History by apprising them [citizens] of the past will enable them to judge of the future…
But of all the views of this law none is more important, none more legitimate, than that of rendering the people the safe, as they are the ultimate, guardians of their own liberty. For this purpose the reading in the first stage, where they will receive their whole education, is proposed, as has been said, to be chiefly historical. History by apprising them [citizens] of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views.
Context: Notes on the State of Virginia
Tags: History, ambition, designs of men, disguise, education, future, guardians, historical, judge, law, liberty, past, whole education