Was the American Revolution a Just War?

Agora Institute Hosts an Academic Conference

  • Date Oct 30, 2015 — Nov 1, 2015
  • Venue Union League
    140 S. Broad St.
    Philadelphia, PA 19102

The Agora Institute recently hosted an academic conference entitled “Was the American Revolution a Just War?” from Oct 31-Nov 1, 2015. 

The purpose of the conference was to examine the theory of just war in light of the American Revolution.  Just war theory was born of concerns that became the cornerstone of classical liberalism: the protection of life and liberty under the rule of law. Intended to guard against both anarchy and tyranny, strictures on warfare were articulated in hopes of redeeming the most destructive of human endeavors for useful and morally defensible goals.

While the arguments for war in the American Revolution are well-known, it has rarely been asked if those arguments, and the conduct of the war itself (by either side), satisfied just war criteria.  Utilizing primacy source materials, we dialogued about the contemporary issues of war and justice in light of their historic development from the American Revolution through today.

Conferees included the following distinguished faculty:

Benjamin L. Carp, Theo Christov, Timothy J. Demy, Jonathan Den Hartog, Jack P. Greene, Phillip Hamilton, William Anthony Hay, Robert G. Ingram, Don Johnson, T. Cole Jones, Mark Edward Lender, Benjamin C. Lyons, James Kirby Martin, Glenn A. Moots, Valerie Morkevicius, Lt. Col. John Roche, Jessica Choppin Roney, James R. Stoner, Jr., William P. Tatum III, and James M. Vaughn.

A special thank you to the Institute for Humane Studies for its support of the Agora Instiute and this conference, in particular.