header image

University of Oklahoma

Independence, Freedom, and Honor: The Declaration

A great source of content for teachers.

The story of freedom in the United States cannot be told without the Declaration of Independence. Dr. Fears explains what the stirring first paragraph of the Declaration meant to Americans in 1776 and what we’ve lost since then. But freedom is not only freedom from British rule. It must also be freedom to participate in the political system and to choose one’s own way of life. Dr. Fears contextualizes these three freedoms in American history and presents a coherent vision of what liberty meant to the founders.

A Galaxy of Statesmen: Making The Constitution

A great source of content informaiton for teachers.

The Revolutionary War delivered the colonists from English rule, but it did not result in effective governance. Financial crisis, disunity, and a dysfunctional system of confederation threatened to undo the achievements of independence. But this crisis called forth, in the Constitutional Convention, a group of statesmen who were willing to compromise to save the republic.

The Roots of American Liberty

A great source of content for teachers.

At the time of its inception, the United States was the only functioning democracy in the world. However, this does not mean the founders created the American ideal of freedom ex nihilo. As Dr. Fears argues, they drew on the Old Testament, Greece, Rome, Christianity, and the English tradition of liberty to create a political order of democracy, divided power, and individual dignity.

The Charter of Freedom: Our Constitution

A great source of content for teachers.

Only five men signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Why? Dr. Fears argues that the American Revolution was fought for limited government and low taxes, but the Constitution is a charter for a strong national government with broad power to tax. Despite the anxieties of men like Patrick Henry, the Constitution has aided the cause of liberty through immense hardship for the last 225 years.

Tyranny on the Southern Plains: Remember the Alamo

Great resource for teacher knowlege and content.

From the Louisiana Purchase onward, American settlers extended into the frontier what Jefferson called “the Empire of Liberty.” In this lecture, Dr. Fears tells the story of the Texan war of independence from Mexico. A recurring theme in this series is the necessity of courage and sacrifice in defense of freedom. Dr. Fears reiterates the importance of courage and honor in securing the blessings of liberty.