The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson
Containing His Articles, Observations, Thoughts,
and some would say Wisdom (and some would say not).
an interest in history, and especially American history, I
have written several essays on history. I hope that you will
enjoy these thoughts, or a least they will provoke your own
thoughts on these subjects.
- Condemned to
Repeat It - (May 2019) - A perspective on how to
view history and make judgements on civilizations and
- United States
History Perspective - (May 2019) - My perspective
on United States History focusing on the many turning points
in U.S. history that changed our country.
Meaning of the American Revolution - (Jun
2019) -What was the meaning of the American Revolution? Why
was it so important to the development of civilization? How
can we assure its continuing impact and importance to
American society? This article will attempt to succinctly
answer these questions by examining the most important
documents regarding our founding.
- The Meaning of the American
Civil War - (Apr
2019) -My mullings on the most consequential meaning of the
Underlying Meaning of the Bill of Rights - (
Aug 2019) - The reason for and the underlying meaning of the
Bill of Rights in the Constitution.
are Three-fifths of a Human and the Explosion of Slavery
- (May 2019) - Blacks are 3/5 of a Human in
the Constitution is a phrase that is often misused, as it
was not for the purposes of placing a value upon a
person, but for political power within the House
of Representatives. This is my thoughts on this subject.
- The 18th
Century (Jul 2019) – An overview of a truly
remarkable century in the history of mankind.
- The Life and
Contributions of Benjamin Franklin - (Aug 2019)
- A few years back my best friend (now deceased) and manager
of the cigar lounge that I frequented sat next to me in the
empty (except for myself) lounge and inquired that as I knew
much about Benjamin Franklin would I tell him something
about Franklin. I spent the next thirty to forty minutes
telling him Benjamin Franklin stories. At the end of my
stories, I inquired “So, what did you learn about Benjamin
Franklin?”. He replied, “I learned never to ask you again
about Benjamin Franklin!”. But here it is anyway.
The most important documents to be
read for the purposes of United States History are, of course,
The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights and Amendments, as well as the Gettysburg Address.
The following are additional letters
and speeches from American history that I have found to be
very wise and inspiring. I believe all Americans should read
and ponder these letters and speeches, and take them to heart.
There are several very good books and DVDs
on United States history. DVDs are a good introduction to
United States history but should only be utilized as an
introduction and starting point. A good book will provide a
better understanding of the complexities of United States history. Here is my
list of books & DVDs that I would recommend. Due to my
love of music I have also included several audio CD's of
The Oxford History of the United States series of books are a
comprehensive (read long and through) examination of 18th and
19th century American history. If you wish to fully understand
American history of this period I can highly recommend these
Finally, for a history of America before the 19th century I
Please note that the following books are very concise,
paperback, and of a size that can fit into your pants pocket,
which makes them convenient to carry and read in small bites:
And finally, the following are not documentaries but provide a
very good biographical movie of the people and/or times:
A Personal Note
You may be
wondering about my qualifications to pontificate on these
subjects. I believe that I am qualified because I am a thinking
human being. I utilize my knowledge and experience in life, as
well as researching both the facts and opinions of others,
including those with whom I may disagree. I then apply my
reasoning and logical skills to reach an opinion. And it is just
my opinion which I readily admit. I am also willing to admit
that I may be wrong, and if I discover that I am wrong I am just
as readily willing to change my opinion. Therefore, check-back
every so often to determine if I have changed my opinion which
can be determine by the date of the article.
light bulb has often been described as a heat source that
provides some light, given that a light bulb generates more heat
than it does light. In today's public debates we often find the
proponents of an issue providing a lot of heat and only a little
light. These observations are meant to provide illumination
(light) and not argumentation (heat).
Opponents in today's society often utilize the dialog and debate
methodology of Demonize, Denigrate, and Disparage their opponent
when discussing issues, policies, and personages. To demonize,
denigrate, or disparage the messenger to avoid consideration of
the message is not acceptable if the message has supporting
The only acceptable method of public discourse is disagreement -
to be of different opinions. If you are in disagreement with
someone you should be cognizant that people of good character
can and often disagree with each other. The method of their
disagreement is very important to achieve civil discourse. There
are two ways you can disagree with someone; by criticizing their
opinions or beliefs or critiquing their opinions or beliefs.
- Criticism - Disapproval expressed by pointing out
faults or shortcomings.
- Critique - A serious examination and judgment of
and most commentators have forgotten the difference between
Criticism and Critique. This has led to the hyper-partisanship
in today's society. In a civil society critiquing a viewpoint or
policy position should be encouraged. This will often allow for
a fuller consideration of the issues, and perhaps a better
viewpoint or policy position without invoking
hyper-partisanship. We can expect that partisanship will often
occur, as people of good character can and often disagree with
each other. Criticizing a viewpoint or policy position will
often lead to hostility, rancor, and enmity, which results in
the breakdown of civil discourse and hyper-partisanship. It is
fine to criticize someone for their bad or destructive behavior,
but it is best to critique them for their opinions or words. We
would all do better if we remember to critique someone, rather
than criticize someone.
I would ask anyone who disagrees with what I have written here
to please keep this disagreement civil. I am open to critique
and will sometimes take criticism. I will always ignore
demonization, denigration, and disparagement, or point out the
vacuous nature or the character flaws of those that wish to
silence the messenger rather than deal with the message.
Please remember that if you disagree with the messenger it is
not acceptable to kill the messenger. You may kill the
messenger, but the message will remain.
If you have any comments, concerns, critiques, or suggestions
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will review reasoned and intellectual correspondence, and it
is possible that I can change my mind, or at least update the
contents of these articles. This is why these articles are
dated. Whenever I make a change to these articles they will be
re-dated. So check back and see if any articles have been
updated (or perhaps I shall add articles).