Education: That a Republic Is Only One Generation Old

George Seaver

The essential role of education, particularly of the young, to the stability and ultimate survival of a republic has been known and documented for 2400 years. This essay will trace that relationship from Plato's Republic in 400 BC to Professors Huntington's and Kagan's postmodern lament in 2000 AD, and then to the resultant instability in the republic.

The starting point for a republic is also well known; through the ages it has been variously described as "public virtue" (Cicero, 70 BC), "laws to be observed need good habits on the part of the people" and "the purity of religious observance" (Machiavelli, 1513), "the permanent and aggregate interests of the community" (Madison, 1787) and "the common good" (public schools, 1950's). This is an inclination, absorbed by each generation at home and in the public schools, and explains the aphorism, "a republic is only as old as the next generation." Although this allegory is out of reach to many observers, Cicero saw public virtue as a harmony amongst the citizenry, in the musical sense a symphony, as did Goya in his painting "Allegory on the Constitution of 1812.” Montesquieu's in 1754 defined public virtue in a republic: "It is a love of the republic; it is a sensation, and not a consequence of acquired knowledge; a sensation that may be felt by the meanest as well as by the highest person in the state."1 This comes about from education, begun at an earlier age.

Around 367 BC, Plato, in responding to the chaos of a democratic Athens and aware of the stability of the more structured Sparta, described his remedy in The Republic. In it he proposed a separate, guardian class, educated to be rulers. In addition he proposed censorship to protect youth from chaotic and evil inclinations. These solutions to the chaos of factions have since developed into other means to deal with these "latent causes...sown in the nature of man,"2 as Madison described it much later. However, education's central role in promoting virtue in a republic, as described by Plato, remains. Book II is entitled, "The Life of a Well Ordered State, and Education of its Soldier Citizens in Music and Gymnastics, and in Right Ideas of God." In Book III Plato described the education for the guardians in a republic, today relevant to all youth:

We would not have our guardians grow up amid images of moral deformity, as in some noxious pasture, and there browse and feed upon many a baneful herb and flower day by day, little by little, until they silently gather a festering mass of corruption in their own soul. Let our artists rather be those who are gifted to discern the true nature of the beautiful and graceful; then will our youth dwell in a land of health, amid fair sights and sounds, and receive the good in everything; and beauty, the effluence of fair works, shall flow into the eye and ear, like a health-giving breeze from a purer region, and insensibly draw the soul from earliest years into likeness and sympathy with the beauty of reason.3

At 12 years old, following five years of primary school, Cicero transitioned to secondary school for the next six years, as did most citizens of Rome (about half the population), both male and female. They studied Latin and Greek with a focus on the Twelve Tables. The Twelve Tables were Rome's "primary code of laws established in about 450 BC," not unlike the motivation for the Massachusetts Bay Colony's Body of Liberties of 1641 and the U.S. Constitution. The secondary school studies were "intended to give students an ethical grounding, a moral education which inculcated the virtues of fortitude, justice and prudence."4 

Forty years later, during his forced retirement period, Cicero wrote "The Ideal Orator"5 (55 BC) followed by "On the State"6 (51 BC). This was before Julius Caesar had seized the government via military force, but after the populist manipulation of the Roman constitution by tribune Tiberius Gracchus in 134 BC, Cicero felt that these events signaled the beginning of the decline of the republic and, in particular, its commitment to public virtue. In the first dialogue, modeled "largely on Plato's Republic,” he "argued for a broadly based and well-integrated liberal education"7 as well as for diminishing the importance of the populist Assembly as remedies for the decline. The second dialogue, On the State, also addressed education in Book IV. Although only fragments of this section remain, it treated "morals and education, and the use and abuse of stage entertainment."6 The violation of Rome's constitution in the political manipulation of the Assembly and Tribunes, the bringing of troops into the Forum, the self-promotion of the Consuls, and the indolence of the Senate were the result of the overall loss of public virtue. With his Dialogues and their political and educational reforms, Cicero hoped to bring back the spirit of the republic. In this instance the loss of public virtue proved to be irreversible; Cicero was assassinated in 43 BC and Octavius became Emperor in 27 BC.

During the Middle Ages the concept of a republic largely disappeared. By 1513 Machiavelli's "Discourses" described the essential features of a republic as understood to that date. At this early stage in its renaissance the specific role of education was not realized. However, the necessity of virtue and beneficial practices were recognized: "For as good habits of the people require good laws to support them, so laws, to be observed, need good habits on the part of the people."8

Beginning in 1620 with the founding of the North American colonies by English settlers, the modern development of republican governments began. Of necessity the successful adventures began as theocracies: William Bradford's Plymouth Plantations of 1620 and Winthrop's Massachusetts Bay colony of 1630. Between 1607 and 1630 English colonial interests attempted 11 settlements for either religious or economic reasons along the coastline from what is now Virginia to Maine: Jamestown, 1607; Kennebec, 1607; Plymouth, 1620; Weymouth, 1622; Merry Mount, 1625; Nantasket, 1625; Trimount, 1625; Charlestown, 1625; Chelsea, 1625; Salem, 1628; Massachusetts Bay, 1630. Only Bradford’s Plymouth Plantations and Winthrop’s Massachusetts Bay settlements were successful, largely owing to their "puritanical" religious and cultural structure. Without this "intolerance," the unforgiving, desolate environment, disease, at times hostile natives, and harsh weather would soon have scattered, isolated and demoralized those members who survived. Although it took 20 years for these settlements to begin to adopt the features of a republic, the importance of education to their stability could be seen almost from the beginning, in a positive manner with Massachusetts Bay and in its absence with Plymouth Plantations.

John Winthrop, the governor of Massachusetts Bay for most of those 20 years, was skeptical of democracy and, although not formally a Separatist from the Church of England, was thoroughly puritanical. The colony began with eight "company assistants" appointing a governor. Then in August of 1630, with about 350 settlers ashore in what would become Boston, the first General Court, a meeting of all freemen in the colony, was held. The population soon grew to 1,000, and in 1632 it was determined that the General Court could pass laws. In 1634 a representative government, with deputies and magistrates elected by each town, was formed. By 1635 the need for fundamental laws was realized and work was begun on them; also, a school was begun in Boston subscribed to by then-governor Henry Vane. By 1640 the population of the Massachusetts Bay Colony had reached about 20,000 and remained at approximately that level for many decades due to Cromwell's more favorable religious policies towards Puritanism in England. This latter fact is confirmation that the founding of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies were for religious reasons, and specifically for Anglo-protestant beliefs, separate from the Church of England.

In 1641 the work on the fundamental law concept came to fruition with the passage of 100 laws called "The Body of Liberties," which were then sent to all the towns for approval and, after three years, were ratified "to be perpetual." At the time this was comparable in importance to the Magna Carta and the Common Law of England, although they could be and were changed by the General Court. An important glimpse into the road to a republic can be seen in the response of long-term governor Winthrop to the grounding of the Body of Liberties in the ancient Roman and Greek republics. He rejected the "wisdom…of those heathen commonwealths." These rights, although not inalienable, were based upon the New Testament's Ten Commandments, with seven of them ultimately being included in the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution, and in 1642 the magistrates were separated from the Deputies, providing for a bicameral legislature. In 1643 Articles of Confederation for the United Colonies of New England were agreed upon by the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Plymouth, and the Connecticut and New Haven Plantations to provide mutual protection from Indian, French, and Dutch intrusion. The absence of religious liberty fell short of a full, robust republic. Nevertheless, education was considered important, as Governor Winthrop in 1645 related in his "History of New England:"

Divers free schools were erected, as at Roxbury (for maintenance whereof every inhabitant bound some house or land for a yearly allowance forever), and at Boston (where they made an order to allow forever 50 pounds to the master and an house, and 30 pounds to an usher, who should also teach to read and write and cipher, and Indians' children were to be taught freely), and the charge to be by yearly contribution, either by voluntary allowance, or by rate as such as refused. etc.[sic], and this order was confirmed by the General Court. Other towns did the like, providing maintenance by several means.

By agreement of the Commissioners, and the motions of the elders in their several churches, every family in each colony gave one peck of corn or twelve pence to the College at Cambridge.9

However, Hume and Madison were 100 years away, and education could not yet teach the principles of a republic.

Plymouth Plantations began earlier (1620), but grew more slowly than the Massachusetts Bay Colony, largely owing to its shallow harbor and, later, by its lack of education for the young. The Mayflower Compact was signed by 41 of the 102 Mayflower passengers on November 11, 1620, and provided for a communal society, which would later be seen as pure communism. They then elected (or rather confirmed) John Carver as governor, along with his few assistants, just for that year. In that first winter of 1621 it was the Christian commitment of the colony members that allowed for both their physical survival and their hopeful future. This stood in contrast to how other settlements, such as Jamestown, and even the Mayflower's crew, responded to these adversities of disease, isolation and harsh weather. By 1623 the meager agricultural result was traced to the communal organization of farming, and an individualized, incentivized structure was established, leading to growth in industry and harvest results. Soon, private ownership of land was also permitted. By 1624 regular meetings of the general court comprised of all freemen in the colony were being held. After the establishment of the Massachusetts Bay colony, immigration accelerated and produced a greater demand for cattle and corn, resulting in the migration of the Plymouth population to areas surrounding Plymouth to meet this new demand. This dispersal provided economic success for many of the original colonists, but also disappointment for Governor Bradford, who now lost the close-knit relationships of church, family, and work that the Plymouth of the 1620's had produced. In 1632 Governor Bradford reacted to the economic success and dispersal of that period: "they were scattered all over the Bay quickly and the town in which they lived compactly till now was left very thin and in a short time almost desolate...the church must also be divided, and those that had lived so long together in Christian and comfortable fellowship must now part and suffer many divisions."10 It was the loss of the young that particularly troubled him.

In 1636 fundamental laws were agreed upon: laws were to be made by free men, and subject to alteration by them; annual free elections, justice impartially administered, and trial by jury were also included.  By 1639 the growth and dispersal had progressed so that a representative government became necessary, with each town electing two members for the general court; the towns then were Duxbury, Barnstable, Sandwich, Yarmouth, Taunton, and Scituate. In 1643 Plymouth led in establishing the United Colonies of New England, but by 1647 Bradford felt that Plymouth had become a failure and ceased writing annual entries in his journal.  A look at the populations of Plymouth, its colony and Massachusetts Bay between 1620 and 165011 explains this:

Year       Plymouth                              Plymouth Plantations         Massachusetts Bay

1620              50                                                    50                                    ____            

1621             100                                                   100                                   ____

1623             180                                                   180                                   ____

1630             300                                                   300                                     350

1631            300                                                    300                                  1, 500           

1644             150                                               3,000                                  20,000

1650             150                                            < 1,000                                 20,000


After the first 25 years of what was to become the U.S. Republic, the Massachusetts Bay Colony experienced a stagnating population but nevertheless remained a vital culture. Its fine harbor, rigorous religious experience, and the public education of its youth provide an explanation for this.

In 1656, long after he had stopped writing his journal, with the Colony bereft of ministers of the church and a year before his death, Bradford wrote:

I have been happy, in my first times, to see, and with much comfort to injoye, the blessed fruits of this sweete communion, but it is now a parte of my miserie in old age, to find and feele the decay and wante therof (in a great measure), and with greefe and sorrow of hart to lamente and bewaile the same.12

In 1648, when Bradford was still governor, he had turned his mind and writings to understanding Plymouth's decline. He had lamented the lack of schools for the young dating back to 1634, and particularly in 1640, but was opposed by many Plymouth elders such as Edward Winslow. Plymouth would not establish a public system of education until 1657, after Bradford had already passed away.

In response to Plymouth’s decline, he wrote "A Dialogue, or the Sum of a Conference Between Some Young Men Born in New England and Sundry Ancient Men, that came out of Holland and Old England, Anno Domini 1648,"10 the first of three "Dialogues" he wrote on the subject. Bradford attributed at least part of the decline of his beloved community to the outward migration of those born in Plymouth, and, he felt, to the lack of public schools to teach the suffering, sacrifice, Christian commitment, and principal heroes that had created Plymouth. To explain this, the first dialogue was written in Socratic style and described Plymouth's founders in England and Holland and their persecutions and severe trials following the Plymouth landing in the 1620's, a heritage that had not been previously conveyed to the young. Though Bradford came from humble beginnings, he learned Hebrew, wrote poetry, and knew well of the philosophy and practice of ancient Rome and Greece, particularly within the Platonic tradition. Bradford's First Dialogue begins:

Young men. -- Gentlemen, you were pleased to appoint us this time to confer with you, and to propound such questions as might give us satisfaction in some things wherein we are ignorant, or at least further light to some things that are more obscure unto us. Our first request, therefore, is, to know your minds concerning the true and simple meaning of those of The Separation, as they are termed, when they say the Church of England is no Church, or no true Church.

Ancient men. -- For answer hereunto, first, you must know that they speak of it as it then was under the hierarchical prelacy, which since have been put down by the State, and not as it is now unsettled.

They nowhere say, that we remember, that they are no Church. At least, they are not so to be understood; for they often say the contrary.13              

The dialogue continues for 24 pages, asking about those put to death for this cause and why, the names of the eminent men and their ordeals, and the ability for further access to this heritage. It is what Bradford would have liked conveyed to students from the beginning or at least since 1623 after Plymouth's subsistence phase. This was a melancholy remembrance for him, and, we can presume, informed by Cicero's The Ideal Orator and On the State of 55 and 51 BC. Both authors used the Socratic style of dialogue and attributed, at least in part, the decline to the lack of the education of the young.

In 1754 Montesquieu published his Spirit of the Laws which described the essence of the four forms of government (republican, aristocracy, monarchical, and despotic) and what human characteristics the laws represented. His summaries are valuable, although not perfect. For example, the importance of religion and public virtue is timeless, but his observations on the allowable size of a republic are based upon antiquity and were proven to be in error. Montesquieu's Book IV is titled "That the Laws of Education Ought to be in Relation to the Principles of Government" and the following excerpt elucidates education under a republican government:

It is in a republican government that the whole power of education is required…virtue is a self-renunciation, which is ever arduous and painful. This virtue may be defined as the love of the laws and of our country. As such love requires a constant preference of public to private interest, it is the source of all private virtues; for they are nothing more than this very preference itself.

Every thing, therefore, depends on establishing this love in a republic; and to inspire it ought to be the principal business of education: but the surest way of instilling it into children is for parents to set them an example…It is not the young people that degenerate: they are not spoilt till those of maturer age are already sunk into corruption.14

From the Scottish Enlightenment in 1776 Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations, focused on economic efficiency regarding capital, labor, apprenticeships, and slavery, defining the "invisible hand" in both an economic and a moral sense. In Book IV on "Systems of Political Economy," he applies this concept to the colonies (section 7): "there is more equality…among the English colonists than among the inhabitants of the mother country. Their manners are more republican, and their governments…have hitherto been more republican too."15 Then in Book V, on those expenses that are "laid out for the general benefit of the whole society," he allows for this republican government:

The expence of the institutions for education and religious instruction, is likewise, no doubt, beneficial to the whole society, and may, therefore, without injustice, be defrayed by the general contribution of the whole society.16

Three years later John Adams would include this interpretation in his support for religion in the Constitution of Massachusetts. The full concept of religious freedom in a republic still had a ways to go, as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would later provide, but the necessity of education in a republic was now well established.

David Hume, leader of the Scottish Enlightenment, was the most influential political scientist for the framers of the U.S. Constitution. In 1785 Thomas Jefferson, while officially in France, sent the complete works of Hume to James Madison, as he was drafting the U.S. Constitution. Hume's influence on that document, as well as in the Federalist Papers treatment of civil rights (Federalist Nos. 9, 10, 51) is unmistakable. In 1758 Hume had published his "Essays, Moral, Political and Literary" and, in particular, Essay VIII on the importance of legislators and founders of states. In it he ranked education as an essential component:

...peace and security…can only be derived from good government. Not to mention, that general virtue and good morals in a state, which are so requisite to happiness, can never arise from the most refined precepts of philosophy, or even the severest injunctions of religion; but must proceed entirely from the virtuous education of youth, the effect of wise laws and institutions.17

Adams and Madison, and to a lesser extent Thomas Jefferson, were not intellectuals or political scientists, unlike David Hume; they were, however, interested in what worked as informed by history. They began their work on the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution with a firm knowledge of and commitment to education as an essential part of a republic. Adams incorporated this commitment into the Massachusetts Constitution he wrote in 1779, a state which had had public education for over a hundred years. Thomas Jefferson proposed in the 1777 Virginia Assembly a sweeping system of public education; at that time in the entire south there were no public schools.

Throughout his career, Adams frequently returned to the subject of education in a republic. In 1776 during the Revolutionary War he looked beyond independence to a republican government, and how education would sustain it:

Laws for the liberal education of youth, especially for the lower class of people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.18

Three years later in 1779 Adams wrote the Massachusetts State Constitution. As David McCullough observed in his biography of Adams in 2001, it was "a declaration of Adams's faith in education as the bulwark of the good society, the old abiding faith of his Puritan forebears. The survival of the rights and liberties of the people depended on the spread of wisdom, knowledge and virtue among all the people, the common people, of whom he, as a farmer's son, was one."19 Chapter V, section II of the Massachusetts Constitution of September 1779 written by John Adams provides:

Wisdom, and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people, being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties: and as these depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in the various parts of the country, and among the different orders of the people, it shall be the duty of legislators and magistrates, in all future periods of this commonwealth, to cherish the interests of literature and science and all seminaries of them; especially the university at Cambridge, public schools, and grammar schools in the towns... 20

After Massachusetts, many other state constitutions subsequently incorporated similar principles into their content.

In 1786 in the lead-up to the 1787 Constitutional Convention Adams continued to emphasize education from his post in London and wrote to Matthew Robinson:

…a memorable change must be made in the system of education and knowledge must become so general as to raise the lower ranks of society nearer to the higher. The education of a nation instead of being confined to a few schools and universities for the instruction of the few, must become the national care and expense for the formation of the many.21

In 1974, Jefferson's biographer, Dumas Malone, referred to Jefferson as "the ‘chief prophet of public education’ in the first half-century of the union,"22 although Adams would also have to be considered as such. Jefferson, early in his career in 1777 as a member of Virginia's General Assembly and the chairman of its "Committee of Revisors" (of their colonial laws), submitted a sweeping bill "for the more general diffusion of knowledge." Late in his life, between 1819 and 1824, he was the principal catalyst in establishing and designing the University of Virginia. Jefferson's proposal for universal public education called for dividing each county into "hundreds," each with a school that all boys and girls could attend daily. This free three-year schooling for would teach reading, writing, and simple arithmetic, with exposure to Greek, Roman, English, and American history. Those who excel would be sent on to secondary grammar school to study Latin, Greek, English grammar, geography, and advanced arithmetic. The most promising student graduates would be sent to the College of William and Mary for three years. He also proposed to amend the constitution and provide public funds for that college so that it might teach "the future guardians of the rights and liberties of their illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large."23 Jefferson finished his work on this in 1779, but it was not until 1796 that the Virginia Assemble voted for it. From Paris he wrote in 1786 to his co-author, George Wythe, for passage, "Preach, my dear Sir, a crusade against ignorance, establish and improve the law for educating the common people."24 In 1819 at the age of 76 Jefferson's commitment to education continued with the University of Virginia. He selected the best faculty available, chose the books for its library, drew up the curriculum, designed the buildings and supervised their construction.

Alexis de Tocqueville visited the United States for nine months in 1832 and perceived what evolved into historical trends with accuracy and great usefulness. He then published his observations in Democracy in America. He wrote:

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, I believe, where the instruction which enlightens the understanding is not separated from the moral education which amends the heart.25

In 1859 John Stuart Mill wrote On Liberty, a libertarian treatise on individual liberty and "diversity of character and culture." This is not identical with a republic, as in the importance of public virtue, for example; even so, in Chapter V on the applications of liberty, he began "liberty is often granted where it should be withheld, as well as withheld where it should be granted,"26 and then allowed:

Is it not almost a self-evident axiom, that the state should require and compel the education, up to a certain standard, of every human being who is born its citizen? bring a child into existence without a fair prospect of being able, not only to provide food for its body, but instruction and training for its mind, is a moral crime, both against the unfortunate offspring and against society; and that if the parent does not fulfill this obligation, the state ought to see it fulfilled, at the charge, as far as possible, of the parent. 27

However, Mill was clear that the state should not determine what is taught:

A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mold in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation, in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body. An education established and controlled by the State should only exist, if it exist at all, as one among many competing experiments…28

In 1960 F.A. Hayek published The Constitution of Liberty. In chapter 24, "Educational Research," in discussing the important place that education has in a republic he continues the work of Mill, and extends it to the welfare state and in the face of significant immigration. After beginning with, as Mill did, an argument for "compulsory education" and "that democracy is not likely to work…with a partly illiterate people,"29 he continues:

It is important to recognize that general education is not solely, and perhaps not even mainly, a matter of communicating knowledge. There is a need for certain common standards of values… peaceful common existence would be clearly impossible without any such standards...during the period of large immigration...the United States would not have become such an effective 'melting pot' and would probably have faced extremely difficult problems if it had not been for a deliberate policy of ‘Americanization’ through the public school system…"30

Up until the 1960's the United States benefited greatly from its educational system and its conveyance of the "common good" to the next generation, as defined in the second paragraph of this essay. Then came the postmodern era that we are in today, and that changed dramatically. Historicism, the idea "that all thought is essentially related to and cannot transcend its own time,"31 was re-invented to include individuals and factions, social justice replaced justice for the individual and relativism replaced the scientific method pursued in this essay.

In 2004, Samuel Huntington, a Harvard University professor of government as well as a participant in the federal government at a senior level, wrote Who Are We in response to this disintegration of the American national identity, referring specifically to the academic movement termed deconstruction as the mechanism for that change, particularly in education. Deconstruction causes relativism in a republic, in particular in terms of the common good and in rationalizing a "living constitution." This began in academia in the 1960's, but in the 1980's spread to government, the media, the courts and public schools. In chapter 7 of Who Are We?: The Challenges to America’s National Identity, Huntington states:

These efforts by a nation's leaders to deconstruct the nation they govern were, quite possibly, without precedent in human history. Substantial elements of America's elites in academia, the media, business, and the professions joined government elites in these efforts.32

In his 1997 book We Are All Multiculturalists Now, Harvard sociologist Nathan Glazer reported on "how complete has been the victory of multiculturalism in the public schools."33 In various surveys between 1990 and 1999 Huntington found that:34

1.Only 25% of Ivy League students could identify the author of the words, "government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

2.60% of seniors at top colleges knew only within 50 years the year of the Civil War.

3.More than 50% of these seniors identified Ulysses S. Grant as the man who defeated the British at Yorktown.

From these general results Huntington concluded:

Historically, the public schools were central in the promotion of national identity. In the late twentieth century, in contrast, schools promoted diversity rather than unity and made little effort to inculcate immigrants in American culture, traditions, customs, and beliefs. American education …had a denationalizing effect.35

Yale University historian and professor Donald Kagan wrote the seminal four-volume work on the Peloponnesian War between 1969 and 1987. In 2014 he gave an address at the Hotchkiss School entitled "Education for Patriotism." He concluded his address by focusing on education:

The answer to these problems and our only hope for the future must lie in education...we must not neglect the inescapable political, and ethical effects of education. We in the academic community have too often engaged in miseducation. If we encourage separatism, we will get separation and the terrible conflict in society it will bring.


The civic sense America needs can come only from a common educational effort. In telling the story of the American political experience we must insist on the honest search for truth; we must permit no comfortable self-deception or evasion, no seeking of scape-goats. The story of this country's vision of a free, democratic republic and of its struggle to achieve it need not fear the most thorough examination and can proudly stand comparison with that of any other land.36

History tells us that a republic is but one generation from decline, given its dependence upon education and public virtue. The postmodern has been dominant now for well over one generation, so we have to ask whether our Tiberius Gracchus moment is at hand. Cicero's experiences in the pre-Caesar period are hauntingly familiar. When you compare the motives and the character of the Roman Consuls and the U.S. President, the members of the Roman and U.S. Senates, the Tribunes and the leaders of the House of Representatives, and finally, the citizenry, time stands still. The arrival of that tipping point, unlike what Bradford and Cicero were able to perceive, would come upon us by stealth, given that the concepts in a republic are not understood or even taught in today's educational, entertainment and media systems.

Image: BBC


1. Montesquieu, 1754: The Spirit of the Laws. Encyclopedia Britannia, London. Book V, 2, pg.18.

2. Madison, James, 1787: Federalist Paper No. 10, Penguin Books, 1987. Pg. 124.

3. Plato, 390 BC: Plato's Republic, Walter Black, NY. pgs. 288, 289.

4. Everitt, Anthony, 2001: Cicero, The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician. Random House, NY. pgs. 28, 29.

5. Cicero, 55 BC: The Ideal Orator. <>. Everitt, ibid, pg.179.

6. Cicero, 51 BC: On the State. <> pp. 114-116.

7. Everitt, Ibid., pg. 179.

8. Machiavelli, Niccolo, 1513: The Discourses. The Modern Library, NY. Chapter XVIII, pg. 168.

9. Winthrop, John, 1655: History of New England, 1630-1649. Charles Scribner and Sons. pg 224.

10. Bradford, William, 1648: Of Plymouth Plantations, 1620-1647. S. Morrison, Ed.. Alfred Knopf, 1970, Ch. XX (1629), pg. 253.

11. Smith, Bradford, 1951: Bradford of Plymouth. Lippincott Co.,NY. pgs. 195, 284

Bradford, W., ibid., pg. xi, 213.

Winthrop, J., ibid., pg.3.

12. Smith, Bradford, ibid., pg. 310.

13. Bradford, William, 1648: A Dialogue, or the Sum of a Conference Between Some Young Men Born in New England and Sundry Ancient Men, That Came Out of Holland and England. Plymouth Church Records and Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers. pgs. 411-457.

14. Montesquieu, 1754: The Spirit of the Laws. Encyclopedia Britannia, London. Book IV, 5, pg. 15.

15. Smith, Adam, 1776: The Wealth of Nations. Franklin Library, PA. Pg. 390.

16. Ibid., pg. 543.

17. Hume, David, 1758: Essays, moral, Political, Literary. Liberty Fund, 1985. Essay VIII, pg. 55.

18. McCullough, David: John Adams. Simon & Schuster, NY. pg. 103.

19. Ibid., pg. 223.

20. Adams, John, 1779: The Political Writings of John Adams, George Peek, Ed. Bobbs-Merrill Co. pg. 103.

21. McCullough, D., ibid., pg. 364.

22. Malone, Dumas, 1974: Jefferson the President. Little Brown & Co. 1974. Pg. 22.

23. Randall, W., 1993: Thomas Jefferson: A Life. Henry Holt & Co. pg. 304.

24. Ibid., pg 303. Letter to George Wythe, Jan. 16, 1786.

25. Tocqueville, Alexis, 1832: Democracy in America. Random House, NY, 1990. Vol. I, pg.317.

26. Mill, John Stuart, 1859: On Liberty. The Great Books Foundation, Chicago, Ill. pg. 133.

27. Ibid., pg. 134.

28. Ibid., pg. 135.

29. Hayek, F., 1960: The Constitution of Liberty. Univ. of Chicago Press, 2011. Pg. 499.

30. Ibid., pg. 500.

31. Bloom, Alan, 1987: The Closing of the American Mind. Simon & Schuster, NY. pp. 40.

32. Huntington, Samuel, 2004: Who Are We. Simon & Schuster, NY. pg. 143.

33. Glazer, Nathan, 1977: We Are All Multiculturalists Now. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. 1997. pg. 7.

34. Huntington, ibid., pg. 176.

35. Ibid., pg. 203.

36. Kagan, Donald, 2014: Education for Patriotism. The George Van Santvoord Lecture, Hotchkiss School, Sept. 27, 2014.  

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October 31, 2023


University of Washington Violated Non-Discrimination Policy, Internal Report Finds

A faculty hiring committee at the University of Washington “inappropriately considered candidates’ races when determining the order of offers,” provided “disparate op......

January 24, 2024


After Claudine

The idea has caught on that the radical left overplayed its hand in DEI and is now vulnerable to those of us who seek major reforms. This is not, however, the first time that the a......

November 27, 2023


The Ohio State Reports: DEI Contributions in Practice

New documents from Ohio State University detail how "diversity" factored into the evaluation of candidates considered for various departments....

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May 15, 2015


Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

January 24, 2024


After Claudine

The idea has caught on that the radical left overplayed its hand in DEI and is now vulnerable to those of us who seek major reforms. This is not, however, the first time that the a......

October 12, 2010


Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?...