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Like the apostle Paul, Republican Government has been "made all things to all men." The concept is indeed a spacious one, and many particular ideas can comfortably nestle under its big tent. Surprisingly, however, few modern scholars seem even aware of the central meaning of Republican Government--of the main pole that keeps the big top up, as it were. Today, I shall describe this central pillar as understood and acted upon in the Founding, Antebellum, and Civil War eras.

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