Speaker Series featuring A. E. Dick Howard
When Patrick Henry spoke of liberty or death at the Second Virginia Convention in 1775, America stood at the threshold of the age of constitutionalism. The next year, in Williamsburg, the Virginia delegates instructed their colleagues in Philadelphia to introduce a resolution for independence. The Williamsburg convention then proceeded directly to the
drafting of Virginias Declaration of Rights and a frame of government.
These American beginnings resonated around the world. The Virginia Declaration of Rights directly influenced Frances Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen (1789). In
succeeding centuries, American ideas were at the heart of an international conversation about democracy, constitutionalism, and rights. Especially was this true in the decades after World
War II, when America helped build a new international order.
After the collapse of communism, many predicted a global movement toward constitutionalism and democracy. After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, Professor Howard consulted with constitution-makers in Central and Eastern Europe as drafters sought to implant libertys seed in those countries.
Today, the international scene gives us pause. In Hungary, Viktor Orban proclaims an illiberal democracy. We see the rise of nationalism, authoritarianism, and populism in many
countries. These developments invite us, in the words of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, to mull the need for a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.
Historic St. John's Church (View)
2401 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23223
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|