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Oct 06

American Self-Government: James Madison and the Idea of Republican Citizenship

This video is no longer available online.
Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium 

What would it take for America to become - and remain - a self-governing people?  Colleen Sheehan traces the evolution of Madison's conception of the politics of communication and public opinion throughout the Founding period, demonstrating how "the sovereign public" would form and rule in America.  Far from ignoring the need for an active, virtuous citizenry, Madison's vision for the new nation rested on a notion of republican self-government that permeated the American spirit and the way of life.  This overlooked aspect of Madison's thinking is an important part of the American Idea.

Colleen A. Sheehan is a Professor of Political Science at Villanova University and has served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  She is the co-editor of Friends of the Constitution: Writings of the Other Federalists 1787-1788 and author of numerous articles on the American Founding and eighteenth-century political and moral thought.  Her most recent publication is James Madison and the Spirit of Republican Self-Government (Cambridge University Press).  Professor Sheehan received a B.A from Eisenhower College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate School.

Copies of James Madison and the Spirit of Republican Self-Government
will be available for purchase and to be signed by the author.

More About the Speakers

Colleen Sheehan, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science, Villanova University,
and Author of James Madison and the Spirit of Republican Self-Government

Hosted By

Matthew Spalding, Ph.D. Matthew Spalding, Ph.D.

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