"Declaration of Independence" by John TrumbullThe American Democracy Forum (ADF), founded in 2010 with support from the Jack Miller Center, is devoted to the study of the principles of American political thought—as they were articulated in the American Founding and in their continued role in the contemporary practice of American democracy. Housed within the American Democracy Forum and launched in 2013 is the Benjamin Franklin Initiative (BFI), a Commercial Republic Initiative program supported in part by a generous grant from the Templeton Foundation and the Jack Miller Center, which seeks to both broaden and narrow the ADF’s discussion by exploring how innovation in science and technology influenced those founding principles and political practice in the Atlantic Enlightenment more broadly.

Upcoming Event! Please join us for the 2015 spring colloquium, “The Scottish Enlightenment in Context”: BFI2015-ConferencePoster. More information here.

Download the ADF Brochure.

Goals of the American Democracy Forum

  • INCREASE opportunities for undergraduates to study the founding principles and ongoing practice of American democracy.
  • PROVIDE opportunities for junior high and high school teachers to access the latest research on the principles and practice of American democracy.
  • SUPPORT graduate students and early career scholars whose work focuses on the principles and practice of American democracy.
  • BUILD a conversation about the principles and practice of American democracy among leading scholars from a variety of disciplines at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and beyond.