"Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it."—John Quincy Adams
While other nations find their identity in geography, culture, ideology, or ethnicity, America was founded on ideas, in particular about freedom, human dignity, and social responsibility. British philosopher G. K. Chesterton called these ideas a creed.
Early in the nineteenth century, American educators realized that if this great experiment in liberty was to be continued, then an informed patriotism had to be instilled in the young. The ideals that produced the nation would have to be passed from one generation to the next. So rising new citizens were presented with a small handbook containing the essential elements of the American creed.The Patriot's Handbook
is a twenty-first-century version of that tradition. A concise introduction to the ideas, events, personalities, and landscape of American freedom, it is a valuable resource for anyone who wishes to understand this nation's identity as it has developed from the founding until now. Included are key documents—for instance, the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, selections from the Federalist Papers—speeches, poems, song lyrics, and profiles of the presidents and prominent individuals who have shaped the nation's history.
Additional Information: Table of Contents
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