"I always consider the settlement of America with reverence..." wrote John Adams. One day after the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence in 1776, Adams wrote: "Yesterday the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America; and a greater perhaps never was, nor will be, decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, ''that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.''
The Lehrman Institute encourages the freedom and national independence the Founders so valued, for which they risked their lives and fortunes. "How soon we forget history," said America's first President. "Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
George Washington understood that a fearful price must sometimes be paid for liberty and to maintain honest government. But he also understood that education is essential for its preservation. "Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened," he said in his Farewell Address in 1796.
The Lehrman Institute is dedicated to public policy, educational and historical research. It was founded in 1972 by Lewis Lehrman. The Lehrman Institute has sponsored a wide range of research and discussion in the fields of economics, historical research, foreign policy, and urban policy. Its major concentration is currently the improvement of education at the elementary, secondary and college levels.
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