Independence Day and Education: What our Forefathers Valued

13613446221387663764By Aubrey Murtha — You probably studied the Founding Fathers in your elementary school American history class, but chances are you were unable to fully appreciate the brilliance of these men at the time.

Although modern America definitely has its flaws, take a second to think about where we would be today without the incredibly solid foundation that these talented minds established for our country.  Together, they created a government that aimed to promote the sanctity of the American man and preserve his inalienable rights.

I feel it is my civic duty to write about these guys, especially since we will soon be celebrating the Fourth of July.  And do not worry, for I have not forgotten my audience.  I was browsing the web, and I found a rather extensive list of insightful quotes from the Founding Fathers, each relating to the importance of education and the universal need for a well-educated public.

I picked my favorites and the following compilation was born.

“Educate and inform the whole mass…they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” –Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the U.S.

“The best means of forming a manly, virtuous, and happy people will be found in the right education of youth.  Without this foundation, every other means, in my opinion, must fail.” –George Washington, First President of the U.S.

“Learned institutions ought to be favorite objects with every free people.  They throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty and dangerous encroachments on the public liberty.” –James Madison, Fourth President of the U.S.

“Genius without education is like silver in the mine.” –Benjamin Franklin, Sixth President of Pennsylvania

“I consider knowledge to be the soul of a republic, and as the weak and the wicked are generally in alliance, as much care should be taken to diminish the number of the former as of the latter.  Education is the way to do this, and nothing should be left undone to afford all ranks of people the means of obtaining a proper degree of it at a cheap and easy rate.” –John Jay, First Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

“I read my eyes out and can’t read half enough.  The more one reads the more one sees we have to read.” –John Adams, Second President of the U.S.

“What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable, than that of liberty and learning, each leaning on the other for their mutual and surest support?”-James Madison

So as you are thinking about fireworks and parades and the Good Old Red, White and Blue this holiday season, don’t forget about our origins and remember to thank the Founding Fathers for validating our profession and our passion—educating the young people of America.

Quotes sourced from here.

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