Back to All Events

MAY 8: The Walter W. Craigie Speaker Series presents A. E. Dick Howard

  • Historic St. John's Church, 1741 2401 East Broad Street Richmond, VA, 23223 United States (map)

The Walter W. Craigie Speaker Series


A.E. Dick Howard

Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law, University of Virginia, School of Law

Presenting a talk entitled:

Liberty’s Quest: American Ideas Here and Abroad

Tickets are required

Street parking

Questions? Call 804-643-0555 or alexa AT

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 Virginia’s Declaration of Rights and a frame of government.

These American beginnings resonated around the world. The Virginia Declaration of Rights directly influenced France’s 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 liberty’s 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.”

Questions? Call 804-643-0555 or alexa AT

Earlier Event: April 30
APR 30: Naturalization Ceremony
Later Event: May 12
MAY 12: Happy Mother's Day!