America Is The Product of the Township: The True “City Upon a Hill.”

Today in Illinois, we elect local leaders. Why is local government so important? Plus, enjoy a poem written about my hometown over a century ago.

America Is The Product of the Township: The True “City Upon a Hill.” – by Daniel Sheridan

Thomas Jefferson said regarding the New England Township:

“Those wards, called Townships in New England…have proved themselves the wisest invention ever devised by the wit of man for the perfect exercise of self-government and its preservation. As Cato, then, concluded every speech with the words Cathago delenda est, so do I every opinion with the injunction: Divide the counties into wards.”

Jefferson declares that the only way to preserve self-government is to maintain a healthy localism. John Winthrop said this about his town:

“We shall be as a city upon a hill; the eyes of all people are upon us.”

That’s the origin of Reagan’s “City Upon A Hill.” But when Winthrop talked about a city upon a hill, he wasn’t referring to an empire or Washington DC. Winthrop was expressing his hopes about Townships. Jefferson would have America composed of multiple self-governing “cities upon a hill” with a national government for restricted and defined purposes. America is a product of the local communities.

Do you want a great country? Then restore thousands of great towns and villages. America is a product of the township. If we are irresponsible with what’s closest to us (community), we will be even more irresponsible with what’s remote from us (Washington). “He that is faithful in little is faithful in much, and he that is unfaithful in little will be unfaithful in much.”

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