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Egalitarian Revolutions

2019 Van Tilburg Lecture by Annelien de Dijn, University of Utrecht, History.

Thursday, February 14, 2019
6:00 PM
Sequoia Room, UCLA Faculty Center

In this lecture, I show that the Atlantic Revolutions of the late eighteenth century were not just democratic revolutions, as R.R. Palmer put it; they were also egalitarian revolutions. American, Dutch and French revolutionaries were convinced that their experiment with democratic government could only succeed in societies with a more or less equal distribution of property. Hence, they introduced a host of laws designed to create or maintain greater social equality. Second, I explain why the social egalitarianism of the Atlantic Revolutions has been more or less forgotten by historians and the broader public. I conclude by reflecting on the extent to which the Atlantic Revolutions constitute a "usable past" for contemporary egalitarians.

About the speaker:
Annelien de Dijn is a Professor of Modern History at the University of Utrecht. She focuses on the history of political thought, in particular the history of republicanism and liberalism. She is currently finalizing her second book, 'Freedom: An Unruly History', which is under contract with Harvard University Press and which traces the history of freedom from Herodotus to the present. Her first book, 'French Political Thought from Montesquieu to Tocqueville: Liberty in a Levelled Society', appeared in 2008 with Cambridge University Press.

The Van Tilburg Lectures
In 2005, Johannes Van Tilburg and his wife, Jo Anne, gave the Dutch Studies Program at UCLA a remarkably generous gift to establish in perpetuity the Johannes Van Tilburg Lecture in Dutch Studies.
Mr. Van Tilburg came to the USA from The Netherlands in 1965. In 1971, he became the founding principal of Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh, AIA and has led this 100 person firm to the forefront of planning and design. His work as a designer is widely recognized throughout the state and indeed the entire country. In 1992, he was honored by his peers and elevated to the level of Fellow of the American Institution of Architects. In 2007, Johannes Van Tilburg was honored by the Netherlands America Foundation of Southern California. Mr. Van Tilburg is deeply committed to education and continues to work as an adjunct Professor in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development at USC. In 2010, Mr. Van Tilburg was appointed Honorary Consul of The Netherlands in Los Angeles.

Reception to follow the lecture.

Cost : Free and open to the public. RSVP required for admission.

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Sponsor(s): Center for European and Russian Studies, Dutch