The American Founders were careful students of history. Thomas Jefferson, in his influential A Summary View of the Rights of British America, prepared in 1774, noted that “history has informed us that bodies of men as well as individuals are susceptible of the spirit of tyranny.” Patrick Henry, summed up the importance of history thus: “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past.”
Therefore, history is indispensable to understanding and defending liberty under our constitutionally limited, representative government. And at the core of that history is philosophy: the underlying beliefs and values that guided the American Founders in their creating a constitutional order of separated powers, checks and balances, and liberty. Cato University’s College of History and Philosophy braids these two powerful subjects together to explore the history of liberty and justice, of wealth and poverty, of individual rights and the rule of law. Come join us to experience history in the exciting and inspiring way the American founders knew it.