Founding American Principles: American Constitutional Tradition Through History

March 8-10, 2013


The United States Constitution was an innovation in many respects, but innovations do not occur in a vacuum.  The Framers of the Constitution sought to incorporate the best of the history and theory of republican government into their new plan.  Yet they did not allow this "decent regard" for antiquity or custom "to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience" (Federalist 14).  The Constitution is a work of political prudence: a union of sound theoretical principles combined with a sober appraisal of America's unique circumstances.  This seminar explores the founding principles of the American Constitution, how these principles informed the making of the Constitution, and how they have been subsequently interpreted and applied.

Seminar Scholar

Lynn Uzzell, PhD, received her doctorate in politics at the University of Dallas and her bachelors degree at Black Hills State University. Dr. Uzzell   has taught extensively about the Constitution and is an expert on the Constitutional Convention. She has taught political philosophy, American politics, rhetoric, and Leadership and the Humanities at Baylor University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Richmond. She is currently Scholar in Residence at the Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and senior editor of ConText, an online resource for Madison's notes on the Constitutional Convention.