Event — Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington

2017 Gay Hart Gaines Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of American History

The Lasting Consequences of the American Revolution

Where: Robert H. and Clarice Smith Theater, George Washington’s Mount Vernon

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy. Mount Vernon, VA 22121

When: Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 | 7:00 pm

The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association is proud to present this educational series delivered by the Gay Hart Gaines Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in American History, a position established to honor the Association’s 18th Regent through the generosity of Lewis E. Lehrman, co-founder of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. This series is designed to provide a deeper understanding of, and expertise in, a particular subject related to George Washington.

The American Revolution is the most important event in American history, bar none; and it is one of the most important events in world history. In 1784 the English radical and Unitarian minister, Richard Price, went so far as to declare that the American Revolution, next to the introduction of Christianity, may prove to be “the most important step in the progressive course of human improvement” in all of history. Such a monumental event was bound to have immense consequences for Americans and for the world.

The Emergence of the Public-Private Distinction in the American Revolution

In the colonial period the modern distinction between public and private spheres scarcely seemed to exist. There was little of the privacy and the impersonality of life that we today take for granted. The colonial and local governments usually enlisted private persons and wealth to accomplish public ends, and they intruded into affairs that we today would consider clearly private. They regulated everything from the prices people could charge for their goods to the kinds of clothes they could wear and much of their lawmaking had to do with matters of personal morality. Colleges like Harvard and Yale that are today private began as public institutions, and nearly everywhere religion was considered to be a public affair under control of the state. All this was changed by the American Revolution. By the early nineteenth century public and private had become in a modern sense clearly distinct spheres.


Members register here. Non-members register here.

Cost: Members $175; Non-members $200. Includes all three lectures.

Click here for more information.