Lincoln and Democracy: Government by Reason or by Passion?
Louise Lehrman Distinguished Fellow at New-York Historical Society Lecture
For Abraham Lincoln, democracy was the default position of human politics. Yet, the democratic instinct had to be nurtured and protected—nurtured by reason, and protected from the threat of passion. Reason would work through the rule of law, through understanding, and through education. Passion, however, would wreck a democracy by tempting it to fury, violence, and authoritarianism. This poses a challenge as critical in our day as in Lincoln’s, and Lincoln’s answer is worth our hearing.
Allen C. Guelzo is director of the James Madison Program Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship and senior research scholar at the Council of Humanities at Princeton University. He will serve as Louise Lehrman Distinguished Fellow at New-York Historical Society beginning in November 2022.
Buy the books! Pick up titled related to this program in the NYHistory Store:
Lincoln: A Very Short Introduction by Allen C. Guelzo
Abraham Lincoln, 2nd Edition: Redeemer President by Allen C. Guelzo
Robert E. Lee: A Life by Allen C. Guelzo
The Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024
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