Liberty & Law Institute

Our MissionAcademics

The mission of the Liberty & Law Institute is to teach successive generations of young Americans the text of our nation’s Founding Documents — the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution — and their timeless principles of Liberty and Law which are the bedrock of our Republic.

The Problem

“A Republic, if you can keep it.”
- Benjamin Franklin

At the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 18, 1787, a lady asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin responded, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Despite Benjamin Franklin’s wise admonition, statistics indicate contemporary Americans are not living up to their sacred obligation to “keep” our Republic. In 2008, a national survey titled “Our Fading Heritage: Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions” was published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI). The results, which were shocking, can be found here.

Using a 2,508 nationwide sample of adult Americans, 71% failed ISI’s civic literacy test; the average score was just 49%. This test was not rocket science; it asked the same sort of questions that immigrants are expected to answer before they are granted American citizenship. For example: almost 40% of all respondents incorrectly believed the president has the Constitutional authority to declare war, only 24% of responding college graduates knew the First Amendment prohibits the establishment of an official religion for the United States; almost 25% believed Congress shares its foreign policy powers with the United Nations; and fewer than half of all Americans could name all three branches of government — a minimal requirement for understanding America’s Constitutional system of self-government.

Our Priority

“When the architects of our Republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As the above ISI study reveals, most contemporary Americans do not know or understand the unique core principles on which the United States was founded. These principles are contained in “the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence,” which Dr. King rightly described as every American’s sacred birthright.

Sadly, “the magnificent words” of our Nation’s Founding Documents are rarely read and even more rarely taught with any attention to their actual text or to the timeless principles of Liberty and Law so carefully woven into their composition.

Without a doubt, if our Republic is to survive and flourish for future generations, teaching today’s youngest Americans to read, understand, and fully appreciate our Constitution and Declaration of Independence must be a priority. And this priority is the sole mission of the Liberty & Law Institute.

Our Program

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same…”
- President Ronald Reagan
The Liberty & Law Institute is dedicated to protecting and passing on the freedom we enjoy to our nation’s children. To that end, we have developed a carefully organized and scripted five lesson course on America’s Founding Documents entitled “A Nation of Liberty – A Nation of Laws”. This course, which we offer as a free service to public, private, charter and religious schools, focuses on teaching the actual text and timeless principles of our Founding Documents from a historical perspective. In order to maintain this focus, our instructors steadfastly avoid any discussion or debate about current events, current political issues or current personalities.

The Liberty & Law Institute offers to teach “A Nation of Liberty – A Nation of Laws” as a free service to middle and high schools — regardless whether they are public, private, religious, charter or home-schools. Moreover, it is our intention to return and teach every succeeding year in those schools which invite us back after our program has been established.

To enhance lesson retention and achieve a lasting impact, each student is given, free of charge, a personal “keepsake quality” pocket copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States to read, study, and keep for future reference.

To reach as many young citizens as possible, the Liberty & Law Institute relies on a corps of volunteer teachers who we recruit and train — and who then adopt particular schools to which they return and teach, year after year.

Click here for biographical information on our staff and board of directors.

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