Sept. 17: Celebrating the U.S. Constitution
In honor of the 226th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution, join Dr. Joel Johnson, associate professor of Government and International Affairs and the Stanley L. Olsen Chair of Moral Values, in discussing "The Lasting Forms of Revolution: On the Constraining Power of Declarations of Independence."
The event is set for 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17, in the Madsen Center, room 201.
"One of the chief reasons for the U.S. Constitution’s longevity is how Americans have tended to see its provisions as grounded in the principles of the Declaration of Independence. In this respect, the Declaration and the Constitution both serve as founding documents of the American polity, creating constraints on majorities and protecting the rights of individuals. In this presentation, I first describe how the Declaration has helped define the boundaries of acceptable political action throughout U.S. history. I then compare its form and substance with that of independence documents from around the world, in order to identify declarations with similar power to constrain political action. I then conclude with reflections upon the necessity and consequences of formally declaring independence in an age of drone strikes, social media, and intense data gathering," Johnson writes about the event.