Virtue and Liberty in the American Founding

Event Date: 
January 21, 2010 - 12:00pm

Waters Building - David Cassard Sr. Conference Room 161 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503


In this lecture, Dr. John Pinhiero speaks on “Virtue and Liberty in the American Founding.” Lord Acton said, “Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.” Dr. Pinheiro says Lord Acton’s thought is keeping in the tradition of Augustine, who stressed the freedom to incorporate morality in our decisions. He discusses the political philosophy of the American Founders: “In the eighteenth century most every founder believed liberty was a gift from God. They believed we possess liberty simply by being human." He also talks about the American founders' views on the French Revolution and the thinking of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.

Short bio of the speaker

Dr. John Pinheiro is associate professor of history and director of Catholic Studies at Aquinas College in Michigan. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Pinheiro co-edited volume 12 of the Presidential Series of the Papers of George Washingtonand is author of Manifest Ambition: James K. Polk and Civil-Military Relations during the Mexican War. His publications also include articles on Washington and the Jacksonian Era in academic journals. Consulting Editor for the Polk presidency at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs, Dr. Pinheiro also hosts "Past is Prologue" on WPRR, 1680AM, Grand Rapids. His scholarly interests include American identity and evolving American views on republican citizenship.