Free online courses offered by a highly reputable college
The following information about the courses is provided on the college’s website:
Hillsdale College Online Courses
Learn with Hillsdale, and deepen your understanding of the great ideas of Western Civilization.
As Thomas Jefferson said, “Above all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to, convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of liberty.”
That’s why Hillsdale has become a national leader in free online learning. In fact, we average more than 1,000 enrollments per day across all our courses. And our most popular course—“Constitution 101”—now has more than 800,000 students around the world.
You’ll study with the same Hillsdale faculty who teach on our campus. It’s a great way to experience aspects of Hillsdale’s Core Curriculum, as well as learn from some of today’s best teacher-scholars in the fields of politics, history, economics, and English.
Here are some of the courses offered through Hillsdale College that help all of us to better understand our form of government. These courses are a great way to review our understanding of civics, history, and our role as responsible citizens.
1. Constitution 101: The Meaning & History of the Constitution
Taught by the Hillsdale College Politics faculty, this course will introduce you to the meaning and history of the United States Constitution. The course will examine a number of original source documents from the Founding period, including especially the Declaration of Independence and The Federalist Papers. The course will also consider two significant challenges to the Founders’ Constitution: the institution of slavery and the rise of Progressivism.
2. The Presidency and the Constitution
This free, 10-week, not-for-credit course, taught by the Hillsdale College politics faculty, will help you understand the structure and function of executive power in the American constitutional order. The course begins with the place of the president in the constitutionalism of the Founding Fathers and examines how that role has changed with the rise of the modern Progressive administrative state.
Understand the role of the President, as the founders intended.
The American presidency is often called the most powerful office on earth. This is so not only because the nation which elects the president is the most powerful nation on earth, but also because the American Founders designed the office to be strong and effective. However, the Founders also placed certain restraints on this power, which are necessary to maintain liberty and protect citizens’ rights.
The modern understanding and structure of the presidency are a threat to freedom due to the accumulation of all three powers—legislative, executive, and judicial—in the executive branch and the breakdown of constitutional restraints.
A powerful office with important Constitutional constraints
Learn more about this breakdown of the separation of powers and how to restore the Constitutional restraints in this this free course taught by Hillsdale College’s politics faculty.
The course is delivered via email, with one lesson per week over ten weeks. Each lesson features lively discussion boards, suggested readings, and weekly quizzes.
3. Constitution 201: The Progressive Rejection of the Founding and the Rise of Bureaucratic Despotism
This is a free, ten-week, not-for-credit online course offered by Hillsdale College. With introductory and concluding lectures by Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn, the nine lectures—taught by members of Hillsdale College’s politics department faculty—are a continuation of Constitution 101 (2012): The Meaning & History of the Constitution. These lectures will focus on the importance of the principles of the American Founding and the current assault on them by the Progressives.
The principles of the American Founding, embodied in the Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the Constitution, came under assault by Progressives of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Progressivism rejects the Founders’ ideas of natural rights, limited government, the separation of powers, representation, and federalism. Progressive government, exemplified by the modern administrative state, has fundamentally transformed key aspects of the American way of life.
4. The Federalist Papers
Written between October 1787 and August 1788, The Federalist Papers is a collection of newspaper essays written in defense of the Constitution. Writing under the pen name Publius, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay explain the merits of the proposed Constitution while confronting objections raised by its opponents. Thomas Jefferson described the work as “the best commentary on the principles of government, which ever was written.” This course will explore major themes of The Federalist Papers, such as the problem of majority faction, separation of powers, and the three branches of government.
Written between October 1787 and August 1788, the Federalist Papers is a collection of newspaper essays written in defense of the Constitution. Writing under the penname Publius, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay explained the merits of the proposed Constitution, while confronting objections raised by its opponents.
Thomas Jefferson described the work as “the best commentary on the principles of government, which ever was written.”
There is not better way to increase your knowledge of the principles underlying the Constitution than studying the Federalist Papers. That’s why Hillsdale College is offering this online course, “The Federalist Papers” for FREE.
5. The Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court
Article III of the U.S. Constitution vests the judicial power “in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” According to Federalist 78, the judicial branch “will always be the least dangerous” to the liberty of the American people. Yet, judicial decisions have done much to advance a Progressive agenda that poses a fundamental threat to liberty. This course will consider several landmark Supreme Court cases in relation to the Founders’ Constitution.