Revolutionary Americans regarded civic virtue—a willingness to sacrifice personal interests for the good of the community—as vital to the preservation of republican institutions. The ideal of virtuous citizenship was rooted in classical antiquity and influenced American political thought and the art, architecture and literature that helped define the iconography of the new nation. Professor Cornell discusses the importance of civic virtue in early America and how it was expressed by American citizens, including the reverence for George Washington as the embodiment of civic virtue and a modern Cincinnatus.
Part 1 of 7: Civic Virtue Means Citizen Obligations (6:01)
Part 2 of 7: Architecture Inspired Civic Virtue (3:01)
Part 3 of 7: Washington as the Modern Cincinnatus (4:08)
Part 4 of 7: Declarations of Rights and Civic Virtue (1:57)
Part 5 of 7: Military Sacrifice and Civic Virtue (7:11)
Part 6 of 7: Newburgh Conspiracy and Civic Virtue (5:15)
Part 7 of 7: Civic Virtue Beyond Political Leaders (5:35)