Jacksonian America FINAL Study Guide


de Tocqueville, IHS version

Final Study Guide; Birzer the Fearsome

History of the Early American Republic (aka, “Jacksonian America”, H302)

Autumn 2016

I will provide the blue books for the exam.  For each section, I am assuming your knowledge of the books assigned as well as of the lectures given.  You will be graded on knowledge as well as wisdom!

Section 1.  Possible essay questions. 

  • Explain why and how democracy and imperialism intertwined, 1807-1848.
  • Did Republican virtue survive the Second Great Awakening?
  • Compare Tocqueville’s and Calhoun’s criticisms of democracy.
  • In what ways did the emerging culture of letters (fiction and more) shape, delimit, or influence the Early American Republic, 1807-1848?

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Counter Reformation (FULL LECTURE)

Titian, Pope Paul III.jpg

Pope Paul III

Ok, getting toward the end of the semester.

For your pleasure (or pain), here is the third from last lecture, The Counter Reformation–a part of our drive-by Western Heritage tour!

We’re back to a *good* pope, Paul III.  Phew, finally.  It was getting a bit uncomfortable there for us Catholics for a while.

Back to sanity.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Counter Reformation

Response in the Western Latin (now what one would call “Roman Catholic”) Church:

  1. Significant revival in mysticism (what we would call charismatic today) and piety (following Erasmus’s notions: WWJD?); for the average person
  1. Clean up of corruption within the hierarchy and among the clergy
    • Limit secular/political activities of the clergy
    • No selling of church offices
    • Opening of new and better seminaries, as well as better education for priests
    • Religious were to be among the people, not separated
  1. Affirmation of Church doctrines
  • Purgatory
  • Seven Sacraments (baptism, communion, confession, confirmation, Holy Orders, matrimony, Extreme Unction)
  • Sola Gratia: saved by faith alone, but sanctified by works
  • Traditional (419A.D. Council of Hippo) Bible (with Apocrypha, Hebrews, and James)
  • Clergy forbidden to marry
  1. New Orders–Jesuits and Ursulines
  2. Society of Jesus (a.k.a. The Jesuits)
  • Founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, a Spaniard wounded in war with France. While recuperating, he read Christian classics.  Loved the heroic stories of the saints, especially their ability to overcome mental anguish and pain.
  • Author of Spiritual Exercises–mental and emotional exercises to master one’s self spiritually, especially one’s emotions. Taught that through self-discipline, could recreate one’s self and behavior.
  • From a historical viewpoint, blatant reaction to Protestant rejection of authority–to Protestant rebellion. Ignatius telling Catholics how to lose selves to become full members of the Church.
  • Jesuits–highly trained, Ph.D. required in theology and philosophy; knew martial arts (but must accept martyrdom if advances the faith)
  • International evangelizing was their first goal–Africa, China, and the Americas
  • Matteo Ricci opened China to Christianity
  • Heavily involved in politics (too heavily!)


  1. Ursulines
  • Founded by St. Angela Merici (1473-1540) of Venice
  • Would not be cloistered–but would work among the people
  • Teaching order–to educate young women in religion and morals
  • Helped the sick and the poor
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Men of the Reformation

Proto-Reformers: St. Francis, St. Dominic, Jan Hus (ca. 1372-1415), John Wyclif (ca. 1325-1384)


  1. Desiderius Erasmus (ca. 1466-1536); internal reformer
    1. Professional tutor–liberal arts, language and rhetoric, manners
    2. stunned by corruption within the church–wanted to reform it from the ground up, but from within
    3. author–Colloquies (dialogues on the liberal arts); Adages–a book of proverbs found in ancient stories (often made fun of clergy); edited early Christian authors (saw them as more pure)
    4. Goal 1–to unite classical ideals of humanity and civic virtue (res publica). Of the Medieval Christiana Res Publica: “I saw monarchy without tyranny, aristocracy without factions, democracy without tumult, wealth without luxury. . . Would that it had been your lot, divine Plato, to come upon such a republic.”
    5. Goal 2—to promote Christian charity and piety. Philosophia Christi: “imitation of Christ.”
    6. Rejected doctrine (Catholic and Protestant) in favor of piety
    7. Tied closely to Sir/St. Thomas More


  1. Martin Luther (1483-1546); external reformer
  2. Well educated–received a B.A. and M.A. (1505) from the University of Erfurt; earned his Ph.D. in 1512
  3. Rejected his parents wishes, become a priest in the Order of the Hermits of St. Augustine in 1507. Had made his promise during a lightening storm, when he prayed to St. Anne (mother of Mary).
  4. Frequently visited the Vatican where he witnessed extreme corruption
  5. Obsessed with his own sinfulness–between 1512 and 1517, worked on the doctrine of “Justification by Faith Alone.” Almost completely rejected Good Works as important
  6. Especially rejected the doctrines of indulgences and purgatory: a new indulgence was issued in 1517 by Pope Julius II; John Tetzel: “As soon as gold in the basin rings, right then the soul to heaven springs”
  7. 1517: Posted “95 Theses” on the Cathedral Door at Wittenburg. In Latin–meant only as discussion points.  Quickly translated in vernacular and printed as “attacks on the Roman Church.”  Not Luther’s intention.
  8. 1520–Authored three attacks on the church
  • Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation–argued for the German princes to halt the power of the church
  • The Babylonian Captivity of the Church–argued that there were only two sacraments—baptism and the Eucharist
  • On Christian Liberty–argued that faith alone provided salvation
    1. Translated Bible into German (often considered first real work in German)
    2. Church condemned Luther as a heretic in 1521. Some Belgian scholars said he was: “pestilential fart of Satan whose stench reaches to Heaven”
    3. Much to Luther’s horror, peasants throughout Germany rose against their lords in 1524 and 1525, in Luther’s name; Protected from the Church and the peasants by German nobles


Lutheranism today: mostly Germanic and Scandinavian today (in those areas in the United States settled by Germans and Scandinavians).  Essentially Catholic in form, if not in substance.


  1. Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531); external reformer
  • Swiss priest—had been priest for the Swiss Guard, protecting the Pope—who began criticizing the Church in 1520. Wanted a married clergy; abolition of the mass; destruction of the monasteries; and a white-washing of the Churches.
  • Most importantly, he rejected the idea of the “real presence” in Communion. Almighty God could not be humbled to a mere piece of bread, he argued.
  • Believed in a complete alliance of Church and State.
  • Wanted an alliance with Luther. Luther called him “Satan” because of his beliefs on Communion.
  • Started a war in Switzerland with the Catholics. Catholics lost, but Zwingli killed as well.


Many Baptists and fundamentalists today take Zwingli’s teachings on Communion (as memorial and only a memorial) and follow his practice of a plain church.


  1. Anabaptists: John of Leiden, Menno Simons, and Conrad Grebel “The Father of Anabapists”); external reformers
  • Rejected first three reformers as non-scriptural; claimed to remake the Primitive Church.
  • Anabaptism means “to re-baptize.” Since Jesus baptized as an adult, all must be.  Grebel’s first adult baptism—the first of the Reformation—was of George Blaurock, a former Roman Catholic priest who had recently married.  The baptism was on January 21, 1525—regarded as the founding date of the Anabaptist movement.
  • Originally aligned with Zwingli, but alliance began to crumble as early as 1523.
  • Communitarian/collectivist to the point of abolishing private property
  • Pacificists; extremely antinomian—argued for intellectual, individual interpretation of scripture; demanded an outward moral transformation of Christians.
  • Grebel died Summer 1526 of the Plague.


Anabaptists today:

  • Amish
  • Mennonites
  • Brethren


  1. John Calvin (1509-1564); external reformer
  • Born July 10, 1509, to a wealthy French family; father a secretary to a bishop
  • Brilliant; went to university with a Catholic scholarship at the age of 12; received degree in law
  • Father died in May 1531—Calvin turned from law to classics (his real love)
  • 1532: Calvin publishes first book, a Stoic meditation: COMMENTARY ON SENECA.
  • 1533: Calvin befriends a Reformer, Nicholas Cop. By the end of 1533, Calvin embraced Christianity and Protestantism.
  • May 1534, rejected Roman Catholicism; moved to center of the Reformation: Geneva
  • 1537: one of the main leaders of the city state, main advisor to government on moral law
  • 1555: in charge of Geneva; draconian rule
  • Author: INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION (first edition: March 1536; final edition: 1559)
  1. Only a few are Elect; predestined to either salvation or damnation prior to birth: “Both life and death are acts of God’s will, rather than his foreknowledge.  If God simply foresaw the fates of men, and did not also dispose and fix them by his determination, there would be room to agitate the question, whether his providence or foresight rendered them at all necessary.  But since he foresees future events only in consequence of his decree that they shall happen, it is useless to contend about foreknowledge, while it is evident that all things come to pass rather by ordination and decree.” (Calvin, INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, Book 3, Chapter 23).  This is known as Double Predestination.
  2. Signs of salvation: outward adherence to God’s commandments; participation in the two sacraments


Calvinist short hand

  • T — total depravity.
  • U — unconditional election.
  • L — limited atonement.
  • I — irresistible grace.
  • P — perseverance of the saints.


Calvinists today:

  • Presbyterians (Scottish Calvinists)
  • German and Dutch/Christian Reformed Churches
  • Puritan movement within the Church of England
  • Huguenots in France


Off-shoots of Calvinism and Anabaptists: Baptists (certainly more democratic in church government)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Understanding St. Peter’s Betrayal

Again, from Arnold Lunn, NOW I SEE (1945):

St. Mark is supposed to have written at St. Peter’s dictation.  He tells the story of the denial without wasting a word.  The chapter ends with a verse as simple as it is tragic.  ‘And the second time the cock crowed.”  And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said until him, Before the cock crow twice thou shalt deny me thrice.  And when he thought thereon, he wept.”

He wept.  That is all, and that is enough.

It is  possible that St. Peter’s defection was not unrelated to his sudden attack on the Chief Priests’s servant.  He had cut off Malchus’s ear, and escaped into darkness.  Only one person appeared to have guessed his identity, a servant of the High Priest and a kinsman of the luckless Malchus.  He certainly had his suspicions.  ‘Did not I see thee in the garden with him?”  It was this question, according to St. John, which provoked Peter’s second denial.  If this be so, it is easy to understand St. Peter’s failure of nerve.  An homicidal attack on the servant of the Chief Priest was an offence which was probably punishable by death.  St. Peter could hardly be expected to hand himself over to the officers of justice by confession.  This much might be urged in St. Peter’s defence, but not by St. Peter.

The old Apostle dictates the story to St. Mark, and he neither defends nor reproaches himself.  Why should he?  Is it really necessary for him to insist that he should not have denied his master?  Would anything be gained by a pen picture or a psychological analysis of his subsequent remorse?

The fisherman who had followed Christ was not concerned with the impression which his story might produce on the reader.  He did not measure life by the verdict of men.  He was therefore not tempted either to explain his defection or to impress upon the reader the sincerity of his remorse.  He who had foreseen his weakness had also foreseen his strength.  He who had foretold the denial had also foretold the cross outside the walls of Rome on which the chief of the Apostles was to reaffirm his faith.

“Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Verily, Verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkest whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.  This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Catholicism within Western Civilization

From Arnold Lunn’s autobiography, NOW I SEE (1945):

Many forces have combined to produce the modern world.  Palestine, Rome, Greece, and Communist Russia have all helped to form that strange complex which, in our more sanguine moods, we describe as civilisation.  Of all the influences which have moulded European thought, the greatest is the Catholic Church.  The Church saved from destruction the learning of the classical world.  It was the Church which tamed and civilised the barbarians who swept down from the north.  It was the Church which founded our seats of learning.  It is to the Church we owe the inspiration which expressed itself in the greatest art and the noblest architecture which the world has ever seen.  There is no aspect of our modern life, law, education, art or architecture which has not passed at some period through the mould of the Catholic Church. (pg. 125)


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment