A.M. Willard, "Yankee Doodle, The Spirit of 1776" 1301, A. C. Bosselman & Co. Circa 1900

Statement on History and Heritage and the Work of FICE

Next Event> May-Faire May 18-20, 2007

Past Event >
Holy Grail, Grail Lore, and Arthurian Legends Conference, Penn State University, March 30-31, 2007

Let Freedom Ring!

WELCOME to the initial TEST/BETA Home Page of the Center for the Study of Free Institutions and Civic Education. As we add and update, we shall be fully operational by our target date of June 17, 2007....the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker (Breed's) Hill.

The Center for the Study of Free Institutions and Civic Education has been established to develop and support programs for the study, research, discussion, teaching, promotion, and celebration of the classical and medieval roots of our Western Civilization, the foundation of our American heritage (with special emphasis on America's Founding), and the various free institutions that serve our great American Republic.

FICE programs shall be presented through General Education courses, programs of study in Public History and Teacher Education, publications, symposia, conferences, performances, and related initiatives.

A word about Patriotism....if anything animates FICE work it is Patrick Henry's notion of patriotism. As exemplified by Henry, patriotism is more than love of country (although that is certainly important), but patriotism is also loving the principles upon which the country was founded. To Henry, he was profoundly devoted to English laws and its evolving liberties, rights, and priviledges. SInce Magna Carta such laws and tradition yielded to him and his fellow citizens the fruits of liberty. However, King George and Parliament (together with his British troops and hired Hessian bayonets) sought to take those liberties and rights from him. While love of country (England) was in his heart, it was not the love of mere land that set him against King and Country, but his love of liberty (as begun with Magna Carta). When the King threatened his liberty, he appealed as did most Americans to his King to redress such griveances. However, the King would not listen. Ultimately, war broke out at Lexington on April 19, 1775. There was no greater subject of the King in America, but with this last straw of commitment, Henry proved himself no greater Patriot. But his love of liberty would have to be transfered to a new land. The land of birth was British America; but Patrick Henry's new land, his new country was to be the United States of America with its sacred principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is not a blind patriotism that FICE supports and models, but an informed patriotism centered on the founding, founders, founding documents, and founding principles that we pursue as our happiness.

David Warren Saxe, Director