American Political Thought Seminar

The Federalist, nos. 1-33, p. 21 issue #13
The Federalist, nos. 1-33, p. 21 issue #13

This seminar provides a forum for introducing and discussing topics on the political history and philosophy of the United States.

The Scholl Center will invite speakers to address issues of citizenship, democracy, sociology, and the influence of political history on contemporary politics and theory. Unlike other Scholl seminars, papers will not be circulated in advance.

This seminar will launch in the spring of 2014. The Scholl Center will host Eric Nelson of Harvard University on April 11, and Danielle Allen of Princeton University on May 14.

The seminar is sponsored by the Jack Miller Center.

Seminar Schedule

Friday, April 11, 2014
American Political Thought Seminar
‘The Lord Alone Shall Be King of America’: Hebraism and the Republican Turn of 1776

It is well known that Thomas Paine’s Common Sense fueled an abrupt “republican turn” in American political thought during the early months of 1776.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
American Political Thought Seminar
'The Pursuit of Happiness': On John Adams and Egalitarianism in the Declaration of Independence

John Adams played a much more significant role in the development of the Declaration of Independence than is conventionally recognized. Among his central contributions was to provide the definitive grounding for its egalitarianism in the concept of “happiness.” This was a move away from the slave-holding sections’ preferred commitment to “property.”