Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs


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Daniel Carpenter Book Lecture: "Democracy by Petition"

Thursday, March 24, 2022, 05:00pm - 06:00pm

Location: H.F. DeLuca Forum Room, The Discovery Building or via livestream

Presenter: Daniel Carpenter, Professor of Government at Harvard University

Book: "Democracy by Petition: Popular Politics in Transformation, 1790–1870"

Join the La Follette School of Public Affairs for a book lecture and discussion with Harvard Radcliffe Institute Director Daniel Carpenter focused on his 2021 book "Democracy by Petition: Popular Politics in Transformation, 1790-1870". "Democracy by Petition" traces the explosion and expansion of petitioning across the North American continent. Petitions facilitated the extension of suffrage, the decline of feudal land tenure, and advances in liberty for women, African Americans, and Indigenous peoples.

In his lecture, Carpenter will explore the debt America owes to the unprecedented energy with which the petition was employed in the antebellum period and how it shaped our modern democracy. He will argue that understanding this neglected yet vital strand of nineteenth-century life profoundly affects our understanding of our country’s political history.

This event is free and open to the public. You can join us in-person at the H.F. DeLuca Forum in the Discovery Building or via YouTube livestream. The lecture will include time for Q&A which can be submitted at

After the lecture, all attendees are welcome to join the post-event reception from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Discovery Building main courtyard. Complimentary food and a cash bar will be available.


Contact:  Brittney Mitchell, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.