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impossible. The work of the benevolent despots had, after all, been
superficial. By the last quarter of the eighteenth, though, a progressive
change was under way which was certain to produce either evolution or
revolution. The influence of the American experiment in nation-building
now became pronounced. In 1779 Franklin took a copy of the new
Pennsylvania Constitution with him to Paris, and in 1780 John Adams did
the same with the Massachusetts Constitution. Frenchmen instantly
recognized here, in concrete form, the ideas with which their own heads
were filled. In 1783 Franklin published in France a French translation of
all the American Constitutions, and the National Constitution of 1787 was
as eagerly read and discussed in Paris as in New York or Philadelphia or
Boston. America appeared to the French of that stormy period as an ideal
land; where the dreams of Rousseau about the social contract had been
transformed into realities. Two years later the _cahiers_ of the Third
Estate demanded a written constitution for France. The French, too, had
aided the American Colonies in their struggle for liberty, and French
soldiers returning home carried back new political ideas drawn from the
remarkable political progress of the new American Nation. By 1788 the
demand for reform in France had become so insistent, and the condition of
the treasury of the State was so bad, that it was finally felt necessary
to summon a meeting of the States-General--a sort of national parliament
consisting of representatives of the three great Estates: clergy,
nobility, and commons--which had not met in France since 1614.

(After a contemporary drawing by Monnet)]

Besides electing its representatives, each locality and order was allowed
to draw up a series of instructions, or _cahiers_ (+R. 252+), for the
guidance of its delegates. These _cahiers_ are a mine of information as to
the demands and hopes and interests of the French people, [33] and it is
interesting to know that the _cahiers_ of nobility, clergy, and commons
alike included, among their demands, the organization of a comprehensive
plan of education for France. [34]

5, 1789, and soon (June 20) resolved itself into the National or
Constituent Assembly. Terrified by the uprisings and burnings of chateaux
throughout France, on the night of August fourth, in a few hours, it
adopted a series of decrees which virtually abolished the _Ancien Regime_
of privileges for France. The nobility gave up most of their old rights,
the serfs [35] were freed, and the special privileges of towns were
surrendered. Later the Assembly adopted a "Declaration of Rights of Man
and of the Citizen" (R. 253), much like the American Declaration of
Independence. This declared, among other things, that all men were born
free and have equal rights, that taxes should be proportional to wealth,
that all citizens were equal before the law and have a right to help make
the laws, and that the people of the nation were sovereign. These
principles struck at the very foundations of the old system.

Soon a Constitution for France, the first ever promulgated in modern
Europe, was prepared and adopted (1791). This abolished the ancient
privileges and reorganized France as a self-governing nation, much after
the American plan. Local government was created, and the absolute monarchy
was changed to a limited constitutional one. Next the property of the
Church was taken over by the State, the monasteries were suppressed, and
the priests and bishops were made state officials and paid a fixed state
salary. The Jesuits had been expelled from France in 1764; and in 1792 the
Brothers of the Christian Schools were not allowed longer to teach. Among
other important matters, the Constitution of 1791 declared that:

There shall be created and organized a system of public instruction
common to all citizens, and gratuitous, with respect to those branches
of instruction which are indispensable for all men.

Up to this point the Revolution in France had proceeded relatively
peacefully, considering the nature of the long-standing abuses which were
to be remedied. In August, 1792, the King was imprisoned, and in January,
1793, he was executed and a Republic proclaimed. [36] Then followed a
reign of terror, which we do not need to follow, and which ended only when
Napoleon became master of France.

BENEFICENT RESULTS OF THE REVOLUTION. The French Revolution was not an
accident or a product of chance, but rather the inevitable result of an
attempt to dam up the stream of human progress and prevent its orderly
onward flow. The Protestant Revolts were the first great revolutionary
wave, the Puritan revolution in England was another, the formation of the
American Republic and the institution of constitutional government and
religious freedom another, while the French Revolution brought the rising
movement to a head and swept away, in a deluge of blood, the very
foundations of the mediaeval system. Along with much that was disastrous,
the French Revolution accomplished after all much that was of greatest
importance for human progress. The world at times seems to be in need of
such a great catharsis. Progress was made in a decade that could hardly
have been made in a century by peaceful evolution. The old order of
privilege came to an end, mediaevalism was swept away, and the serf was
evolved into the free farmer and citizen. One fifth of the soil of France
was restored to the use of the people from the monasteries, and an
additional one third from the Church and nobility. The new principles of
citizenship--Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity--were for France
revolutionary in the extreme, while the assertion that the sovereignty of
a nation rests with the people rather than with the king, here
successfully promulgated, ended for all time the "divine-right-of-kings"
idea for France. After political theory had for a time run mad, the
organizing genius of Napoleon consolidated the gains, gave France a strong
government, a uniform code of laws, [37] and began that organization of
schools for the nation which ultimately meant the taking over of education
from the Church and its provision at the expense of and in the interests
of the nation.

together with the examples of English and American liberty, soon began to
have their influence in other lands as well. People everywhere began to
see that the old regime of privilege and misgovernment ought to be
replaced. Other countries abolished serfdom, introduced better laws, and
made reforms in the abuses of both Church and State. French armies and
rulers carried the best of French ideas to other lands, and, where the
French rule continued long enough, these ideas became fixed. In particular
was the _Code Napoleon_ copied in the Netherlands, the Italian States, and
the States of southern and western Germany. The national spirit of Italy
was awakened, and the Italian liberals began to look forward to the day
when the small Italian States might be reunited into an Italian Nation,
with Rome as its capital. This became the work of nineteenth-century
Italian statesmen. For the first time in Spanish history, too, the people
became conscious, under French occupation, of a feeling of national unity,
and similarly the national spirit of German lands was stirred by the
conquests of Napoleon.

A constitution was obtained in Spain, in 1812, and between 1815 and 1821
all of Spain's South American colonies--Argentina, Bolivia, Chile,
Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela--revolted,
became independent, and set up republics with constitutional governments,
some of the larger ones based on the federal principle, as in the United
States. Brazil similarly freed itself from Portugal and set up a
constitutional and federated monarchy, in 1822. The Kingdom of Naples
obtained constitutional government in 1820, and Sardinia in 1821. In 1823,
when Spain with Austria's aid prepared to reconquer the Spanish South
American Republics, President Monroe transmitted to the American Congress
his message in which he declared that any attempt on the part of European
nations to suppress republicanism on the American continent would be
considered by the United States as an unfriendly act. This has since been
known as the _Monroe Doctrine_. In 1829 Greece obtained her independence
from Turkey, and in 1843 a constitutional form of government was obtained.

decades of the eighteenth century, when democratic government and written
constitutions began, the sweep of democratic government has become almost
world wide. Nation after nation has changed to democratic and
constitutional forms of government, the latest additions being Portugal
(1911), China (1912), Russia (1917), and Germany (1918). New English
colonies, too, have carried English self-government into almost every
continent. The World War of 1914-18 gave a new emphasis to democracy, and
there is good reason to believe that government of and by and for the
people is ultimately destined to prevail among all the intelligent nations
and races of the earth.

With the development of democratic government there has everywhere been a
softening of old laws, the growth of humanitarianism, the wider and wider
extension of the suffrage, important legislation as to labor, a previously
unknown attention to the poor and the dependents of society, a vast
extension of educational advantages, and the taking over of education from
the Church by the State and the erection of the school into an important
institution for the preservation and advancement of the national welfare.
These consequences of the onward sweep of new-world ideas we shall trace
more in detail in the chapters which follow.


1. Show the importance, for human progress, of each of the meanings of the
new eighteenth-century liberalism, as enumerated on pages 471-72.

2. How do you explain the lack of any permanent influence on Spanish life
of the work of the benevolent despots in Spain?

3. Show the liberalizing influence of the rise of scientific investigation
and economic studies, for a nation still oppressed by mediaevalism and bad

4. Enumerate the new sciences which arose in the eighteenth century.

5. Indicate the importance of the freedom of the press in the development
of English political liberty.

6. Explain how the religious-freedom attitude of the American national
constitution conferred an inestimable boon on the States in the matter of
public education.


In the accompanying _Book of Readings_ the following illustrative
selections are reproduced:

247. Dabney: Ecclesiastical Tyranny in France.
248. Voltaire: On the Relation of Church and State.
249. Rousseau: Extract from the Social Contract.
250. Buckle: Changes in English Thinking in the Eighteenth Century,
251. Pennsylvania Constitution: Bill of Rights in.
252. Clergy of Blois: _Cahier_ of 1779.
253. France: Declaration of the Rights of Man.


1. Explain why ecclesiastical tyranny should have awakened such a spirit
of rebellion in France (247), and not in Spain or in Italian lands.

2. Just what attitude toward religion is shown in the extract from
Voltaire (248)?

3. Bolshevists in Russia and in America talk to-day as did Rousseau in the
Social Contract (249). Compare the justification of each with the
eighteenth-century France of Rousseau.

4. What do all the changes enumerated by Buckle (250) indicate as to the
spread of general education, irrespective of schools, among the English

5. Compare the Pennsylvania Bill of Rights of 1776 (251) with that of your
own present-day state constitution,

6. Just what type of educational provisions, and what administrative
organization, did the recommendations of the Clergy of Blois (252)
contemplate? Indicate its shortcomings for eighteenth-century France.

7. Compare the main ideas of 251 and 253.


Dabney, R. H. _The Causes of the French Revolution_.
Taine, H. A. _The Ancient Regime_.




THE STATE AS SERVANT OF THE CHURCH. With the rise of the Protestant sects
we noted, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and for the first time
since Christianity became supreme in the western world, the beginnings of
a state connection with the education of the young. The Protestant
reformers, obtaining the support of the Protestant princes and kings, had
successfully used this support to assist them in the organization of
church schools as an aid to the reformed faith. Luther, it will be
recalled (p. 312), had made a strong appeal to the mayors and magistrates
of all German lands to establish schools as a part of their civic duties
(R. 156), and had contended that a solemn obligation rested upon them to
do so. The Dutch Provinces had worked closely with the Dutch Protestant
synods (p. 334) in ordering schools established and in providing for their
financing; Calvin had organized a religious City-State at Geneva (p. 330),
of which religion and learning had been the corner-stones; the Scottish
Parliament, by the laws of 1633 and 1646 (p. 335), had ordered schools for
Scottish children in connection with the churches; and in the Scandinavian
countries and in Finland the beginnings of a connection with the State had
also been made (p. 315). Finally, in the new Massachusetts Colony the laws
of 1642 and 1647 (p. 366) had, for the first time in the English-speaking
world, ordered that children be taught "to read and understand the
principles of religion and the capital laws of the country" (p. 364), and
that schools be established by the towns, under penalty if they refused to
do so. In all Protestant lands we saw that the reformers appealed, from
time to time, to what were then the servants of the churches--the rising
civil governments and principalities and States--to use their civil
authority to force the people to meet their new religious obligations in
the matter of schooling.

The purpose of the schooling ordered established, however, was almost
wholly religious. Massachusetts, in ordering instruction in the "capital
laws of the country," as well as reading and religion, had formed a marked
exception. In nearly all lands the rising state governments merely helped
the Protestant churches to create the elementary vernacular religious
school, and to make of it an auxiliary for the protection of orthodoxy and
the advancement of the faith. Even in the new state school systems of the
German States--Saxony, Wuertemberg (p. 317), Brunswick, Weimar, Gotha--the
elementary schools established were for religious rather than for state
ends. This condition continued until well toward the middle of the
eighteenth century.

THE NEW STATE THEORY OF EDUCATION. After about the middle of the
eighteenth century a new theory as to the purpose of education, and one
destined to make rapid headway, began to be advanced. This theory had
already made marked progress, as we shall see, in the New England
Colonies, and had also found expression, as we shall also see in a later
chapter, in the organizing work of Frederick the Great in Prussia. It was
from the French political philosophers of the eighteenth century, though,
that its clearest definition came. They now advanced the idea that schools
were essentially civil affairs, the purpose of which should be to promote
the everyday interests of society and the welfare of the State, rather
than the welfare of the Church, and to prepare for a life here rather than
a life hereafter.

After about 1750 a critical and reformatory pedagogy rapidly began to take
shape in France, and the second half of the eighteenth century became a
period of criticism and discontent and reconstruction in education, as
well as in politics and religion.

This criticism and discontent in France was greatly stimulated by the
decline in character and influence of the Jesuit schools. Unwilling to
change their instruction to meet the needs of a changing society, their
schools had become formal in character (R. 146), and were now engaged
chiefly in stilling thinking rather than in promoting it. In consequence
the schools had fallen into disrepute throughout all France. The Society,
too, in the eighteenth century, came to be a powerful political
organization which strove to dominate the State. So bad had the situation
become by 1762, that the different parliaments in the provinces and in
Paris had formulated complaints against the Jesuits and their schools, [1]
and, in 1764, the king was induced to suppress the Order. [2] This decline
in influence and final suppression of the Society gave rise to some rather
remarkable pedagogical literature, which looked to the creation of a
system of state secondary schools in France to replace those of the

The outcome was the rise of a new national and individual conception of
the educational purpose. This was destined in time to spread to other
lands and to lead to the rise of complete state school systems, financed
and managed by the State and conducted for state ends, and to the ultimate
divorce of Church and State, in all progressive lands, in the matter of
the education of the young. Teachers trained and certificated by the State
were in time to supplant the nuns and brothers of the religious
congregations in Catholic lands, as well as teachers who served as
assistants to the pastors in Protestant lands and whose chief purpose was
to uphold the teachings and advance the interests of the sect; citizens
were to supplant the ecclesiastic in the supervision of instruction; and
the courses of instruction were to be changed in direction and vastly
broadened in scope to make them minister to the needs of the State rather
than the Church, and to prepare pupils for useful life here rather than
for life in another world.


[Illustration: FIG. 154. ROUSSEAU (1712-78)]

THE FRENCH POLITICAL THEORISTS. The leading French political theorists of
the two decades between 1760 and 1780 now began to discuss education as in
theory a civil affair, intimately connected with the promotion of the
welfare of the State. The more important of these, and their chief ideas

1. _Rousseau._ The first of the critical and reformatory pedagogical
writers to awaken any large interest and obtain a general hearing was
Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The same year (1762) that his _Social Contract_
appeared and attacked the foundations of the old political system (p.
483), his _Emile_ also appeared and attacked with equal vigor the
religious and social theory as to education then prevailing throughout
western Europe. For the stiff and unnatural methods in education, under
which children were dressed and made to behave as adults, [3] the harsh
discipline of the time, and the excessive emphasis on religious
instruction and book education, he preached the substitution of life amid
nature, childish ways and sports, parental love, and an education that
considered the instincts and natural development of children.

Gathering up the political and social ideas of his age as to
ecclesiastical and political despotism; the nature of the social contract;
that the "state of nature" was the ideal one, and the one in which men had
been intended to live; that human duty called for a return to the "state
of nature," whatever that might be; and that the artificiality and
hypocrisy of his age in manners, dress, religion, and education were all
wrong--Rousseau restated his political philosophy in terms of the
education of the boy, Emile. Despite its many exaggerations, much faulty
reasoning, and many imperfections, the book had a tremendous influence
upon Europe in laying bare the limitations and defects and abuses of the
formal and ecclesiastical education of the time. [4] He may be regarded as
the first important writer to sap the foundations of the old system of
religious education, and to lay a basis for a new type of child training
(R. 254). Though Rousseau's enthusiasm took the form of theory run mad,
and the educational plan he proposed was largely impossible, he
nevertheless popularized education, not only in France, but among the
reading public of the progressive European States as well. After he had
written, the old limited and narrow religious education was on the
defensive, and, though time was required, the transition to a more secular
type of education was inevitable as fast as nations and peoples could
shake off the dominance of the Church in state affairs.

[Illustration: FIG. 155 LA CHALOTAIS (1701-83)]

2. _La Chalotais._ The year following the publication of Rousseau's
_Emile_ appeared La Chalotais's _Essai d'education nationale_ (1763). Rene
de la Chalotais, a Solicitor-General for the Parliament of Bretagne, was
one of the notable French parliamentarians of the middle of the eighteenth
century. Unlike Rousseau's highly imaginary, exaggerated, sentimental, and
paradoxical volume, La Chalotais produced a practical and philosophical
discussion of the problem of the education of a people. Declaring firmly
that education was essentially a civil affair; that it was the function of
government to make citizens contented by educating them for their sphere
in society; that citizen and secular teachers should not be excluded for
celibates; [5] that the real purpose of education should be to prepare
citizens for France; that the poor were deserving of education; and that
"the most enlightened people will always have the advantage" in the
struggles of a modern world, La Chalotais produced a work which was warmly
approved by such political philosophers as Voltaire, Diderot, and Turgot,
and which was translated into several European languages (R. 255). Though
far less widely read than Rousseau's _Emile_, it was far more influential
in shaping subsequent political theory and action regarding the relations
of education to the State. Nearly every proposal for educational
legislation during the days of the Revolution went back in idea to this
philosophic discussion of the question by La Chalotais and to the
practical proposals of Rolland and Turgot.

[Illustration: FIG. 156. ROLLAND (1734-93)]

3. _Rolland._ In 1768 Rolland, president of the Parliament of Paris,
presented to his colleagues a report in which he outlined a national
system of education to replace both the schools of the Jesuits and those
of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. La Chalotais had proposed a more
modern system of state schools chiefly to replace those of the Jesuits,
but Rolland went further and proposed the extension of education to all,
and the supervision of all schools by a central council of the Government.
By means of a centralized control, a central university to which the other
universities of France were to be subordinate, a higher normal school to
train teachers for the colleges (secondary schools), and universal
education, [6] Rolland hoped to develop for France a national spirit, a
national character, and a national government and code of laws, and to
bring the youth of the provinces into harmony with the best of all French

4. _Turgot._ In 1774 Turgot was appointed Minister of Finance (p. 481),
and in 1775 he made a series of recommendations to the King in which he
set forth ideas analogous to those of Rolland, and presented an eloquent
plea for the formation of a national council of public instruction and the
establishment of a system of civil and national education for the whole of
France. In closing he wrote:

Your kingdom, Sir, is of this world. Without opposing any obstacle
to the instructions whose object is higher, and which already have
their rules and their expounders, I think I can propose to you nothing
of more advantage to your people than to cause to be given to all your
subjects an instruction which shows them the obligations they owe to
society and to your power to protect them, and the interest they have
in fulfilling those duties for the public good and their own. This
moral and social instruction requires books expressly prepared, by
competition, and with great care, and a schoolmaster in each parish to
teach them to children, along with the art of writing, reading,
counting, measuring, and the principles of mechanics. The study of the
duty of citizenship ought to be the foundation of all the other
studies.... There are methods and establishments for training
geometricians, physicists, and painters, but there are none for
training citizens.

5. _Diderot._ In 1776 Diderot, editor with D'Alembert of the
_Encyclopaedia_ (1751-72), prepared, at the request of Catherine II (p.
477), under the title of _Plan of a University_, a complete scheme for the
organization of a state system of public instruction for Russia. Though
the plan was never carried out, it was printed and much discussed in
France, and is important as coming from one of the most influential
Frenchmen of his time. He commends as an example to be followed the work
of the German States in the organization of popular instruction. For
Russia he outlines first a system of people's schools, which shall be free
and obligatory for all, and in which instruction in reading, writing,
arithmetic, morals, civics, and religion shall be taught. "From the Prime
Minister to the lowest peasant," he says, "it is good for every one to
know how to read, write, and count." For the series of secondary schools
to be established, he condemns the usual practice of devoting so much of
the instruction to the humanities and a mediaeval type of logic and
ethics, and urges instead the introduction of instruction in mathematics,
in the modern sciences, literature, and the work of governments. Classical
studies he would confine to the last years of the course. Science,
history, drawing, and music find a place in his scheme.

All this instruction Diderot would place under the supervisory control of
an administrative bureau to be known as the _University of Russia_, at the
head of which should be a statesman, who should exercise control of all
the work of public instruction beneath. Though never carried out in
Russia, the University of France of 1808 is largely an embodiment of the
ideas he proposed in 1776.

century between the publication of Rousseau's _Emile_ and the summoning of
the States-General to reform France (1762-88), the educational as well as
the political ideas of the French reformers had taken deep root with the
thinking classes of the nation. The _cahiers_ of 1789, of all Orders (p.
500), gave evidence of this in their somewhat general demand for the
creation of some form of an educational system for France (R. 252). From
the first days of the Revolution pedagogical literature became plentiful,
and the successive National Assemblies found time, amid the internal
reorganization of France, constitution-making, the troubles with and trial
of the King, and the darkening cloud of foreign intervention, to listen to
reports and addresses on education and to enact a bill for the
organization of a national school system. The more important of these
educational efforts were:

1. _The Constituent Assembly_ (June 17, 1789, to September 30, 1791). In
the Constituent Assembly, into which the States-General resolved itself,
June 17, 1789, and which continued until after it had framed the
constitution of 1791, two notable addresses and one notable report on the
organization of education were made. The Count de Mirabeau, a nobleman
turned against his class and elected to the States-General as a
representative of the Third Estate, made addresses on the "Organization of
a Teaching Body" and on the "Organization of a National _Lycee_." In the
first he advocated the establishment of primary schools throughout France.
In the second he proposed the establishment of colleges of literature in
each department, with a National _Lycee_ at Paris for higher (university)
education, and to contain the essentials of a national normal school or
teachers' college as well.

[Illustration: FIG. 157 COUNT DE MIRABEAU (1749-91)]

[Illustration: FIG. 158. TALLEYRAND (1758-1838)]

Mirabeau's proposals represent rather a transition in thinking from the
old to the new, but the Report of Talleyrand (1791), former Bishop of
Autun, now turned revolutionist, embodies the full culmination of
revolutionary educational thought. Public instruction he termed "a power
which embraces everything, from the games of infancy to the most imposing
fetes of the Nation." He definitely proposed the organization of a
complete state system of public instruction for France, to consist of a
primary school in every canton (community, district), open to the children
of peasants and workmen--classes heretofore unprovided with education; a
secondary school in every department (county); a series of special schools
in the chief French cities, to prepare for the professions; and a National
Institute, or University, to be located at Paris. Inspired by
Montesquieu's principle that "the laws of education ought to be relative
to the principles of government," Talleyrand proposed a bill designed to
give effect to the provisions of the Constitution of 1791 relating to
education (p. 501), and to provide an education for the people of France
who were now to exercise, through elected representatives, the legislative
power for France. Instruction he held to be the necessary counterpoise of
liberty, and every citizen was to be taught to know, obey, love, and
protect the new constitution. Political, social, and personal morality
were to take the place of religion in the cantonal schools, which were to
be free and equally open to all. As the Constituent Assembly was succeeded
by the newly elected Legislative Assembly within three weeks after
Talleyrand submitted his Report, no action was taken on his bill.

[Illustration: FIG. 159. CONDORCET (1743-94)]

2. _The Legislative Assembly_ (October 1, 1791, to September 21, 1792).
This new legislative body was far more radical in character than its
predecessor, and far more radical than was the sentiment of France at the
time. Among other acts it abolished (1792) the old universities and
confiscated (1793) their property to the State. To it was submitted (April
20-21, 1792) by the mathematician, philosopher, and revolutionist, Marquis
de Condorcet, [7] on behalf of the Committee on Public Instruction and as
a measure of reconstruction, a Report and draft of a Law for the
organization of a complete democratic system of public instruction for
France (R. 256). It provided for the organizing of a primary school for
every four hundred inhabitants, in which each individual was "to be taught
to direct his own conduct and to enjoy the plenitude of his own rights,"
and where principles would be taught, calculated to "insure the
perpetuation of liberty and equality." The bill also provided, for the
first time, for the organization of higher primary schools in the
principal towns; colleges (secondary schools) in the chief cities (one for
every four thousand inhabitants); a higher school for each "department";
_Lycees_, or institutions of still higher learning, at nine places in
France; and a National Society of Sciences and Arts to crown the
educational system at Paris. The national system of education he proposed
was to be equally open to women, as well as men, and to be gratuitous
throughout. Teachers for each grade of school were to be prepared in the
school next above. Sunday lectures for workingmen and peasants were to be
given by teachers everywhere. Public morality, political intelligence,
human progress, and the preservation of liberty and equality were the aims
of the instruction. The necessity for education in a constitutional
government he saw clearly. "A free constitution," he writes, "which should
not be correspondent to the universal instruction of citizens, would come
to destruction after a few conflicts, and would degenerate into one of
those forms of government which cannot preserve the peace among an
ignorant and corrupt people." Anarchy or despotism he held to be the
future for peoples who become free without being enlightened. He held it
to be a fundamental principle that:

The order of nature includes no distinctions in society beyond those
of education and wealth. To establish among citizens an equality in
fact, and to realize the equality confirmed by law, ought to be the
primary object of national instruction.

The bill proposed by Condorcet, while too ambitious for the France of his
day, was thoroughly sound as a democratic theory of education, and an
accurate prediction of what the nineteenth century brought generally into
existence. Condorcet's Report was discussed, but not acted upon.

[Illustration: FIG. 160. THE INSTITUTE OF FRANCE
Founded by Article 298 of the Constitution of Year III (1793)]

3. _The National Convention_ (September 21, 1792, to October 26, 1795).
The Convention was also a radical body, deeply interested in the creation
of a system of state schools for the people of France. To higher education
there was for a time marked opposition, though later in its history the
Convention erected a number of important higher technical institutions and
schools, among the most important of which was the Institute of France.
There was also in the Convention marked opposition to all forms of
clerical control of schools. The schools of the Brothers of the Christian
Schools were suppressed by it, in 1792, and all secular and endowed
schools and colleges were abolished and their property confiscated, in
1793. The complete supremacy of the State in all educational matters was
now asserted. Great enthusiasm was manifested for the organization of
state primary schools, which were ordered established in 1793 (R. 258 a),
and in these:

Children of all classes were to receive that first education,
physical, moral, and intellectual, the best adapted to develop in them
republican manners, patriotism, and the love of labor, and to render
them worthy of liberty and equality.

The course of instruction was to include: "to speak, read, and write
correctly the French language; the geography of France; the rights and
duties of men and citizens; [8] the first notions of natural and
familiar objects; the use of numbers, the compass, the level, the
system of weights and measures, the mechanical powers, and the
measurement of time. They are to be taken into the fields and the
workshops where they may see agricultural and mechanical operations
going on, and take part in the same so far as their age will allow."

What a change from the course of instruction in the religious schools just
preceding this period!

[Illustration: FIG. 161. LAKANAL (1762-1845)]

A multiplicity of reports, bills, and decrees, often more or less
contradictory but still embodying ideas advanced by Condorcet and
Talleyrand, now appeared. Whereas the preceding legislative bodies had
considered the subject carefully, but without taking action, the
Convention now acted. The nation, though, was so engrossed by the internal
chaos and foreign aggression that there was neither time nor funds to
carry the decrees into effect.

The most extreme proposal of the period was the bill of Lepelletier le
Saint-Fargeau to create a national system of education modeled closely
after that of ancient Sparta. The best of the proposals probably was the
Lakanal Law, of November 17, 1794, which ordered a school for every one
thousand inhabitants, with special divisions for boys and girls, and which
provided for instruction in:

1. Reading and writing the French language.
2. The Declaration of the Rights of Man, and the Constitution.
3. Lessons on republican morals.
4. The rules of simple calculation and surveying.
5. Lessons in geography and the phenomena of nature.
6. Lessons on heroic actions, and songs of triumph.

Lakanal also carefully prescribed the method of instruction, and advocated
the founding of a national normal school (Latin _norma_; a rule), which
idea the Convention adopted in 1794, the school opening [9] in January,
1795. Supplementing this was the law of February 25, 1795, ordering
central or higher schools established to replace the former colleges, [10]
one for every three hundred thousand of the population, which were to
offer instruction from twelve to eighteen. The course was to include:

12 to 14--Drawing, natural history, ancient and living languages.
14 to 16--Mathematics, natural philosophy, experimental chemistry.
16 to 18--Grammar, literature, history, legislation.

Organized on a soviet principle, each professor declared the equal of
every other, and lacking any effective administration or discipline, these
institutions soon fell into disrepute and were displaced when Napoleon
reorganized secondary education in France.

The law of October 25, 1795, closed the work of the Convention. This made
less important provisions for primary education (R. 258 b) than had
preceding bills, but was the only permanent contribution of this period to
the organization of primary schools. It placed greater emphasis than had
the legislative Assembly on the creation of secondary and higher
institutions (R. 258 a), of more value to the bourgeois class. This bill
of 1795 represents a reaction from the extreme republican ideas of a few
years earlier, and the triumph of the conservative middle-class elements
in the nation over the radical republican elements previously in control.

The Convention also, in the latter part of its history, created a number
of higher technical institutions of importance, which were expressive
alike of the French interest in scientific subjects which arose during the
latter part of the eighteenth century, and of the new French military
needs. Many of these institutions have persisted to the present, so well
have they answered the scientific interests and needs of the nation. A
mere list of the institutions created is all that need be given. These

Museum or Conservatory of Arts (Jan. 16, 1794).
Conservatory of Arts and Trades (Oct. 10, 1794).
New medical schools (_Schools of Health_) ordered (Dec. 4, 1794).
Museum of Natural History (Dec. 11, 1794).
Central Schools to succeed the former Colleges (secondary schools)
(Feb. 25, 1795).
School of Living Oriental Languages (March 30, 1795).
Veterinary Schools (April 21, 1795).
Course in Archaeology, National Library (June 8, 1795).
Bureau of Longitude (June 29, 1795).
Conservatory of Music (Aug. 3, 1795).
The National Library (Oct. 17, 1795).
Museum of Archaeological Monuments (Oct. 20, 1795).
Polytechnic Schools (R. 257);
School of Civil Engineering;
School of Hydrographic Engineers;
and School of Mining (Oct. 22, 1795).

The Convention also adopted the metric system of weights and measures;
enacted laws under which the peasants could acquire title to the lands
they had tilled for so long; and began the unification of the laws of the
different parts of the country into a single set, which later culminated
in the _Code Napoleon_.

4. _The Directory_ (1795-99) _and the Consulate_ (1799-1804). The
Revolution had by this time largely spent itself, the Directory followed,
and in 1799 Napoleon became First Consul and for the next sixteen years
was master of France. The Law of 1795 for primary schools (R. 258 b) was
but feebly administered under the Directory, as foreign wars absorbed the
energies and resources of the Government. Napoleon's chief educational
interest, too, was in opening up opportunities for talent to rise, in
encouraging scientific work and higher specialized institutions, and in
developing schools of a type that would support the kind of government he
had imposed upon France. The secondary and higher schools he established
and promoted cost him money at a time when money was badly needed for
national defense, and primary education was accordingly neglected during
the time he directed the destinies of the nation. His educational
organizations and work we shall refer to again in a later chapter.

The Revolutionary enthusiasts had stated clearly their theory of
republican education, but had failed to establish a permanent state school
system according to their plans. This now became the work of the
nineteenth century. In the meantime, in the new United States of America
the same ideas were taking shape and finding expression, and to the
developments there we next turn.


WANING OF THE OLD RELIGIOUS INTEREST. As early as 1647 Rhode Island Colony
had enacted the first law providing for freedom of religious worship ever
enacted by an English-speaking people, and two years later Maryland
enacted a similar law. Though the Maryland law was later repealed, and a
rigid Church-of-England rule established there, these laws were indicative
of the new spirit arising in the New World. By the beginning of the
eighteenth century a change in attitude toward the old problem of personal
salvation had become evident. Frontier conditions; the gradual rise of a
civil as opposed to a religious form of town government; the rising
interests in trade and shipping; the beginnings of the breakdown of the
old aristocratic traditions and customs transplanted from Europe; the
rising individualism in both Europe and America--these all helped to
weaken the hold on the people of the old religious doctrines.

By 1750 the change in religious thinking in the American Colonies had
become quite marked. [11] Especially was this change evidenced in the
dying-out of the old religious fervor and intolerance, and the breaking-up
of the old religious solidarity. While most of the Colonies continued to
maintain an "established Church," other sects had to be admitted to the
Colony and given freedom of worship. The Puritan monopoly in New England
was broken, as was also that of the Anglican faith in the central
Colonies. The day of the monopoly of any sect in a Colony was over. New
secular interests began to take the place of religion as the chief topic
of thought and conversation, and secular books began to dispute the
earlier predominance of the Bible. A few colonial newspapers had begun
(seven by 1750), and these became expressive of the new colony interests.

CHANGING CHARACTER OF THE SCHOOLS. These changes in attitude toward the
old religious problems materially affected both the support and the
character of the education provided in the Colonies. The Law of 1647,
requiring the maintenance of the Latin grammar schools, had been found to
be increasingly difficult of enforcement, not only in Massachusetts, but
in all the other New England Colonies which had followed the Massachusetts
example. With the changing attitude of the people, which had become
clearly manifest by 1750, the demand for relief from the maintenance of
this school in favor of a more practical and less aristocratic type of
higher school, if higher school were needed at all, became marked. By the
close of the colonial period the new American Academy (p. 463), with its
more practical studies, had begun to supersede the old Latin grammar

The elementary school experienced something of the same difficulties. Many
of the parochial schools died out, while others declined in character and
importance. In Church-of-England Colonies all elementary education was
left to private initiative and philanthropic and religious effort (p.
373). In the southern Colonies the classes in society and the character of
the plantation life made common schools impossible, and the feeling of any
need for elementary schools almost entirely died out. In New England the
eighteenth century was a continual struggle on the one hand to prevent the
original religious town school from disappearing, and on the other to
establish in its place a series of scattered and inferior district
schools, while either church or town support and tuition fees became ever
harder to obtain. Among other changes of importance the reading school and
the writing school now became definitely united, in all the smaller places
and in the rural districts, as a measure of economy, to form the American
school of the "3 Rs." New textbooks, too, containing less of the gloomily
religious than the _New England Primer_, and secular rather than religious
in character (p. 443), appeared after 1750 and began to be used in the
schools. After 1750, too, it was increasingly evident that the old
religious enthusiasm for schools had largely died out; that European
traditions and ways and types of schools no longer completely satisfied;
and that the period of the transplanting of European educational ideas and
schools and types of instruction was coming to an end. Instead, the
evolution of a public or state school out of the original religious
school, and the beginnings of the evolution of distinctly American types
of schools, better adapted to American needs, became increasingly evident
in the Colonies as the eighteenth century progressed.

RISE OF THE CIVIL OF STATE SCHOOL. As has been stated earlier, the school
everywhere in America arose as a child of the Church. In the Middle
Colonies, where the parochial-school conception of education was the
prevailing type, the school remained under church control until after the
foundation of our national government. In New England, though--and the New
England evolution in time became the prevailing American practice--the
school passed through a very interesting development during colonial

As we have seen (p. 360), each little New England town was originally
established as a little religious republic, with the Church in complete
control. The governing authorities for church and civil affairs were much
the same. When acting as church officers they were known as Elders and
Deacons; when acting as civil or town officers they were known as
Selectmen. The State, as represented in the colony legislature or the town
meeting, was clearly the servant of the Church, and existed in large part
for religious ends. It was the State acting as the servant of the Church
which enacted the Massachusetts laws of 1642 and 1647 (Rs. 190, 19l),
requiring the towns to maintain schools for religious ends. Now, so close
was the connection between the religious town, which controlled church
affairs, and the civil town, which looked after roads, fences, taxes, and
defense--the constituency of both being one and the same, and the meetings
of both being held at first in the meeting-house--that when the schools
were established the colony legislature placed them under the civil--as
involving taxes, and being a public service--rather than under the
religious town. The interests of one were the interests of both, and,
being the same in constituency and territorial boundaries, there seemed no
occasion for friction or fear. From this religious beginning the civil
school and the civil school-town and school-township, with all their
elaborate school administrative machinery, were later evolved.

The erection of a town hall, separate from the meeting-house, was a first
step in the process. School affairs now were discussed at the town hall,
instead of in the church. The town authorities now appointed committees to
locate and build schoolhouses, select and certificate the teachers, and
visit and examine the school. Next a regular town school committee was
provided for. To this was given the management of the town school, and
town taxes, instead of church taxes, were voted for buildings and
maintenance. The minister continued to certificate the grammar-school
master until the close of the colonial period, but the power to
certificate the elementary-school teachers passed to the town authorities
early in the eighteenth century. By the close of the century all that the
minister--as the only surviving representative of church control--had left
to him was the right to accompany the town authorities in the visitation
of schools. Thus gradually but certainly did the earlier religious school
in America pass out from under the control of the Church and come under
the control of the State. When our national government and the different
state governments were established, the States were ready to accept, in
principle at least, the theory gradually worked out in New England that
schools are state institutions, and should be under the control of the

Constitution, in 1787, education, then being regarded largely as a local
matter, was left to the States to handle as they saw fit; so we turn to
the early state constitutions and laws to see how far the new American
States had, by the close of the eighteenth century, advanced toward the
conception of education as an affair of the State.

During the period from the Declaration of Independence to the close of the
eighteenth century (1776-1800), all the States, except Rhode Island and
Connecticut, which considered their colonial charters as satisfactory,
formulated and adopted new state constitutions. Three new States--Vermont,
Kentucky, and Tennessee--were admitted to the Union before 1800, and these
framed constitutions also. Of the sixteen States forming the Union by
1800, seven had incorporated into their constitutions a clause setting
forth the State's duty in the matter of education (R. 259). As in the
earlier period of American education, it was Calvinistic New England which
incorporated into the constitutions the best provisions regarding
learning. In the parochial-school central Colonies the mention was much
less emphatic, while the old Anglican-Church Colonies and the new States
of Kentucky and Tennessee remained silent on the subject. Massachusetts,
Vermont, and New Hampshire, in particular, incorporated strong sections
directing the encouragement of learning and virtue, the protection and
fostering of school societies, and the establishment of schools. The
Massachusetts provision, afterwards copied by New Hampshire, is so
explicit in the matter of state duty that it is worth quoting in full.

Chap. V, Sec. 2. Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused
generally among the body of the people, being necessary for the
preservation of their rights and liberties; and as these depend on
spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in the various
parts of the country, and among the different orders of the people, it
shall be the duty of the legislatures and magistrates, in all future
periods of this Commonwealth, to cherish the interests of literature
and the sciences, and all seminaries of them; especially the
university at Cambridge, public schools, and grammar schools in the
towns; to encourage private societies and public institutions, by
rewards and immunities, for the promotion of agriculture, arts,
sciences, commerce, trades, manufactures, and a natural history of the
country; to countenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and
general benevolence, public and private charity, industry and
frugality, honesty and punctuality in their dealings; sincerity, good
humor, and all social affections and generous sentiments among the

Though the Federal Constitution made no provision for education or aid to
schools, when the Congress of the Confederation, in 1787, adopted the
Ordinance for the organization and government of the Northwest Territory,
out of which the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and
Wisconsin were later carved, it prefixed to this Ordinance the following
significant provision:

Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good
government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of
education shall forever be encouraged [in the States to be formed from
this Territory].

By the time the first State formed from this western territory was ready
to be admitted to the Union (Ohio, 1802), the theory that education is a
function of the State had come to be so thoroughly accepted, in principle
at least, by the new American people that Congress now began a policy,
ever since continued, of aiding each new State to establish and maintain a
state system of schools. To this end Congress gave the new State for this
purpose a generous endowment of national land, and in addition three
townships of land to endow a state university. We also find that the
constitutions of the first States created from this new Northwest
Territory (Ohio, 1802; Indiana, 1816 [12]) contain for the time good
provisions relating to public education. The Ohio provisions (R. 260) are
noteworthy for the strong stand for religious freedom and against any
discrimination in the schools between rich and poor, while the Indiana
provisions (R. 261) are marked for their broad and generous conception of
the scope and purpose of a state system of public instruction.

Many of the older States enacted general state school laws early in their
history (R. 262). Connecticut continued the general school laws of 1700,
1712, and 1714 unchanged, and in 1795 added $1,200,000, derived from land
sales, to a permanent state school endowment fund, created as early as
1750. Vermont enacted a general school law in 1782. Massachusetts and New
Hampshire enacted new general school laws, in 1789, which restated and
legalized the school development of the preceding hundred and fifty years.
All these required the maintenance of schools by the towns for a definite
term each year, ordered taxation, and fixed the school studies required by
the State. New York, in 1784, created an administrative organization,
known as the University of the State of New York, to supervise secondary
and higher education throughout the State--an institution clearly modeled
after the centralizing ideas of Condorcet, Rolland, and Diderot (p. 477),
and very similar to the ideas proposed by Talleyrand and Condorcet and
later (1808) embodied in the University of France by Napoleon. In 1795 New
York also provided for a state system of elementary education. Georgia
created a state system of academies, as early as 1783. Delaware created a
state school fund, in 1796, and Virginia enacted an optional school law
the same year. North Carolina created a state university, as early as

THE NEW POLITICAL MOTIVE FOR SCHOOLS. We thus see, in the new United
States, the theories of the French revolutionary thinkers and statesmen
actually being realized in practice. The constitutional provisions, and
even the legislation, often were in advance of what the States,
impoverished as they were by the War of Independence, could at once carry
out, but they mark the evolution in America of a clearly defined state
theory as to education, and the recognition of a need for general
education in a government whose actions were so largely influenced by the
force of public opinion. The Federal Constitution had extended the right
to vote for national officers to all, and the older States soon began to
remove their earlier property qualifications for voting and to extend
general manhood suffrage to all citizens.

This new development in government by the people, which meant the passing
of the rule of a propertied and educated class and the establishment of a
real democracy, caused the leading American statesmen to turn early to
general education as a necessity for republican safety. In his Farewell
Address to the American people, written in 1796, Washington said:

Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for
the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of
a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that
public opinion should be enlightened.

Jefferson spent the years 1784 to 1789 in Paris, and became a great
propagandist in America for French political ideas. Writing to James
Madison from France, as early as 1787, he said:

Above all things, I hope the education of the common people will be
attended to; convinced that on this good sense we may rely with the
most security for the preservation of a due sense of liberty.

[Illustration: FIG. 162. THOMAS JEFFERSON (1743-1826)]

In 1779, then, as a member of the Virginia legislature, Jefferson tried
unsuccessfully to secure the passage of a comprehensive bill, after the
plan of the French Revolutionary proposals, for the organization of a
complete system of public education for Virginia. The essential features
of the proposed bill (R. 263) were that every county should be laid off
into school districts, five to six miles square, to be known as
"hundreds," and in each of these an elementary school was to be
established to which any citizen could send his children free of charge
for three years, and as much longer as he was willing to pay tuition; that
the leading pupil in each school was to be selected annually and sent to
one of twenty grammar (secondary) schools to be established and maintained
at various points in the State; after two years the leaders in each of
these schools were to be selected and further educated free for six years,
the less promising being sent home; and at the completion of the grammar-
school course, the upper half of the pupils were to be given three years
more of free education at the State College of William and Mary, and the
other half were to be employed as teachers for the schools of the State.

Though the scheme failed of approval, Jefferson never lost interest in the
education of the people for intelligent participation in the functions of
government. Writing from Monticello to Colonel Yancey, in 1816, after his
retirement from the presidency, he wrote:

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization
it expects what never was and never will be.... There is no safe
deposit (for the functions of government) but with the people
themselves; nor can they be safe with them without information.

In 1819 the founding of the University of Virginia crowned Jefferson's
efforts for education by the State. This institution, the Declaration of
Independence, and the statute for religious freedom in Virginia stand to-
day as the three enduring monuments to his memory. [14]

Other of the early American statesmen expressed similar views as to the
importance of general education by the State. John Jay, first Chief
Justice of the United States, in a letter to his friend, Dr. Benjamin
Rush, wrote:

I consider knowledge to be the soul of a Republic, and as the weak and
the wicked are generally in alliance, as much care should be taken to
diminish the number of the former as of the latter. Education is the
way to do this, and nothing should be left undone to afford all ranks
of people the means of obtaining a proper degree of it at a cheap and
easy rate.

James Madison, fourth President of the United States, wrote:

A satisfactory plan for primary education is certainly a vital
desideratum in our republics.

A popular government without popular information or the means of
acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or, perhaps,
both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean
to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which
knowledge gives.

John Adams, with true New England thoroughness, expressed the new motive
for education still more forcibly when he wrote:

The instruction of the people in every kind of knowledge that can be
of use to them in the practice of their moral duties as men, citizens,
and Christians, and of their political and civil duties as members of
society and freemen, ought to be the care of the public, and of all
who have any share in the conduct of its affairs, in a manner that
never yet has been practiced in any age or nation. The education here
intended is not merely that of the children of the rich and noble, but
of every rank and class of people, down to the lowest and poorest. It
is not too much to say that schools for the education of all should be
placed at convenient distances and maintained at the public expense.
The revenues of the State would be applied infinitely better, more
charitably, wisely, usefully, and therefore politically in this way
than even in maintaining the poor. This would be the best way of
preventing the existence of the poor....

Laws for the liberal education of youth, especially of the lower
classes of people, are so extremely wise and useful that, to a humane
and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought

Having founded, as Lincoln so well said later at Gettysburg, "on this
continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the
proposition that all men are created equal," and having built a
constitutional form of government based on that equality, it in time
became evident to those who thought at all on the question that that
liberty and political equality could not be preserved without the general
education of all. A new motive for education was thus created and
gradually formulated in the United States, as well as in revolutionary
France, and the nature of the school instruction of the youth of the State
came in time to be colored through and through by this new political
motive. The necessary schools, though, did not come at once. On the
contrary, the struggle to establish these necessary schools it will be our
purpose to trace in subsequent chapters, but before doing so we wish first
to point out how the rise of a political theory for education led to the
development of a theory as to the nature of the educational process which
exercised a far-reaching influence on all subsequent evolution of schools
and teaching.


1. What do the proposals of La Chalotais, Rolland, and Turgot indicate as
to the degree of unification of France attained by the time they wrote?

2. What new subjects did Diderot add to the religious elementary school of
his time?

3. Show how the decline in efficiency of the Jesuits was a stimulating
force for the evolution of a system of public instruction in France.

4. Show the statesman-like character of the proposals made in the
legislative assemblies of France for the organization of national

5. Assuming that there had been enough funds to carry out the law (1793)
of the Convention for primary instruction, what other difficulties would
have been met that would have been hard to surmount?

6. Compare the Lakanal school with an American elementary school of a
half-century ago.

7. Show that many of the important educational reforms of Napoleon were
foreshadowed in the National Convention.

8. Was Napoleon right in his attitude toward education and schools?

9. Explain the lack of success of the revolutionary theorists in the
establishment of a state system of education.

10. Explain why the breakdown of the old religious intolerance came
earlier in the American Colonies than in the Old World.

11. Show the great value of the Laws of 1642 and 1647 in holding New
England true to the maintenance of schools during the period of decline.

12. What might have been the result in America had the New England
Colonies established the school as a parish institution, as did the
central Colonies?

13. Analyze the Massachusetts constitutional provision for education, and
show what it provided for.

14. Show the similarity of the University of the State of New York to the
proposals for governmental control in France.

15. Explain why the French revolutionary ideas as to education were
realized so easily in the new United States, whereas France did not
realize them until well into the nineteenth century.

16. Compare Jefferson's proposed law with the proposals of Talleyrand for

17. Just what type of educational institutions did Washington have in mind
in the quotation from his Farewell Address? John Jay? John Adams?


In the accompanying Book of Readings the following selections are

254. Dabney: The Far-Reaching Influence of Rousseau's Writings.
255. La Chalotais: Essay on National Education.
256. Condorcet: Outline of a Plan for Organizing Public Instruction in
257. Report: Founding of the Polytechnic School at Paris.
258. Barnard: Work of the National Convention in France.
(a) Various legislative proposals.
(b) The Law of 1795 organizing Primary Instruction.
259. American States: Early Constitutional Provisions relating to
260. Ohio: Educational Provisions of First Constitution.
261. Indiana: Educational Provisions of First Constitution.
262. American States: Early School Legislation in.
263. Jefferson: Plan for Organizing Education in Virginia.


1. Explain the conditions of society under which the emotional writings of
a man of the type of Rousseau could have made such a deep impression (254)
on the nation.

2. In how far do nations to-day accept the theories of La Chalotais (255)?

3. What type of administrative organization was proposed by Condorcet

4. What does the founding of the Polytechnic School (257) indicate as to
the French interest in science?

5. What real progress was made by the National Convention (258 a), and to
what degree did it fail? 6. Explain the type of school system proposed and
the conception of education lying behind the early constitutional
provisions (259) for education in each of the American States.

7. In what respects were the educational provisions of the first Ohio
constitution (260) remarkable?

8. In what respects were the educational provisions of the first Indiana
constitution (261) remarkable?

9. Characterize the early school legislation reproduced (262).

10. Just what type of educational system did Jefferson propose to organize
in Virginia (263)?


Barnard, Henry. _American Journal of Education_, vol. 22, pp.
Compayre, G. _History of Pedagogy_, chapters 15, 16, 17.
Cubberley, E. P. _Public Education in the United States_, chapter



In chapters XVII and XVIII we traced the development of educational theory
up to the point where John Locke left it after outlining his social and
disciplinary theory for the educational process, and in the chapter
preceding this one we traced the evolution of a new state theory as to the
purpose of education to replace the old religious theory. The new theory
as to state control, and the erection of a citizenship purpose for
education, made it both possible and desirable that the instruction in the
school, and particularly in the vernacular school, should be recast, both
in method and content, to bring the school into harmony with the new
secular purpose. In consequence, an important reorganization of the
vernacular school now took place, and to this transformation of the
elementary school we next turn.


theory as to the purpose of education was none other than the French-Swiss
iconoclast and political writer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose work as a
political theorist we have previously described. Happening to take up the
educational problem as a phase of his activity against the political and
social and ecclesiastical conditions of his age, drawing freely on Locke's
_Thoughts_ for ideas, and inspired by a feeling that so corrupt and
debased was his age that if he rejected everything accepted by it and
adopted the opposite he would reach the truth, Rousseau restated his
political theories as to the control of man by society and his ideas as to
a life according to "nature" in a book in which he described the
education, from birth to manhood, of an imaginary boy, Emile, and his
future wife, Sophie. In the first sentence of the book Rousseau sets forth
his fundamental thesis:

All is good as it comes from the hand of the Creator; all degenerates
under the hands of man. He forces one country to produce the fruits of
another, one tree to bear that of another. He confounds climates,
elements, and seasons; he mutilates his dog, his horse, his slave;
turns everything topsy-turvy, disfigures everything. He will have
nothing as nature made it, not even man himself; he must be trained
like a managed horse, trimmed like a tree in a garden.

His book, published in 1762, in no sense outlined a workable system of
education. Instead, in charming literary style, with much sophistry, many
paradoxes, numerous irrelevant digressions upon topics having no relation
to education, and in no systematic order, Rousseau presented his ideas as
to the nature and purpose of education. Emphasizing the importance of the
natural development of the child (R. 264 a), he contended that the three
great teachers of man were nature, man, and experience, and that the
second and third tended to destroy the value of the first (R. 264 b); that
the child should be handled in a new way, and that the most important item
in his training up to twelve years of age was to do nothing (R. 264 c, d)
so that nature might develop his character properly (R. 264 e); and that
from twelve to fifteen his education should be largely from things and
nature, and not from books (R. 264 f). As the outcome of such an education
Rousseau produced a boy who, from his point of view, would at eighteen
still be natural (R. 264 g) and unspoiled by the social life about him,
which, after all, he felt was soon to pass away (R. 264 i). The old
religious instruction he would completely supersede (R. 264 h).


So depraved was the age, and so wretched were the educational practices of
his time, that, in spite of the malevolent impulse which was his driving
force, what he wrote actually contained many excellent ideas, pointed the
way to better practices, and became an inspiration for others who, unlike
Rousseau, were deeply interested in problems of education and child
welfare. One cannot study Rousseau's writings as a whole, see him in his
eighteenth-century setting, know of his personal life, and not feel that
the far-reaching reforms produced by his _Emile_ are among the strangest
facts in history.

THE VALUABLE ELEMENTS IN ROUSSEAU'S WORK. Amid his glittering generalities
and striking paradoxes Rousseau did, however, set forth certain important
ideas as to the proper education of children. Popularizing the best ideas
of the Englishman, Locke (p. 433), Rousseau may be said to have given
currency to certain conceptions as to the education of children which, in
the hands of others, brought about great educational changes. Briefly
stated, these were:

1. The replacement of authority by reason and investigation.

2. That education should be adapted to the gradually unfolding
capacities of the child.

3. That each age in the life of a child has activities which are
normal to that age, and that education should seek for and follow

4. That physical activity and health are of first importance.

5. That education, and especially elementary education, should take
place through the senses, rather than through the memory.

6. That the emphasis placed on the memory in education is
fundamentally wrong, dwarfing the judgment and reason of the child.

7. That catechetical and Jesuitical types of education should be

8. That the study of theological subtleties is unsuited to child needs
or child capacity.

9. That the natural interests, curiosity, and activities of children
should be utilized in their education.

10. That the normal activities of children call for expression, and
that the best means of utilizing these activities are conversation,
writing, drawing, music, and play.

11. That education should no longer be exclusively literary and
linguistic, but should be based on sense perception, expression,
and reasoning.

12. That such education calls for instruction in the book of nature,
with home geography and the investigation of elementary problems in
science occupying a prominent place.

13. That the child be taught rather than the subject-matter; life here
rather than hereafter; and the development of reason rather than
the loading of the memory, were the proper objects of education.

14. That a many-sided education is necessary to reveal child
possibilities; to correct the narrowing effect of specialized class
education; and to prepare one for possible changes in fortune.

A new educational ideal presented. Rousseau's _Emile_ presented a new
ideal in education. According to his conception it was debasing that man
should be educated to behave correctly in an artificial society, to follow
blindly the doctrines of a faith, or to be an obedient subject of a king.
Instead he conceived the function of education to be to evolve the natural
powers, cultivate the human side, unfold the inborn capacities of every
human being, and to develop a reasoning individual, capable of
intelligently directing his life under diverse conditions and in any form
of society. A book setting forth such ideas naturally was revolutionary
[1] in matters of education. It deeply influenced thinkers along these
lines during the remaining years of the eighteenth century, and became the
inspiring source of nineteenth-century reforms. As Rousseau's _Social
Contract_ became the political handbook of the French Revolutionists, so
his _Emile_ became the inspiration of a new theory as to the education of

Coming, as it did, at a time when political and ecclesiastical despotisms
were fast breaking down in France, when new forces were striving for
expression throughout Europe, and when new theories as to the functions of
government were being set forth in the American Colonies and in France, it
gave the needed inspiration for the evolution of a new theory of non-
religious, universal, and democratic education which would prepare
citizens for intelligent participation in the functions of a democratic
State, and for a reorganization of the subject-matter of education itself.
A new theory as to the educational purpose was soon to arise, and the
whole nature of the educational process, in the hands of others, was soon
to be transformed as a result of the fortunate conjunction of the
iconoclastic and impractical discussion of education by Rousseau and the
more practical work of English, French, and American political theorists
and statesmen. Out of the fusing of these, modern educational theory


INFLUENCE OF THE _EMILE_ IN GERMAN LANDS. The _Emile_ was widely read, not
only in France, but throughout the continent of Europe as well. In German
lands its publication coincided with the rising tide of nationalism--the
"Period of Enlightenment"--and the book was warmly welcomed by such (then
young) men as Goethe, Schiller, Herder, Richter, Fichte, and Kant. It
presented a new ideal of education and a new ideal for humanity, and its
ideas harmonized well with those of the newly created aristocracy of worth
which the young German enthusiasts were busily engaged in proclaiming for
their native land. The ideal of the perfected individual, strong in the
consciousness of his powers, now found expression in the new "classics of
individualism" which marked the outburst of the best that German
literature has ever produced. As Paulsen [2] well says:

Rousseau exercised an immense influence on his times, and Germany was
stirred perhaps even more deeply than France. In France Voltaire
continued to be regarded as the great man of his time, whereas, in
Germany, his place in the esteem of the younger generation had been
taken by the enthusiast of Geneva. Kant, Herder, Goethe, Schiller,
Fichte, all of them were roused by Rousseau to the inmost depths of
their natures. He gave utterance to the passionate longing of their
souls: to do away with the imitation of French courtly culture, by
which Nature was suppressed and perverted in every way, to do away
with the established political and social order, based on court
society and class distinctions, which was felt to be lowering to man
in his quality as a reasonable being, and to return to Nature, to
simple and unsophisticated habits of life, or rather to find a way
through Nature to a better civilisation, which would restore the
natural values of life to their rightful place and would be compatible
with truth and virtue, sincerity and probity of character.

The great German philosopher, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), was so deeply
stirred by the _Emile_ that the regularity of his daily walks and the
clearness of his thinking were disturbed by it. Goethe called the book
"the teacher's Gospel." Schiller praised Rousseau as "a new Socrates, who
of Christians wished to make men." Herder acclaimed Rousseau as a German,
and his "divine work" as his guide. Jean-Paul Richter confessed himself
indebted to Rousseau for the best ideas in his _Levana_. Lavater declared
himself ready for a Reformation in education along the lines laid down by

[Illustration: FIG. 64. BASEDOW (1723-90)]

BASEDOW AND HIS WORK. Perhaps the most important practical influence
exerted by the _Emile_ in German lands came in the work of Johann Bernard
Basedow and his followers. Basedow was a North German who had been
educated in the _Gymnasium_ at Hamburg, had studied in the theological
faculty at Leipzig, had been a tutor in a nobleman's family, and had been
a teacher in a _Ritterakademie_ in Denmark and the _Gymnasium_ at Altona.
Deeply imbued with the new scientific spirit, in thorough revolt against
the dominance of the Church in human lives, and incited to new efforts by
his reading of the _Emile_, Basedow thought out a plan for a reform school
which should put many of Rousseau's ideas into practice. In 1768 he issued
his _Address to Philanthropists and Men of Property on Schools and Studies
and their Influence on the Public Weal_, in which he appealed for funds to
enable him to open a school to try out his ideas, and to enable him to
prepare a new type of textbooks for the use of schools. He proposed in
this appeal to organize a school which should be non-sectarian, and also
advocated the creation of a National Council of Education to have charge
of all public instruction. These were essentially the ideas of the French
political reformers of the time. The appeal was widely scattered, awakened
much enthusiasm, and subscriptions to assist him poured in from many
sources. [3]

In 1774 Basedow published two works of more than ordinary importance. The
first, a _Book of Method for Fathers and Mothers of Families and of
Nations_, was a book for adults, and outlined a plan of education for both
boys and girls. The keynotes were "following nature," "impartial religious
instruction," children to be dealt with as children, learning through the
senses, language instruction by a natural method, and much study of
natural objects. The ideas were a combination of those of Bacon, Comenius,
and Rousseau. The second book, in four volumes, and containing one hundred
copper-plate illustrations, was the famous _Elementary Work_
(_Elementarwerk mit Kupfern_) (R. 266), the first illustrated school
textbook since the _Orbis Pictus_ (1654) of Comenius. This work of
Basedow's became, in German lands, the _Orbis Pictus_ of the eighteenth
century. By means of its "natural methods" (R. 265) children were to be
taught to read, both the vernacular and Latin, more easily and in less
time than had been done before, and in addition were to be given a
knowledge of morals, commerce, scientific subjects, and social usages by
"an incomparable method," founded on experience in teaching children. The
book enjoyed a wide circulation among the middle and upper classes in
German lands.

BASEDOW'S _PHILANTHROPINUM_. In 1774 Prince Leopold, of Dessau, a town in
the duchy of Anhalt, in northern Germany, gave Basedow the use of two
buildings and a garden, and twelve thousand thalers in money, with which
to establish his long-heralded _Philanthropinum_, which was to be an
educational institution of a new type. Great expectations were aroused,
and a widespread interest in the new school awakened. Education according
to nature, with a reformed, time-saving, natural method for the teaching
of languages, were to be its central ideas. Children were to be treated as
children, and not as adults. Powdered hair, gilded coats, swords, rouge,
and hoops were to be discarded for short hair, clean faces, sailor
jackets, and caps, while the natural plays of children and directed
physical training were to be made a feature of the instruction. The
languages were to be taught by conversational methods. Each child was to
be taught a handicraft--turning, planing, and carpentering were provided--
for both social and educational reasons. Instruction in real things--
science, nature--was to take the place of instruction in words, and the
vernacular was to be the language of instruction. The institution was to
have the atmosphere of religion, but was not to be Catholic, Lutheran,
Reformed, or Jewish, and was to be free from "theologizing distinctions."
Latin, German, French, mathematics, a knowledge of nature (geography,
physics, natural history), music, dancing, drawing, and physical training
were the principal subjects of instruction. The children were divided into
four classes, and the instruction for each, with the textbooks to be used,
was outlined (R. 265).

The school opened with Basedow and three assistants as teachers, and two
of Basedow's children and twelve others as pupils. Later the school came
to have many boarding pupils, drawn from as far-distant points as Riga and
Spain. In 1776 a public examination was held, to which many distinguished
men were invited, and the work which Basedow's methods could produce was
exhibited. These methods seem to have been successful, judging from the
rather full accounts which have been left us. [4] The school represented a
new type of educational effort, and was frankly experimental in purpose.
It was an attempt to apply, in practice, the main ideas of Rousseau's
_Emile_. Basedow tried the plan of education outlined by Rousseau with his
own daughter, whom he named Emilie.


As a promising experiment the school awakened widespread interest, and
Basedow was supported by such thinkers of the time as Goethe and Kant. The
year following the "Examination" Kant, then professor of philosophy at the
University of Koenigsberg, contributed an article to the _Koenigsberg
Gazette_ explaining the importance of the experiment Basedow was making.
Still later, in his university lectures _On Pedagogy_, he further stated
the importance of such a new experiment, in the following words:

It was imagined that experiments in education were not necessary; and
that, whether any thing in it was good or bad, could be judged of by
the reason. But this was a great mistake; experience shows very often
that results are produced precisely the opposite to those which had
been expected. We also see from experiment that one generation cannot
work out a complete plan of education. The only experimental school
which has made a beginning toward breaking the path was the Dessau
institution. This praise must be given to it, in spite of the many
faults which may be charged against it; faults which belong to all
conclusions based upon such undertakings; and which make new
experiments always necessary. It was the only school in which the
teachers had the liberty to work after their own methods and plans,
and where they stood in connection, not only with each other, but with
men of learning throughout all Germany.

BASEDOW'S INFLUENCE, AND FOLLOWERS. Basedow, though, was an impractical
theorist, boastful and quarrelsome, vulgar and coarse, given to
drunkenness and intemperate speech, and fond of making claims for his work
which the results did not justify. In a few years he had been displaced as
director, and in 1793 the _Philanthropinum_ closed its doors. The school,
nevertheless, was a very important educational experiment, and Basedow's
work for a time exerted a profound influence on German pedagogical
thought. He may be said to have raised instruction in the _Realien_ in
German lands to a place of distinct importance, and to have given a turn
to such instruction which it has ever since retained. [5] The methods of
instruction, too, worked out in arithmetic, geography, geometry, natural
history, physics, and history were in many ways as revolutionary as those
evolved by Pestalozzi later on in Switzerland. In his emphasis on
scientific subject-matter Basedow surpassed Pestalozzi, but Pestalozzi
possessed a clearer, intuitive insight into the nature and purpose of the
educational process. The work of the two men furnishes an interesting
basis for comparison (R. 271), and the work of each gave added importance
to that of the other.

From Dessau an interest in pedagogical ideas and experiments spread over
Europe, and particularly over German lands. Other institutions, modeled
after the _Philanthropinum_, were founded in many places, and some of
Basedow's followers [6] did as important work along certain lines as did
Basedow himself. His followers were numerous, and of all degrees of worth.
They urged acceptance of the new ideas of Rousseau as worked out and
promulgated by Basedow; vigorously attacked the old schools, making
converts here and there; and in a way helped to prepare northern German
lands for the incoming, later, of the better-organized ideas of the
German-Swiss reformer Pestalozzi, to whose work we next turn.


THE INSPIRATION OF PESTALOZZI. Among those most deeply influenced by
Rousseau's _Emile_ was a young German-Swiss by the name of Johann Heinrich
Pestalozzi, who was born (1746) and brought up in the ancient city of
Zurich. Inspired by Rousseau's writings he spent the early part of his
life in trying to render service to the poor, and the latter part in
working out for himself a theory and a method of instruction based on the
natural development of the child. To Pestalozzi, more than to any one
else, we owe the foundations of the modern secular vernacular elementary
school, and in consequence his work is of commanding importance in the
history of the development of educational practice.

Trying to educate his own child according to Rousseau's plan, he not only
discovered its impracticability but also that the only way to improve on
it was to study the children themselves. Accordingly he opened a school
and home on his farm at Neuhof, in 1774. Here he took in fifty abandoned
children, to whom he taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, gave them
moral discourses, and trained them in gardening, farming, and cheese-
making. It was an attempt to regenerate beggars by means of education,
which Pestalozzi firmly believed could be done. At the end of two years he
had spent all the money he and his wife possessed, and the school closed
in failure--a blessing in disguise--though with Pestalozzi's faith in the
power of education unshaken. Of this experiment he wrote: "For years I
have lived in the midst of fifty little beggars, sharing in my poverty my
bread with them, living like a beggar myself in order to teach beggars to
live like men."

Turning next to writing, while continuing to farm, Pestalozzi now tried to
express his faith in education in printed form. His _Leonard and Gertrude_
(1781) was a wonderfully beautiful story of Swiss peasant life, and of the
genius and sympathy and love of a woman amid degrading surroundings. From
a wretched place the village of Bonnal, under Pestalozzi's pen, was
transformed by the power of education. [7] The book was a great success
from the first, and for it Pestalozzi was made a "citizen" of the French
Republic, along with Washington, Madison, Kosciusko, Wilberforce, and Tom
Paine. He continued to farm and to think, though nearly starving, until
1798, when the opportunity for which he was really fitted came.

proclaimed, an event which divided Pestalozzi's life into two parts. Up to
this time he had been interested wholly in the philanthropic aspect of
education, believing that the poor could be regenerated through education
and labor. From this time on he interested himself in the teaching aspect
of the problem, in the working-out and formulation of a teaching method
based on the natural development of the child, and in training others to
teach. Much to the disgust of the authorities of the new Swiss Government,
citizen Pestalozzi applied for service as a schoolteacher. The opportunity
to render such service soon came.

That autumn the French troops invaded Switzerland, and, in putting down
the stubborn resistance of the three German cantons, shot down a large
number of the people. Orphans to the number of 169 were left in the little
town of Stanz, and citizen Pestalozzi was given charge of them. For six
months he was father, mother, teacher, and nurse. Then, worn out himself,
the orphanage was changed into a hospital. A little later he became a
schoolmaster in Burgdorf; was dismissed; became a teacher in another
school; and finally, in 1800, opened a school himself in an old castle
there. He now drew about him other teachers interested in improving
instruction, and in consequence could specialize the work. He provided
separate teachers for drawing and singing, geography and history, language
and arithmetic, and gymnastics. The year following the school was enlarged
into a teachers' training-school, the government extending him aid in
return for giving Swiss teachers one month of training as teachers in his
school. Here he wrote and published _How Gertrude teaches her Children_,
which explained his methods and forms his most important pedagogical work
(R. 267); a _Guide for teaching Spelling and Reading_; and a _Book for
Mothers_, devoted to a description of "object teaching." In 1803, the
castle being needed by the government, Pestalozzi moved first to
Munchenbuchsee, near Hofwyl, opening his Institute temporarily in an old
convent there. For a few months, in 1804, he was associated with Emanuel
von Fellenberg, at Hofwyl (p. 546), but in October, 1804, he moved to
Yverdon, where he reestablished the Institute, and where the next twenty
years of his life were spent and his greatest success achieved.


THE CONTRIBUTION OF PESTALOZZI. The great contribution of Pestalozzi lay
in that, following the lead of Rousseau, he rejected the religious aim and
the teaching of mere words and facts, which had characterized all
elementary education up to near the close of the eighteenth century, and
tried instead to reduce the educational process to a well-organized
routine, based on the natural and orderly development of the instincts,
capacities, and powers of the growing child. Taking Rousseau's idea of a
return to nature, he tried to apply it to the education of children. This
led to his rejection of what he called the "empty chattering of mere
words" and "outward show" in the instruction in reading and the catechism,
and the introduction in their place of real studies, based on observation,
experimentation, and reasoning. "Sense impression" became his watchword.
[8] As he expressed it, he "tried to organize and psychologize the
educational process" by harmonizing it with the natural development of the
child (R. 267). To this end he carefully studied children, and developed
his methods experimentally as a result of his observation. To this end,
both at Burgdorf and Yverdon, all results of preceding teachers and
writers on education were rejected, for fear that error might creep in.
Read nothing, discover everything, and prove all things, came to be the
working guides of himself and his teachers.

The development of man he believed to be organic, and to proceed according
to law. It was the work of the teacher to discover these laws of
development and to assist nature in securing "a natural, symmetrical, and
harmonious development" of all the "faculties" of the child. Real
education must develop the child as a whole--mentally, physically,
morally--and called for the training of the head and the hand and the
heart. The only proper means for developing the powers of the child was
use, and hence education must guide and stimulate self-activity, be based
on intuition and exercise, and the sense impressions must be organized and
directed. Education, too, if it is to follow the organic development of
the child, must observe the proper progress of child development and be
graded, so that each step of the process shall grow out of the preceding
and grow into the following stage. To accomplish these ends the training
must be all-round and harmonious; much liberty must be allowed the child
in learning; education must proceed largely by doing instead of by words,
the method of learning must be largely analytical; real objects and ideas
must precede symbols and words; and, finally, the organization and
correlation of what is learned must be looked after by the teacher.


Still more, Pestalozzi possessed a deep and abiding faith, new at the
time, in the power of education as a means of regenerating society. He had
begun his work by trying to "teach beggars to live like men," and his
belief in the potency of education in working this transformation, so
touchingly expressed in his _Leonard and Gertrude_, never left him. He
believed that each human being could be raised through the influence of
education to the level of an intellectually free and morally independent
life, and that every human being was entitled to the right to attain such
freedom and independence. The way to this lay through the full use of his
developing powers, under the guidance of a teacher, and not through a
process of repeating words and learning by heart. Not only the
intellectual qualities of perception, judgment, and reasoning need
exercise, but the moral powers as well. To provide such exercise and
direction was the work of the school.

Pestalozzi also resented the brutal discipline which for ages had
characterized all school instruction, believed it by its very nature
immoral, and tried to substitute for this a strict but loving discipline--
a "thinking love," he calls it--and to make the school as nearly as
possible like a gentle and refined home. To a Swiss father, who on
visiting his school exclaimed, "Why, this is not a school, but a family,"
Pestalozzi answered that such a statement was the greatest praise he could
have given him.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF THESE IDEAS. The educational consequences of these new
ideas were very large. They in time gave aim and purpose to the elementary
school of the nineteenth century, transforming it from an instrument of
the Church for church ends, to an instrument of society to be used for its
own regeneration and the advancement of the welfare of all. [9] The
introduction of the study of natural objects in place of words, and much
talking about what was seen and studied instead of parrot-like
reproductions of the words of a book, revolutionized both the methods and
the subject-matter of instruction in the developing elementary school.
Observation and investigation tended to supersede mere memorizing; class
discussion and thinking to supersede the reciting of the words of the
book; thinking about what was being done to supersede routine learning;
and class instruction to supersede the wasteful individual teaching which
had for so long characterized all school work. It meant the reorganization
of the work of the vernacular school on a modern basis, with class
organization and group instruction, and a modern-world purpose (R. 269).

The work of Pestalozzi also meant the introduction of new subject-matter
for instruction, the organization of new teaching subjects for the
elementary school, and the redirection of the elementary education of
children. Observation led to the development of elementary-science study,
and the study of home geography; talking about what was observed led to
the study of language usage, as distinct from the older study of grammar;
and counting and measuring led to the study of number, and hence to a new
type of primary arithmetic. The reading of the school also changed both in
character and purpose. In other words, in place of an elementary education
based on reading, a little writing and spelling, and the catechism, all of
a memoriter type and with religious ends in view, a new primary school,
essentially secular in character, was created by the work of Pestalozzi.
This new school was based on the study of real objects, learning through
sense impressions, the individual expression of ideas, child activity, and
the development of the child's powers in an orderly way. In fact, "the
development of the faculties" of the child became a by-word with
Pestalozzi and his followers.

Pestalozzi's deep abiding faith in the power of education to regenerate
society was highly influential in Switzerland, throughout western Europe,
and later in America in showing how to deal with orphans, vagrants, and
those suffering from physical defects or in need of reformation, by
providing for such a combination of intellectual and industrial training.

Pestalozzi become that his schools at Burgdorf and Yverdon came to be
"show places," even in a land filled with natural wonders. Observers and
students came from America (R. 268) and from all over Europe to see and to
teach in his school, and draw inspiration from seeing his work (R. 270)
and talking with him. [10] In particular the educators of Prussia were
attracted by his work, and, earlier than other nations, saw the far-
reaching significance of his discoveries. Herbart visited his school as
early as 1799, when but a young man of twenty-three, and wrote a very
sympathetic description of his new methods. Froebel spent the years 1808
to 1810 as a teacher at Yverdon, when he was a young man of twenty-six to
eight. "It soon became evident to me," wrote Froebel, "that 'Pestalozzi'
was to be the watchword of my life." The philosopher Fichte, whose
Addresses (1807-08) on the condition of the German people (page 568),
after their humiliating defeat by Napoleon, did much to reveal to Prussia
the possibilities of national regeneration by means of education, had
taught in Zurich, knew Pestalozzi, and afterward exploited his work and
his ideas in Berlin. [11] As early as 1803 an envoy, sent by the Prussian
King, [12] reported favorably on Pestalozzi's work, and in 1804
Pestalozzian methods were authorized for the primary schools of Prussia.
In 1808 seventeen teachers were sent to Switzerland, at the expense of the
Prussian Government, to spend three years in studying Pestalozzi's ideas
and methods. On their return, these and others spread Pestalozzian ideas
throughout Prussia. A pastor and teacher from Wuertemberg, Karl August
Zeller (1774-1847), came to Burgdorf in 1803 to study. In 1806 he opened a
training-school for teachers in Zurich, and there worked out a plan of
studies based on the work of Pestalozzi. This was printed and attracted
much attention. In 1808 the King of Wuertemberg listened to five lectures
on Pestalozzian methods by Zeller, and invited him to a position as school
inspector in his State. Before he had done but a few months' work he was
called to Prussia, to organize a normal school and begin the introduction
of Pestalozzian ideas there. From Prussia the ideas and methods of
Pestalozzi gradually spread to the other German States.

Many Swiss teachers were trained by Pestalozzi, and these also helped to
extend his work and ideas over Switzerland. Particularly in German
Switzerland did his ideas take root and reorganize education. As a result
modern systems of education made an early start in these cantons. One of
Pestalozzi's earliest and most faithful teachers, Hermann Kruesi, became
principal of the Swiss normal school at Gais, and trained teachers there
in Pestalozzian methods. Zeller's pupils, too, did much to spread his
influence among the Swiss. Pestalozzi's ideas were also carried to
England, but in no such satisfactory manner as to the German States. Where
German lands received both the method and the spirit, the English obtained
largely the form. Later Pestalozzian ideas came to the United States, at
first largely through English sources, and, after about 1860, resulted in
a thoroughgoing reorganization of American elementary education.

After Pestalozzi's institution had become celebrated, and visitors and
commissions from many countries had visited him and it, and after
governments had vied with one another in introducing Pestalozzian methods
and reforms, the vogue of the Pestalozzian ideas became very extended.
Many excellent private schools were founded on the Pestalozzian model,
while on the other hand self-styled Pestalozzian reformers sprang up on
all sides. All this imitation was both natural and helpful; the
foolishness and charlatanism in time disappeared, leaving a real advance
in the educational conception.

followers of Pestalozzi one of the most influential was Phillip Emanuel
von Fellenberg (1771-1844). The son of a Swiss official of high political
and social position, possessed of wealth, having traveled extensively,
Fellenberg, having become convinced that correct early education was the
only means whereby the State might be elevated and the lot of man made
better, resolved (1805) to devote his life and his fortune to the working-
out of his ideas. For a short time associated with Pestalozzi, he soon
withdrew and established, on his own estate, an Institution which later
(1829) came to comprise the following:

1. A farm of about six hundred acres.

2. Workshops for manufacturing clothing and tools.

3. A printing and lithographing establishment.

4. A literary institution for the education of the well-to-do.

5. A lower or _real_ school, which trained for handicrafts and
middle-class occupations.

6. An agricultural school for the education of the poor as farm
laborers, and as teachers for the rural schools.

The first Agricultural and Mechanical College. This school contained the
germ-idea of all our agricultural education.]

By 1810 the Institution had begun to attract attention, and soon pupils
and visitors came from distant lands to study in and to examine the
schools. The agricultural school in particular aroused interest. More than
one hundred Reports (R. 272) were published, in Europe and America, on
this very successful experiment in a combined intellectual and manual-
labor type of education. Fellenberg died in 1844, and his family
discontinued the school in 1848.

Fellenberg's work was a continuation of the social-regeneration conception
of education held by Pestalozzi, and contained the germ-idea of all our
agricultural and industrial education. His plan was widely copied in
Switzerland, Germany, England, and the United States. It was well suited
to the United States because of the very democratic conditions then
prevailing among an agricultural people possessed of but little wealth.
The plan of combining farming and schooling made for a time a strong
appeal to Americans, and such schools were founded in many parts of the
country. The idea at first was to unite training in agriculture with
schooling, but it was soon extended to the rapidly rising mechanical
pursuits as well. The plan, however, was rather short-lived in the United
States, due to the rise of manufacturing and the opening of rich and cheap
farms to the westward, and lasted with us scarcely two decades. A
generation later it reappeared in the Central West in the form of a new
demand for colleges to teach agricultural and mechanical arts, but with
the manual-labor idea omitted. This we shall refer to again, later on
(chapter xxix).

[Illustration: FIG. 167. FELLENBERG (1771-1844)]


SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS WORK. Though some form of parish school for the
elements of religious instruction had existed in many places during the
later Middle Ages, and foundations providing for some type of elementary
instruction had appeared here and there in almost all lands, the
elementary vernacular school, as we have previously pointed out, was
nevertheless clearly the outcome of the Protestant movement in the
sixteenth century, and in its origin was essentially a child of the
Church. A child of the Church, too, for more than two centuries the
elementary vernacular school remained. During these two centuries the
elementary school made slow but rather unsatisfactory progress, due
largely to there being no other motive for its maintenance or expansion
than the original religious purpose. Only in the New England Colonies in
North America, in some of the provinces of the Netherlands, and in a few
of the German States had any real progress been made in evolving any
different type of school out of this early religious creation, and even in
these places the change was in form of control rather than in subject-
matter or purpose. The school remained religious in purpose, even though
its control was beginning to pass from the Church to the State.

Now, within half a century, beginning with the work of Rousseau (1762),
and by means of the labors of the political philosophers of France, the
Revolutionary leaders in the American Colonies, the legislative Assemblies
and Conventions in France, and the experimental work of Basedow and his
followers in German lands and of Pestalozzi and his disciples in
Switzerland, the whole purpose and nature of the elementary vernacular
school was changed. The American and French political revolutions and the
more peaceful changes in England had ushered in new conceptions as to the
nature and purpose and duties of government. As a consequence of these new
ideas, education had come to be regarded in a new light, and to assume a
new importance in the eyes of statesmen. In place of schools to serve
religious and sectarian ends, and maintained as an adjunct of the parishes
or of a State Church, the elementary vernacular school now came to be
conceived of as an instrument of the State, the chief purpose of which was
to serve state ends. Some time would, of course, be required to develop
the state support necessary to effect the complete transformation in
control, and the forces of reaction would naturally delay the process as
much as possible, but the theory of state purpose had at last been so
effectively proclaimed, and the forces of a modern world were pushing the
idea so steadily forward, that it was only a question of time until the
change would be effected.

A NEW IMPETUS FOR CHANGE IN CONTROL. Basedow and Pestalozzi, too, had
given the movement for a transfer of control a new impetus by working out
new methods in instruction and in organizing new subject-matter for the
school, and methods and subject-matter which harmonized with the spirit
and principles of the new democracy that had been proclaimed. Pestalozzi
in particular had sought, guided by a clearer insight into the educational
problem than Basedow possessed (R. 271), to create a school in which
children might, under the wise guidance of the teacher, develop and
strengthen their own "faculties" and thus evolve into reasoning, self-
directing human beings, fitted for usefulness and service in a modern
world. To make intelligent and reasoning individuals of all citizens, to
develop moral and civic character, to train for life in organized society,
and to serve as an instrument by means of which an ignorant, drunken,
immoral, and shiftless working-class and peasantry might be elevated into
men and women of character, intelligence, and directive power, was in
Pestalozzi's conception the underlying meaning of the school. After
Pestalozzi, the earlier conception as to the religious purpose of the
elementary vernacular schools, by means of which children were to be
trained almost exclusively "in the principles of our holy religion" and to
become "loyal church members," and to "fit them for that station in life
in which it hath pleased their Heavenly Father to place them," was doomed.
In its stead there was certain to arise a newer conception of the school
as an instrument of that form of organized society known as the State, and
maintained by the State to train its future citizens for intelligent
participation in the duties and obligations of citizenship, and for
social, moral, and economic efficiency.

THE WAY NOW BECOMING CLEAR. After two hundred and fifty years of confusion
and political failure, the way was now at last becoming clear for the
creation of national instead of church systems of elementary education,
and for the firm establishment of the elementary vernacular school as an
important obligation to its future citizens of every progressive modern
State and the common birthright of all. This became distinctively the work
of the nineteenth century. It also became the work of the nineteenth
century to gather up the old secondary-school and university foundations,
accumulated through the ages, and remould them to meet modern needs, fuse
them into the national school systems created, and connect them in some
manner with the people's schools. To see how this was done we next turn to
the beginnings of the organization of national school systems in the
German States, France, Italy, England, and the United States. These may be
taken as types. As Prussia was the first modern State to grasp the
significance of national education, and to organize state schools, we
shall begin our study by first tracing the steps by which this
transformation was effected there.


1. Compare the statement of the valuable elements in the theories of
Rousseau (p. 530) with the main ideas of Basedow (p. 535); Ratke (p. 607);
Comenius (p. 409).

2. Do we accept all the fourteen points of Rousseau's theory to-day?

3. Might a Rousseau have done work of similar importance in Russia, early
in the twentieth century? Why?

4. Explain the educational significance of "self-activity," "sense
impressions," and "harmonious development."

5. What were the strong points in the experimental work of Basedow?

6. Explain the great enthusiasm which his rather visionary statements and
plans awakened.

7. Show the importance of such work as that of Basedow in preparing the
way for better-organized reform work.

8. How far was Pestalozzi right as to the power of education to give men
intellectual and moral freedom?

9. What do you understand Pestalozzi to have meant by "the development of
the faculties"?

10. State the importance of the work of Pestalozzi from the point of view
of showing the world how to deal with orphans and defectives.

11. Show how the germs of agricultural and technical education lay in the
work of Fellenberg.

12. Explain the greater popularity of the _Emile_ in German lands.

13. State the change in subject-matter and aims from the vernacular church
school to the school as thought out by Pestalozzi.

14. Show that it was a fortunate conjunction that brought the work of
Pestalozzi alongside of that of the political reformers of France.

15. What differences might there have been had Comenius lived and done his
work in the time of Pestalozzi?


In the accompanying _Book of Readings_ the following selections,
illustrative of the contents of this chapter, are reproduced:

264. Rousseau: Illustrative Selections from the _Emile_.
265. Basedow: Instruction in the _Philanthropinum_.
266. Basedow: A Page from the _Elementarwerk_.
267. Pestalozzi: Explanation of his Work.
268. Griscom: A Visit to Pestalozzi at Yverdon.
269. Woodbridge: An Estimate of Pestalozzi's Work.
270. Dr. Mayo: On Pestalozzi.
271. Woodbridge: Work of Pestalozzi and Basedow compared.
272. Griscom: Hofwyl as seen by an American.


1. Show the fallacy of Rousseau's reasoning (264 d) as to society being a
denominator which prevents man from realizing himself.

2. What are the elements of truth and falsity in Rousseau's idling-to-the-
twelfth-year (264 d) idea?

3. Would such a training up to twelve (264 e) be possible, or desirable?

4. What type of education is presupposed in 264 f?

5. Show the similarity in the conceptions of the _Orbis Pictus_ (221) and
the _Elementarwerk_ (266).

6. What types of schools and conceptions of education were combined in the
Philanthropinum (265)?

7. Just what did Pestalozzi attempt (267) to accomplish?

8. Compare the accounts as to purpose and instruction given by Pestalozzi
(267) and Griscom (268).

9. What do the tributes of Woodbridge (269) and Mayo (270) reveal as to
the character of Pestalozzi and his influence?

10. Analyze the courses of instruction (272) at Hofwyl.

11. State the points of similarity and difference between the work of
Basedow and Pestalozzi (271), and the points of superiority in the work of


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