To know a particular hometown, with its triumphs and tragedies, its gains and losses, its names and namesakes, its heroes and eccentrics, its myths and peculiarities, its landmarks and symbols, its deliberations and disputes, is to know a part of America and to deepen one’s commitment to it.
All education programs enculturate students. There is no neutrality here. The question is not whether education will form our students, but how they will be formed. Proverbs (22:6) says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Any curriculum and set of standards will base itself on certain ideas about the nature of the human person, how persons are shaped, and what kind of person society needs.
Lincoln wishes to promote Jeffersonian virtues by Hamiltonian means. In a Jeffersonian vein, Lincoln wants to encourage small, independent operations that free people from dependence on “the man.”