Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government


Statesmanship Theses

Andrea Wiebe defends her thesis.

All Ashbrook Scholars are required to write a senior thesis, known as a Statesmanship Thesis, prior to graduation. This thesis is a lengthy paper, typically 50 pages or more, that attempts to answer a well-developed question regarding a topic of particular interest to a Scholar. After this paper is written, the Scholar publicly defends it in front of a thesis committee and an audience of interested parties.

This thesis is each Scholar’s opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge in a particular area of learning. It is the culmination of their entire undergraduate education and an expression of what they are capable of intellectually. It is a work they can carry with them as they begin their career or continue their education in graduate school.

Each year, the Director of the Ashbrook Center, in consultation with the faculty from Ashland’s Department of History and Political Science, selects one or more theses to receive the Charles Parton Award for Outstanding Thesis.  The theses linked below are the past winners of that award.


Destroyers and Saviors: A Study of Cyrus and Lincoln in Their Republics
by Caleb Boyer

Moderation of a Young Whig: Abraham Lincoln and the Temperance Address
by Tyler MacQueen

The Unexpected Power Presented by Women in Greek Literature
by Amber Pope

Stitching Eudaimonia: Frankenstein and Aristotle on the Pursuit of Happiness
by Matthew Reising

ANDY: A Screenplay Exploring the Relationship Between Humanity and Artificial Intelligence
by Naomi Sims


Justifiable or Damnable?: America’s Scriptural Case for Revolution
by Logan Alexander

Machiavellian Faith and Foundings: On the Armed Prophets of The Prince
by Dennis Clark

From Waves to Wings: The Naval Influences on Giulio Douhet’s Air Theory
by Madeleine Emholtz

Beaumont, Tocqueville, and the Nation of Incarceration
by Lucas Trott


“The Eternal in Us”: An Analysis of Love in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro
by Nicholas Bartulovic

“To Dissolve the Barbarous Spell”: The Significance of Female Education in Eighteenth-Century Literature
by Emily Cardwell

Virtue and Vice in Shakespeare’s Rome
by Joshua Frey

Wanderlust in the West: Daniel Boone and the Enigmatic Legend of American Mythology
by Daniel Griffith


Answering the Irish Question: Winston Churchill and the Formation of the Irish Free State
by James Coyne

A Comparison of Scalia and the Founders on How to Interpret the Constitution
by Ivan Larson

The 1997 Thai Financial Crisis: Causes and Contentions
by Kelly Ranttila

The Christian Ultimatum: Self-Defense, Martyrdom, or Both?
by Amanda Sivik


Discerning Wisdom: A Study of the Wisdom and Faith of King Solomon
by Johnathan Case

Not a Killer, Soldier, or Subject: Frederick Douglass and American Citizenship
by Zachary Hoffman

Excellence and Envy: Plutarch on the Difficulties of Leading the People
by Jaclyn Horn

“A Portrait of Humanity”: Ballet, Beauty, and the American Regime
by September Long

A Union Worthy of Saving: An Interpretation of Statesmanship through the Lincoln-Douglas Debates
by Samuel Mariscal


“That That Nation Might Live”: Lincoln’s Biblical Allusions in the Gettysburg Address
by Joseph Griffith

Rumination Before Revolution: The New World’s Republican Experiments
by Johanna Mateo

The American Cincinnatus: The Unique Greatness and Republican Virtue of George Washington
by Christian Wilson

Milton, Paradise Lost, and the Question of Kingship
by Jarrod Brown

“True to a Single Object”: The Character of Tadeusz Kościuszko
by Lindsey Grudnicki

“The Pinnacle of Life’s Jubilation”: An Exploration of the Vitality for Human Greatness in the Poetry of Friedrich Nietzsche
by Sarah Spinner

The Great Generalization: The Theory of Evolution in American Political and Social Thought after the Civil War
by Erin Sutter

The Happy Empire: Aristotle, Publius, and the American Regime
by Dantan Wernecke

Boundless Vision: A Reading of Plato’s Symposium
by James Velasquez

A History of the Anglo-American Special Relationship
by Rebekah Brown

Noise Pollution: A Look at the Effects of Rock Music on a Liberal Education
by Alyssa Bornhorst

Similarly Situated?: The Evolution of Gender Equality Jurisprudence and the Role of Women in Combat
by Allison McGuire

“He Who Rules Over Men Must be Just”: The Life and Reign of King David
by Andrea Wiebe

The Political Philosophy of John C. Calhoun: An Argument Worth Refuting
by George Alecusan

The British Empire in India
by Ryan Brown

“Just as the Corybantes Seem to Hear the Flutes”: A Reading of Plato’s Crito
by Timothy Haglund

Rule in The Tempest: The Political Teachings of Shakespeare’s Last Play
by Lauren Arnold

Bletchley’s Secret War: British Code Breaking in the Battle of the Atlantic
by Colleen Carper

The Higher Law Background of the Constitution: Justice Clarence Thomas and Constitutional Interpretation
by Michael Sabo

Power and Pretext: The Status of Justice in Thucydides
by Caitlin Poling

The Morality of Killing in Self-Defense: A Christian Perspective
by Jonathan Spelman

Elena’s War: Russian Women in Combat
by Samantha Vajskop

Moral Beauty’s Divine Center: Jonathan Edwards and the Necessity of God in Ethics
by Adam Carrington

A Two Horse Race: An Explanation of The Virginian‘s Natural Equality Based on Man’s Faculty of Reason and Sentiment of Pity
by Clint Leibolt

Abraham Lincoln’s Understanding of the Nature of the Union: Secession, Slavery, and the Philosophical Cause
by Jason Stevens

“The Hands of a Healer”: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Understanding of Kingship
by Lauren Calco

“The Dictates of Conscience”: The Debate over Religious Liberty in Revolutionary Virginia
by Deborah O’Malley

Improvisation and Self-Emancipation in the Novels of Ralph Ellison
by Carolyn Garris

The Thought of Sayyid Qutb: Radical Islam’s Philosophical Foundations
by Luke Loboda

The Problem of Courage
by Brinton Brafford

An Apple of Gold: Abraham Lincoln and Constitutional Interpretation
by Kevin Portteus