Steve Pincus - "The Heart of the Declaration" - Eric Slauter

Monday, October 3, 2016 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Steve Pincus discusses The Heart of the Declaration: The Founders' Case for an Activist. He will be joined in conversation by Eric Slauter.

About the book: From one election cycle to the next, a defining question continues to divide the country’s political parties: Should the government play a major or a minor role in the lives of American citizens? The Declaration of Independence has long been invoked as a philosophical treatise in favor of limited government. Yet the bulk of the document is a discussion of policy, in which the Founders outlined the failures of the British imperial government. Above all, they declared, the British state since 1760 had done too little to promote the prosperity of its American subjects. Looking beyond the Declaration’s frequently cited opening paragraphs, Steve Pincus reveals how the document is actually a blueprint for a government with extensive powers to promote and protect the people’s welfare. By examining the Declaration in the context of British imperial debates, Pincus offers a nuanced portrait of the Founders’ intentions with profound political implications for today.

About the author: Steve Pincus is the Bradford Durfee Professor of History at Yale University. He is the author of several books on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British history.

About the interlocutor: Eric Slauter is the director of the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago.

About the co-sponsor: The Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture aims to develop a new model for graduate education in American culture, to serve as a hub for the exciting multidisciplinary study of America at the University of Chicago, and to make that study visible on a national and international level.


Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637