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Democracy in America, at UVa

Democracy in America: Education for All at UVA in Charlottesville

The birth of Democracy in America began once George Washington published his Farewell Address and voluntarily left office as our 1st President. This is because it was the first time democracy was put to the test in that turbulent political time. This is all according to Harry Rubenstein, Curator Emeritus of the Division of Political History at the American History Museum. (Read more in The Real Birth of Democracy from The Smithsonian Magazine.)

It is important to note that three of our founding fathers played big roles in the development of our democracy prior to this pivotal event. Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd President, wrote the Declaration of Independence. James Madison, our 4th President, wrote the first drafts of The Constitution. James Monroe, our 5th President, wrote The Monroe Doctrine. All three lived in the Charlottesville area, setting the stage for our rich cultural history. 

Learning About Democracy at UVA

We are so lucky to have the following political education resources in the Charlottesville area! The University of Virginia Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics has two cornerstone partners in its realm. They are the Center for Politics and the Miller Center. Both of these entities are exceptional places to learn about our government and democracy in America today.


The Center for Politics is a non-partisan organization founded in 1998 by Larry Sabato, professor and political analyst. It is a part of the National Campaign for Political & Civic Engagement, a consortium of 20 universities and colleges with academic programs in politics. The goals are to establish a relationship with electoral politics, a foundation in civic education, and a focus on career development. The direction of these priorities is towards college students. However, the public is welcome to attend events such as the following:

The Center is hosting The 21st Annual Democracy Conference on January 22 at 9:00 a.m. in the Newcomb Hall Ballroom at UVA. The main topic of this event is Democracy in Perilous Times. Also, the 6 keynote speakers are all women from various parts of the country. They are all involved with related cultural aspects of this topic. Learn more details and register by visiting the website link above.

Please visit the following award winning newsletter with articles about today's trends in elections and politics:
Sabato's Crystal Ball

To learn more about everything the Center for Politics has to offer such publications and news, please visit the Center's website link above.


The Miller Center is another UVA non-partisan affiliate. The main focus is " Inspiring Americas leaders with nonpartisan insights, especially on the presidency, that advance democratic institutions and the public good." This Center specializes in presidential scholarship, public policy, and political history. Offerings are the latest news, presentation events with experts (including high-level government officials and past U.S. Presidents), publications and articles, and a photo gallery. In addition, there are student opportunities such essay competitions and jobs. Also of most importance, it "strives to apply the lessons of history to the nation's most pressing contemporary governance challenges".

Visit here to see the highlights of: The Miller Center Presidential Ideas Festival 2019
(Also known as Prezfest 2019)

Please visit the following to discover more about the Miller Center:
Learn More About the Miller Center and Its Programs
The Latest News
Upcoming Events at The Miller Center
Visit the Miller Center



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