The Free Enterprise Institute
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The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion.  Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue, there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.

--Benjamin Rush           

The Free Enterprise Institute is a non-profit educational institution founded in 1976 to help citizen leaders acquire an understanding of the principles and historical roots of America’s freedom and prosperity.  The Center, through its American Republic programs, engages students, teachers, working professionals and thoughtful leaders in a reflection on the great ideas, the great books and the great persons that together make up the American Republic, with its roots in the Western Tradition.


Our goal is to form leaders through a well-rounded education, with substantive knowledge in areas of economics, government, history and literature.  Through the use of primary sources and Socratic discussion methods, we also aim to impart practical knowledge to leaders, so that they can awaken the seeds of wisdom and the moral imagination in others and win the battle of ideas among colleagues and neighbors. 

Although all men are born free, slavery has been the general lot of the human race.  Ignorant--they have been cheated; asleep they have been surprised; divided--the yoke has been forced upon them.  But what is the lesson?  ...the people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government they should watch over it...  It is universally admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently free.

James Madison

Freedom is the exception in world history.  Where freedom reigns among men, a higher law must reign in their hearts.  Our freedom is the fruit of shared history and culture.  Free people must, indeed, be enlightened as to the roots of our institutions and way of life, awakened as to the duties which underlie our rights, and united in the commitment to freedom and to the common good.