“I apprehend no danger to our country from a foreign foe. The prospect of a war with any powerful nation is too remote to be a matter of calculation. Besides, there is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence, I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants, and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men, and become the instruments of their own undoing. Make them intelligent, and they will be vigilant; give them the means of detecting the wrong, and they will apply the remedy.” — Daniel Webster
Although it is probably no longer true that the loss of our country to war is too remote to contemplate, it remains highly unlikely, if only due to to advantages of geography. But Webster’s views on the importance of education are, if anything, more true now than they were when he presented this speech – the world is smaller and communication is much faster than he could have ever envisioned.