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Who Was Fisher Ames?

Fisher Ames: Defender of Liberty, Christian Educator


Ames Christian University proudly takes its name from Fisher Ames, one of America's "forgotten founding fathers," and a historical proponent of the Bible as the source of all wisdom.




Fisher Ames is best known for his opposition to Jeffersonian democracy. Pure democracy, he argued, would lend itself to the new nation's coming under the influence of the basest of human motivations: greed and a lack of public virtue. Left unchecked, Ames believed, pure democracy would itself swallow up the very freedom on which it was founded.

But Ames was no opponent of liberty. To the contrary, he argued forcefully that the new United States of America was to be constructed as a constitutional republic. To succeed, he believed, the United States must lash itself to a constitution of laws, not the whim of democratic preference.

In addition, Fisher Ames was among the outspoken supporters of the Bible's central role in all of education. As the Word of God, Ames held, the Bible should be at the very center of the curriculum.

We honor not only Fisher Ames' distinction between democracy and republican forms of government, but the fine intellectual rigor required to differentiate between the two. It is this level of discovery and insight, we believe, that makes up the Great Ideas on which our biblically-based curriculum is founded.

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