October 26-28 • Philadelphia, PA

About Cato University | Schedule | Register | Readings

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.

Schedule

Thursday, October 26
3:00 – 6:00PM Registration
6:30 – 7:30PM Reception
7:30 – 9:30PM History and the Science of Liberty

Dinner Speaker: Tom Palmer, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty and Executive Vice President for International Programs, Atlas Network

Download a podcast of “History and the Science of Liberty”

9:30 – 10:00PM Bastiat Scholarship Student Meeting
9:30 – 11:00PM After Dinner Discussion


Friday, October 27
8:00 – 9:00AM Breakfast
9:00 – 10:15AM The Experience of Liberty

Speaker: Tom Palmer, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty and Executive Vice President for International Programs, Atlas Network

Download a podcast of “The Experience of Liberty”

10:15 – 10:45AM Break
10:45 – 12:00PM The American Enlightenment and Revolution

Speaker: Robert McDonald, Professor of History at the United States Military Academy

Download a podcast of “The American Enlightenment and Revolution”

12:00 – 1:30PM Lunch
1:30 – 2:45PM The Libertarian Synthesis

Speaker: Tom Palmer, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty and Executive Vice President for International Programs, Atlas Network

Download a podcast of “The Libertarian Synthesis”

2:45 – 3:15PM Break
3:15 – 4:30PM The Wealth Explosion

Speaker: Steve Davies, Education Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs

Download a podcast of “The Wealth Explosion”

4:30PM Free Time
6:30 – 7:30PM Reception
7:30 – 9:30PM War and the Rise of the American State

Dinner Speaker: Christopher A. Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute

Download a podcast of “War and the Rise of the American State”

9:30 – 10:30PM Bastiat Scholarship Student Meeting
9:30 – 11:00PM After Dinner Discussion


Saturday, October 28
8:00 – 9:00AM Breakfast
9:00 – 10:15AM The Spread of Libertarian Thought from the Enlightenment Onwards

Speaker: Steve Davies, Education Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs

Download a podcast of “The Spread of Libertarian Thought from the Enlightenment Onwards”

10:15 – 10:45AM Break
10:45 – 12:00PM America to the Civil War and Beyond

Speaker: Robert McDonald, Professor of History at the United States Military Academy

Download a podcast of “America to the Civil War and Beyond”

12:00 – 1:30PM Lunch
1:30 – 2:45PM The Ideological Challengers to Liberty

Speaker: Steve Davies, Education Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs

Download a podcast of “The Ideological Challengers to Liberty”

2:45 – 3:15PM Break
3:15 – 4:30PM Transformations of American Government from WWI to Today

Speaker: Robert McDonald, Professor of History at the United States Military Academy

Download a podcast of “Transformations of American Government from WWI to Today”

4:30PM Free Time
6:30 – 7:30PM Reception
7:30 – 9:30PM The Founders’ Legacy

Dinner Speaker: David Boaz, Executive Vice President, Cato Institute

Download a podcast of “The Founders’ Legacy”

9:30 – 10:00PM Bastiat Scholarship Student Meeting
9:30 – 11:00PM After Dinner Discussion

About Cato University | Schedule | Register | Readings

Tom PalmerTom G. Palmer is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, and director of Cato University, the Institute’s educational arm. Palmer is also the executive vice president for international programs at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. Before joining Cato he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, and the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights.

More about Tom Palmer

Christopher A. PrebleChristopher A. Preble is the vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. He is the author of three books including The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous and Less Free (Cornell University Press, 2009); and John F. Kennedy and the Missile Gap (Northern Illinois University Press, 2004); and he co-edited, with John Mueller, A Dangerous World? Threat Perception and U.S. National Security (Cato Institute, 2014); and, with Jim Harper and Benjamin Friedman, Terrorizing Ourselves: Why U.S. Counterterrorism Policy Is Failing and How to Fix It (Cato Institute, 2010).

In addition to his work at Cato, Preble teaches the U.S. Foreign Policy elective at the University of California, Washington Center (UCDC). Before joining Cato in February 2003, he taught history at St. Cloud State University and Temple University. Preble was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, and served onboard USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) from 1990 to 1993. Preble holds a Ph.D. in history from Temple University.

More about Christopher A. Preble

Robert McDonaldRobert M. S. McDonald is Professor of History at the United States Military Academy, where he has taught since 1998. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, Oxford University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned his Ph.D. A specialist on Thomas Jefferson and the early American republic, he is the author of Confounding Father: Thomas Jefferson’s Image in His Own Time (2016) and editor of Thomas Jefferson’s Military Academy: Founding West Point (2004), Light & Liberty: Thomas Jefferson and the Power of Knowledge (2012), and Sons of the Father: George Washington and His Protégés (2013). He is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, teaches in the Master’s in American History and Government program at Ashland University, and has helped lead numerous workshops for social studies teachers through the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Bill of Rights Institute, for which he helped develop educational material used in high school classrooms throughout the United States. He lives in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, with his wife, Christine, and their children Jefferson and Grace.

More about Robert McDonald

Steve DaviesDr. Steve Davies is the Head of Education at the IEA. Previously he was program officer at the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) at George Mason University in Virginia. He joined IHS from the UK where he was Senior Lecturer in the Department of History and Economic History at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. A historian, he graduated from St Andrews University in Scotland in 1976 and gained his PhD from the same institution in 1984. He has authored several books, including Empiricism and History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) and was co-editor with Nigel Ashford of The Dictionary of Conservative and Libertarian Thought (Routledge, 1991).

More about Steve Davies

David BoazDavid Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute and has played a key role in the development of the Cato Institute and the libertarian movement. He is the author of The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom and the editor of The Libertarian Reader.

More about David Boaz