Harry V Jaffa

Harry V Jaffa

Presented with the kind permission of Heritage Foundation and C-SPAN

March 15 2001: Professor Jaffa discussed his book A New Birth of Freedom: Abraham Lincoln and the Coming of the Civil War, published by Rowman & Littlefield.

The book is a sequel to Professor Jaffa’s earlier book Crisis of the House Divided. In this new work, Professor Jaffa examines what philosophical principles influenced Lincoln during the Civil War.

In particular, he looks to the Declaration of Independence and the works of the founding fathers to see how Lincoln drew on these writings to formulate his opinions on slavery, free speech, majority rule and more generally, his understandings of democratic theory.

He looks to the statements made during the Lincoln-Douglas debates to delineate Lincoln’s beliefs in natural law, John Locke and Aristotle.

Professor Jaffa also looks to Lincoln’s principles regarding individual liberty and their influence on current thinkers such as Chief Justice Rehnquist, Supreme Court Justice Scalia and Judge Robert Bork.

After his remarks he answered questions from members of the audience.