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The Most Effective Means of Preserving Liberty
"Our Ageless Constitution" ^ | 1987 | Stedman & Lewis

Posted on 04/10/2012 9:55:36 AM PDT by loveliberty2

Enl. People An Enlightened, Committed People Who Understand The Principles Of Our Constitution

- The Most Effective Means Of Preserving Liberty

"Although all men are born free, slavery has been the general lot of the human race. Ignorant - they have been cheated; asleep - they have been surprised; divided - the yoke has been forced upon them. But what is the lesson? ...the people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government they should watch over it.... It is universally admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently free." James Madison

America's Constitution is the means by which knowledgeable and free people, capable of self-government, can bind and control their elected representatives in government. In order to remain free, the Founders said, the people themselves must clearly understand the ideas and principles upon which their Constitu­tional government is based. Through such understanding, they will be able to prevent those in power from eroding their Constitutional protections.

The Founders established schools and seminaries for the distinct purpose of instilling in youth the lessons of history and the ideas of liberty. And, in their day, they were successful. Tocqueville, eminent French jurist, traveled America and in his 1830's work, DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA, wrote:

"...every citizen ... is taught ... the doctrines and the evidences of his religion, the history of his country, and the leading features of its Constitution ... it is extremely rare to find a man imperfectly acquainted with all these things, and a person wholly ignorant of them is a sort of phenomenon."

On the frontier, he noted that " sort of comparison can be drawn between the pioneer and the dwelling that shelters him.... He wears the dress and speaks the language of the cities; he is acquainted with the past, curious about the future, and ready for argument about the present.... I do not think that so much intellectual activity exists in the most enlightened and populous districts of France' " He continued, "It cannot be doubted that in the United States the instruction of the people powerfully contri­butes to the support of the democratic republic; and such must always be the case...where the instruction which enlightens the understanding is not separated from the moral education. . . ."

Possessing a clear understanding of the failure of previous civilizations to achieve and sustain freedom for individuals, our forefathers discovered some timeless truths about human nature, the struggle for individual liberty, the human tendency toward abuse of power, and the means for curbing that tendency through Constitutional self-government. Jefferson's Bill For The More General Diffusion Of Knowledge For Virginia declared:

"...experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government), those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny; and it is believed that the most effectual means of preventing this would be, to illuminate...the minds of the give them knowledge of those facts, which history exhibiteth. History, by apprizing them of the past, will enable them to judge of the will qualify them judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views...."

Education was not perceived by the Founders to be a mere process for teaching basic skills. It was much, much more. Educa­tion included the very process by which the people of America would understand and be able to preserve their liberty and secure their Creator-endowed rights. Understanding the nature and origin of their rights and the means of preserving them, the people would be capable of self government, for they would recognize any threats to liberty and "nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud." (Adams)

Footnote: Our Ageless Constitution, W. David Stedman & La Vaughn G. Lewis, Editors (Asheboro, NC, W. David Stedman Associates, 1987) Part III:  ISBN 0-937047-01-5

TOPICS: Education; Government; History; Politics
KEYWORDS: constitution; education; liberty; teaching
Thomas Jefferson's June 1, 1795, letter to Tenche Coxe contains the following excerpted observations:

"I congratulate you on the successes of our two allies. Those of the Hollanders are new, and therefore pleasing. It proves there is a God in heaven, and that he will not slumber without end on the iniquities of tyrants, or would-be tyrants, as their Stadtholder. This ball of liberty, I believe most piously, is now so well in motion that it will roll round the globe, at least the enlightened part of it, for light & liberty go together. It is our glory that we first put it into motion, & our happiness that being foremost we had no bad examples to follow. . . ."

The Pope's Easter message was a powerful reminder for all of us of the need for light in a world of darkness and oppression.

America's founding ideas were based on an understanding of Creator-endowed individual rights to life and liberty--an enlightened view which informed the Framers of America's Constitutional limits on those entrusted with power in government.

Our duty it is to pass on those essential ideas of liberty to future generations.

1 posted on 04/10/2012 9:55:46 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: loveliberty2

“The Most Effective Means of Preserving Liberty”

The most effective means of preserving liberty is to lock and load.

2 posted on 04/10/2012 10:12:18 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: loveliberty2

Religion,Morality, and Knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, Schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.Passed by the same Congress that formed and adopted the US Constitution and again by the Congress of 1789 while it was forming the promised Bill of Rights. Note: Benjamin Rush,Thomas Jefferson (and others promoted the use of the Bible in schools. Noah Webster in his History of the United States— as in the dictionary of the English Language before that -promoted the idea of educating our youth in Christianity.Joseph story said in his Commentaries on the Constitution,1833 and his textbook on the Constitution ,1840
Taught the general if not universal sentiment in America when the (First) Amendment was adopted was that Christianity ought be encouraged by the State.HOw sad we have allowed educators to “progressivly lead our youth from
those principles important to our forefathers.

3 posted on 04/10/2012 1:15:16 PM PDT by StonyBurk (ring)
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