Winter 2022 Junior Fellowship: Statesmanship in the American Political Tradition
This seminar studies George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the American Revolution. This fellowship is open to undergraduate students at Stanford University.
Time & Location
Jan 12, 2022, 5:15 PM – 8:00 PM PST
Town & Country, Unit #109, 855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA
About the Event
Revolutions have a tendency to fail, often bringing tyranny rather than liberty. Meanwhile, political calculations and decisions often lead once idealistic leaders down the path to despotism. The American Revolution was different for a host of reasons. One way to begin to study how and why the American Revolution proved to break the historical cycle is to examine the leadership of the Revolution. To that end, this seminar studies George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams in two evening sessions.
The first session examines the statesmanship of George Washington. Washington’s leadership helped to turn thirteen former colonies populated by the “subjects” of King Gorge III into a new nation, “conceived in liberty” (as President Lincoln put it). On July 1, 1776 slavery was legal in all 13 colonies, many had religious establishments, and various other impingements on liberty. The American Revolution marked a turning point away from these. In his time as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and as President, Washington paid close attention not only to the political ends he sought, but also the means used to achieve them.
The second session looks at how John Adams and Thomas Jefferson wanted the young republic to be governed. Adams and Jefferson debated what kinds of elites were best suited for governing the young American republic. Both men recognized that inequalities would remain common in the republican future. But they understood the nature of those inequalities inside and outside of politics and government very differently. Their debate offers profound insight into the problems of creating a republic dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
DATES AND TIMES
- 5:15 - 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 12th: Dinner and Seminar, led by Richard Samuelson
- 5:15 - 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 19th: Dinner and Seminar, led by Richard Samuelson
Dr. Richard Samuelson is an Associate Professor of American History at California State University, San Bernardino. He received his BA from Bates College and his PhD in American history from the University of Virginia. He was the 2009-2010 Garwood Visiting Fellow at Princeton University's James Madison Program. Dr. Samuelson is the editor of The Collected Political Writings of James Otis. His work on the statesmanship of the American founding and related topics has appeared in The Review of Politics, The Claremont Review of Books, Commentary, and other publications.
Applications are open to undergraduate students at Stanford University. We are interested in students who are not just fascinated by the texts and ideas under discussion, but are also invested in being part of a community of ideas and meeting new interlocutors. To apply you must be available to attend both dates.
Fellows will receive a $300 stipend, distributed at the end of the quarter. The condition for receiving this stipend is to attend all the sessions.
The deadline for applications to the Winter Term Fellowship is December 31st. Successful Applicants will be notified on January 3rd.