Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department or Program

Graduate Humanities

Department or Program Chair

Joan Baranow, PhD

First Reader

Jordan Lieser, PhD

Second Reader

Gigi Gokcek, PhD


The First Principles and Organic Laws of the United States ought to be part of a daily discussion at every water cooler and every dinner table in the country. Instead, it is entirely possible there have been days, weeks, months—or even years—when neither term has been spoken anywhere in America. Yet, during the first several decades of the country’s existence, the concepts of First Principles and Organic Laws were commonly discussed; in fact these notions were crucial to the founding of the country and its political organization. Works concerning the foundation of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, the American War for Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the men involved in these events and creating these documents, are perhaps the most published in the United States. Nonetheless, arguably few American citizens have an accurate understanding of these concepts, events, documents, and men—and they are virtually all men. One method by which to stimulate discussion about how the United States was politically organized, how it is politically organized, and how it might be possible to re-organize the political system of the United States, is an exposition of the First Principles and Organic Laws; and of the events, documents, and men, associated with them. This exegesis is underscored by three years of research that produced 750 footnotes from overwhelmingly primary sources, with a 43-page Bibliography. The results are decidedly at odds with the commonly internalized mythology of the United States. It is the prerogative of the citizen reader to use the information herein to discuss and debate the political, social, and economic, organization of the United States; or to perhaps Alter or Abolish it.