Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at Montpelier

Learning From James Madison at the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at Montpelier

301“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives,” President James Madison famously said in 1822.

That quote is part of the inspiration for the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at Madison’s home, Montpelier, where Americans are able to increase their knowledge of the Constitution, better understand the thinking of the Founding Fathers, and engage in thought-provoking dialogues with historians, authors, and scholars as a means of deepening “the power which knowledge gives.”

For insights, Grateful American™ Series founder David Bruce Smith and Grateful American™ Foundation Executive Producer Hope Katz Gibbs sat down with the directors of the Center, including:

  • Dr. Sean T. O’Brien, executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Montpelier Foundation
  • Jennifer Howell, director of digital publishing at Montpelier
  • Dr. Lynn Uzzell, scholar in residence at the Center for the Constitution

In this podcast interview, the leaders of the Center for the Constitution discuss:

  • The founding of the Center for the Constitution, which was established by The Montpelier Foundation in 2002 with the goal of becoming the nation’s leading resource in high-quality constitutional education. How are the directors accomplishing that mission?
  • The Center as a teaching academy. How does the Center serve as a place where professionals are immersed in intellectual engagement with the theory and meaning of the American Constitution?
  • The ideas and innovations that underlie our nation’s great experiment in self-government. What are some of the discussions like?
  • Widespread interest in the programs of the Center for the Constitution. More than 11,000 professionals from all 50 states and more than 40 countries have participated in the Center’s programs—among these are teachers, state supreme court justices, and elected officials. What do they come specifically to learn?