Multi-Day Seminars

Spring 2022 Multi-Day Seminars

Alexander Hamilton: The Indispensable Founder

Alexandria, VA February | 25-27, 2022

Discussion Leader: Stephen Knott

This seminar will examine the impact of Alexander Hamilton on the American founding. While Hamilton served as the first treasury secretary, his reach extended well beyond financial matters as he became George Washington’s indispensable advisor, creating institutions which launched the United States on the path to becoming a world power.


Apples of Gold in a Frame of Silver: The Declaration and Constitution Together and in Context

Philadelphia, PA | February 25-27, 2022

Discussion Leader:  Lauren Hall

This seminar investigates the links between the political theory of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that resulted from that act. The seminar will explore a range of documents from the founding, including letters, philosophical tracts, and commentary on the rights and duties of citizens and colonists to understand the way in which the theory of the Declaration informed and influenced the structure and content of the final Constitution. Participants will visit the Museum of the American Revolution​ as part of the seminar, placing these documents within their historical context.


Jefferson and the American Founding

San Diego, CA | March 11-13, 2022

Discussion Leader: Rob McDonald

Covering the period from the American Revolution through the election of 1800, this seminar will explore Jefferson’s role in the creation of the American republic. The seminar will include a detailed examination of the conflict between Jefferson and Hamilton.


The Political Theory of the American Founding

Northampton, MA | March 18-20, 2022

Discussion Leader: Jason Stevens

In this multi-session seminar, through a careful examination of primary source documents, we will discuss the fundamental principles and political institutions of the American Founding. We will try to understand the manner in which the Founding generation sought to secure liberty and stability though a sufficiently energetic and republican national government.


The Political Theory of the American Founding

Santa Fe, NM | March 18-20, 2022

Discussion Leader: Jason Jividen

In this multi-session seminar, through a careful examination of primary source documents, we will discuss the fundamental principles and political institutions of the American Founding. We will try to understand the manner in which the Founding generation sought to secure liberty and stability though a sufficiently energetic and republican national government.


The American Founding: the Fight for Ratification

Bucks County, PA | March 25-27, 2022

Discussion Leader: Eric Sands

On September 17, 1878 the Constitutional Convention concluded its work and forwarded the Constitution to the states for ratification. Debates on the size and scope of the government got underway in each of the states. This seminar examines, not only the theoretical underpinnings of the American government, but the politics that shaped those debates.


From Brown v. Board to Little Rock and Beyond: School Desegregation and the Civil Rights Movement

Little Rock, AR | March 25-27, 2022

Discussion Leader: David Krugler

The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Supreme Court ruling was a landmark decision, but as the 1957 showdown at Little Rock’s Central High School showed, enforcing the decision’s Constitutional mandate required the dedication and courage of ordinary heroes–young African Americans, their parents, and allies–determined to earn an equal education opportunity. The Little Rock Nine succeeded in desegregating Central High, but is that the end of the story? In this seminar featuring a visit to the National Historic Site at Central High, we will use a variety of primary sources to learn about and discuss the legal campaign of the NAACP to put school segregation before the Supreme Court, the Constitutional issues of the cases, the effort to enforce Brown in Little Rock, and the long, difficult effort to desegregate schools elsewhere in the United States after Little Rock.


Abraham Lincoln, Race, and the New Birth of Freedom

Springfield, IL | April 1-3, 2022

Discussion Leader: Dan Monroe

The seminar will examine Lincoln’s speeches and letters, as well as those of select contemporaries, on emancipation, civil war, and reconstruction. We will focus on Lincoln’s consistencies and inconsistencies on race, his changing war goals, and his vision for a postwar reconstructed nation rededicated to the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence.


Creating a New Government: James Madison and the Constitution

Montpelier Station, VA | April 8-10, 2022

Discussion Leader: Jeremy Bailey

This seminar investigates the roles played by James Madison in advocating for, helping to create, and then ratifying the 1787 Constitution and his subsequent efforts in the new government to put the new Constitutional system into practice after 1789. Readings will consist of extensive primary source writings by Madison as well as excerpts from key secondary historical accounts.


Parties and Party Strife during the American Founding

Kansas City, MO | April 22-24, 2022

Discussion Leader: Joe Postell

People tend to conclude that the American Founders were opposed to political parties, and that they would be appalled at today’s partisanship. Yet our Founders were also the creators of our first political parties, and they engaged in partisan politics that was often acrimonious. This seminar will examine the paradox of parties in the American Founding and what it means for today.


Liberty and Equality in the American Founding

Omaha, NE | April 22-24, 2022

Discussion Leader: Jeremy Bailey

The Declaration of Independence says that governments are instituted in order to secure rights. In this two day seminar, we will examine about thirty of the most important documents from the Founding period to ask how and whether the Constitution secures rights. We will also discuss the meaning of equality and liberty as understood by the Founding generation.


What is New and what is Old in the American Founding: How the U.S. Constitution Improved on Other Republican Forms of Government

Tulsa, OK | April 29-May 1, 2022

Discussion Leader: Scott Yenor

Through an examination of original sources, this seminar emphasizes how the creation of the independent republican executive, an independent judiciary, and a system of divided sovereignty set the American experiment in self-government apart from previous efforts, and how these innovations brought both stability and disruption to the American experiment.


The Adams Family: the Private and Public Lives of Four Generations

Boston, MA | May 13-15, 2022

Discussion Leader: Natalie Taylor

Four generations of the Adams family were rooted in Quincy granite and breathed its revolutionary atmosphere. Not only were they America’s statesmen, but they were the keepers of their family’s legacy and the historians of our nation. This seminar examines how Quincy informed each generation’s understanding of United States between 1776-1918.

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