Foreword | February 11, 2020

The founding concepts of the United States are based on Enlightenment ideals of equality and freedom. Throughout our history these broad ideals have struggled against anything that might impinge on them, such as government controls, regulations, and taxation. This opposition, along with other forces both internal and external, has resulted in our share of strife, as well as occasional threats of systemic failure. In our nearly 250 years as a nation, we have fought wars and serious conflicts at an average of about one per generation, more than any other major military power. We have repeatedly armed and disarmed. We have also conducted systemic campaigns against perceived enemies based on race and political beliefs within our own
borders—including Native Americans, Irish and other immigrants, blacks, “Leftists,” organized labor movements, and various others.

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