Principles of American Constitutionalism

The James Madison Program, Princeton University
July 7-13, 2024

Formerly known as Principles of American Politics, this seminar for upper-level high-school students and rising college freshmen will be taught as a one-week seminar. Participants will study the fundamental questions of equality and liberty in American political life. What have Americans meant by these principles from the founding to the present? What is their relationship with one another, with political power, with law, and with the private sphere of civil society? Are they in tension or in harmony? Readings will be in primary sources including The Federalist and Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, as well as other basic texts from American history.

The seminar will be held off-campus at the Chauncey Conference Center where participants will be housed for the duration of the program. Opportunities will be available to visit historic Princeton and the campus.

The deadline to submit an application is February 25, 2024. Selected students will be notified by late March.

This seminar is funded by the Bouton Law Lecture Fund.


  • S. Adam SeagraveAssociate Professor, School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, Arizona State University