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From the time of the founding era to the present day, one of the more common things said about American democracy is that it is an experiment.

Most people can readily intuit what the term is meant to convey, but it is still a phrase that is bandied about more often than it is explained or analyzed.

Is American democracy an experiment in the bubbling-beakers-in-a-laboratory sense of the word? If so, what is the experiment attempting to prove, and how will we know if and when it has succeeded?

Research Associate Professor of History Thomas Coens shared his expertise on the philosophies of Franklin, Washington and Lincoln—figures who played pivotal roles in American democracy. Read more at The Conversation.

UT is a member of The Conversation, an independent source for news articles and informed analysis written by the academic community and edited by journalists for the general public. Through our partnership, we seek to provide a better understanding of the important work of our faculty.



Cindi King (865-974-0937,