American liberalism emerged before the most famous European liberal intellectuals put their pens to paper. It was grounded partly on liberal ideas that were in the air before those works were written, but mostly on the attractive communities generated by liberal institutions and policies. American liberalism is empirically, rather than theoretically, grounded. This talk uses excerpts from colonial and constitutional documents to demonstrate the long history of liberal institutions in the territories that became the United States. American liberalism is an evolutionary rather than an intellectual phenomenon.
Please RSVP if you plan on attending; lunch will be provided.