Jon Schaff: Lincoln & Civic Virtue | BRI Scholar Talks
BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with Jon Schaff, author and Northern State University professor of government, to discuss Lincoln's respect for civic virtues and why they are so important in a democracy. Schaff reviews the relationship between civic virtues and efficient political processes, emphasizing the importance of civil discourse. What are the dangers of passions in creating lawlessness and tyranny? And why are restraint, moderation, and prudence essential traits for a good ruler to possess? Schaff is the author of "Abraham Lincoln's Statesmanship and the Limits of Liberal Democracy" and "Age of Anxiety: Meaning, Identity, and Politics in 21st-Century Film and Literature."
About Jon Schaff:
Professor Schaff is a professor of government at Northern State University and specializes in the study of American political thought and institutions. He has published on the presidency and political thought of Abraham Lincoln, politics and literature, and politics and popular culture. He has been a department chair and faculty athletic representative and has received the Outstanding Faculty Award from NSU.
BRI Scholar Talks Video Playlist
Join BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams as he sits down with scholars to discuss historical topics throughout U.S. History.
The Rhetoric of Abraham Lincoln DBQ
Use this Lesson in conjunction with the Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation Decision Point to have students analyze Abraham Lincoln's rhetoric throughout his presidency.
Civic Virtue and Our Constitutional Republic
The United States Founders believed that certain civic virtues were required of citizens in order for the Constitution to work. Numerous primary sources—notably the Federalist Papers and the Autobiography of Ben Franklin—point us to the “Founders’ Virtues.” Before exploring the Documents of Freedom, it is important to understand civic virtue as an essential element of self-government.
Heroes and Villains: The Quest for Civic Virtue
Heroes and Villains: The Quest for Civic Virtue uses narratives to discuss the concepts of civic virtue in all classrooms. Topics range from Alice Paul and perseverance to Benedict Arnold and treason. Each virtue narrative includes corresponding discussion guides, journal templates, a toolbox with additional activities, and suggestions for further reading on each topic or virtue.