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Mission Statement

the john marshall project

The project is named for John Marshall, the “great Chief Justice” (1803-35). Marshall was especially concerned with civic education of the young, devoting his last years to revising his Life of George Washington for use as a schoolbook. Inspired by Marshall's example, the mission of the John Marshall Project is to enhance both undergraduate and graduate instruction. By directly appealing to what Abraham Lincoln called “honorable ambition,” we mean to encourage among our most promising students a fuller appreciation of inspiring civic leaders and the special requirements and difficulties in leading and sustaining a complicated modern democracy. Similarly, as we help train the next generation of college and university professors in the history of political thought, we give special attention to such topics and also to the key arguments that did much to establish modern liberal democracy and that still aid in its defense against very real threats to its health and longevity.

The chief aims of the Project include:

  • fostering the practice of, and appreciation for, the virtue of democratic statesmanship
  • exploring the rich intellectual tradition of political thought in the West and applying the lessons of that tradition today
  • providing a forum for promising students to practice the skill of frank, yet respectful political discourse
  • connecting students with the brightest minds in politics today through lecture series and events
  • preparing students for postgraduate education, whether in law, business, politics, or beyond