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Friday, June 4, 2010

Acton Lecture Series: Virtue and Liberty in the American Founding

Dr. John Pinheiro examines the American Founders’ understanding of liberty as rooted in a classical and Christian understanding of virtue. Dr. 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.

He claims, "Washington was a Christian." And also remarked, "Adams believed virtue was the foundation of government in the 1770's, but by the 1790's, he thought the government could inculcate virtue in the people."

That could be a stretch, however, I agree with his summation that Adams changed his views over time.

In the question and answer forum, Dr. Pinheiro explained, "Rousseau helped bring about the French Revolution; the nobel savage belief Jefferson admired."

Rousseau is key in understanding TJ's belief in revolution, and man's place in nature.

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