perception of American history in general, in addition to unveiling an accurate portrait of the man. The author wishes to dedicate this article to the late Fr. Peter Damian Preziosi, O.F.M. Cap. and the Capuchin Fathers of St. Mary’s Province, who provided needed library materials at Garrison, New York.

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