UPDATE: Please note that this event is now scheduled for 3/23 at 6:30pm E.D.T.
We hope you can join us on March 23, 2023, at 6:30pm E.D.T. in the Library of Congress Jefferson Building, room LJ119, for “Joining Together in Tocqueville’s America (Live at the Library).” Please register for a timed entry pass here.
Dr. Kevin Butterfield will discuss his book, “The Making of Tocqueville’s America: Law and Association in the Early United States.” This event will support the new Library of Congress exhibition, “Join In: Voluntary Associations in America.” Visitors to this event will be able to tour the exhibit.
In his talk, Kevin Butterfield will explore the ways that the first generations of American citizens joined together in voluntary associations—and what their activities can teach us about law and self-government in the early United States. As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in the 1830s, Americans were “forever forming associations,” for every conceivable purpose. They were also surprisingly consistent in precisely how they organized themselves. Many Americans quickly realized that they were most comfortable joining ranks when they did so in law-minded ways, with an emphasis on procedural fairness, constitutionalism, and even a willingness to allow courts to play a role in enforcing the rights and duties of membership.
Dr. Kevin Butterfield is director of the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. Dr. Butterfield is a historian of the post-Revolutionary United States. He most recently served as executive director of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. Dr. Butterfield earned a B.A. in history from the University of Missouri, an M.A. in history from the College of William and Mary, and a Ph.D. in history from Washington University in St. Louis.
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