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of providing the rudiments of an education to those too poor to pay for schooling. These Societies were usually organized by philanthropic citizens, willing to contribute something yearly to provide some little education for a few of the many children in the city having no opportunities for any instruction. A number of these Societies were able to effect some financial connection with the city or the State.

One of the first of these School Societies was “The Manumission Society,” organized in New York, in 1785, for the purpose of “mitigating the evils of slavery, to defend the rights of the blacks, and especially to give them the elements of an education.” Alexander Hamilton and John Jay were among its organizers. A free school for colored pupils was opened, in 1787. This grew and prospered and was aided from time to time by the city, and in 1801 by the State. Finally, in 1834, all its schools were merged with those of the “Public School Society” of the city. In 1801 the first free school for poor white children “whose parents belong to no religious society, and who, from some cause or other, cannot be admitted into any of the charity schools of the city,” was opened. This was provided by the “Association of Women Friends for the Relief of the Poor,” which engaged “a widow woman of good education and morals as instructor” at L30 per year. This Association also prospered, and received some city or state aid up to 1824. By 1823 it was providing free elementary education for 750 children. Its schools also were later merged with those of the “Public School Society.”

“THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SOCIETY.” Perhaps the most famous of all the early subscription societies for the maintenance of schools for the poor was the “New York Free School Society,” which later changed its name to that of “The Public School Society of New York.” This was organized, in 1805, under the leadership of De Witt Clinton, then mayor of the city, he heading the subscription list with a promise of $200 a year for support. On May 14, 1806, the following advertisement appeared in the daily papers:


The Trustees of the Society for establishing a Free School in the city of New York, for the education of such poor children as do not belong to, or are not provided for by any religious Society, having engaged a Teacher, and procured a School House for the accommodation of a School, have now the pleasure of announcing that it is proposed to receive scholars of the descriptions alluded to without delay; applications may be made to, &c.

Four days later the officers of the Society issued a general appeal to the public (R. 311), setting forth the purposes of the Society and soliciting funds.

Built in 1809, in Tryon Row. Cost, without site, $13,000.]

This Society was chartered by the legislature “to provide schooling for all children who are the proper objects of a gratuitous education.” It organized free public education in the city, secured funds, built schoolhouses, provided and trained teachers, and ably supplemented the work of the private and church schools. By its energy and its persistence it secured for itself a large share of public confidence, and aroused a constantly increasing interest in the cause of popular education. In 1853, after it had educated over 600,000 children and trained over 1200 teachers, this Society, its work done, surrendered its charter and turned over its buildings and equipment to the public-school department of the city, which had been created by the legislature in 1842.

SCHOOL SOCIETIES ELSEWHERE. The “Benevolent Society of the City of Baltimore for the Education of the Female Poor,” founded in 1799, and the “Male Free Society of Baltimore,” organized a little later, were other of these early school societies, though neither became so famous as the Public School Society of New York. The schools of the city of Washington were started by subscription, in 1804, and for some time were in part supported by subscriptions from public-spirited citizens. [4] This society did an important work in accustoming the people of the capital city to the provision of some form of free education.

In 1800 “The Philadelphia Society [5] for the Free Instruction of Indigent Boys” was formed, which a little later changed to “The Philadelphia Society for the Establishment and Support of Charity Schools.” In 1814 “The Society for the Promotion of a Rational System of Education” was organized in Philadelphia, and four years later the public sentiment awakened by a combination of the work of this Society and the coming of the Lancastrian system of instruction enabled the city to secure a special law permitting Philadelphia to organize a system of city schools for the education of the children of its poor. Other societies which rendered useful educational service include the “Mechanics and Manufacturers Association,” of Providence, Rhode Island, organized in 1789 (Rs. 308, 310); “The Albany Lancastrian School Society,” organized in 1826, for the education of the poor of the city in monitorial schools; and the school societies organized in Savannah in 1818, and Augusta, in 1821, “to afford education to the children of indigent parents.” Both these Georgia societies received some support from state funds.

The formation of these school societies, the subscriptions made by the leading men of the cities, the bequests for education, and the grants of some city and state aid to these societies, all of which in time became somewhat common, indicate a slowly rising interest in providing schools for the education of all. This rising interest in education was greatly stimulated by the introduction from England, about this time, of a new and what for the time seemed a wonderful system for the organization of education, the Lancastrian monitorial plan.

THE LANCASTRIAN MONITORIAL SCHOOLS. Church-of-England ideas were not in much favor in the United States for some time after the close of the Revolutionary War, and in consequence it was the Lancastrian plan which was brought over and popularized. In 1806 the first monitorial school was opened in New York City, and, once introduced, the system quickly spread from Massachusetts to Georgia, and as far west as Cincinnati, Louisville, and Detroit. In 1826 Maryland instituted a state system of Lancastrian schools, with a Superintendent of Public Instruction, but in 1828 abandoned the idea and discontinued the office. A state Lancastrian system for North Carolina was proposed in 1832, but failed of adoption by the legislature. In 1829 Mexico organized higher Lancastrian schools for the Mexican State of Texas. In 1818 Lancaster himself went to America, and was received with much distinction. Most of the remaining twenty years of his life were spent in organizing and directing schools in various parts of the United States.

In many of the rising cities of the eastern part of the country the first free schools established were Lancastrian schools. The system provided education at so low a cost (p. 629) that it made the education of all for the first time seem possible. [6] The first free schools in Philadelphia (1818) were an outgrowth of Lancastrian influence, as was also the case in many other Pennsylvania cities. Baltimore began a Lancastrian school six years before the organization of public schools was permitted by law. A number of monitorial high schools were organized in different parts of the United States, and it was even proposed that the plan should be adopted in the colleges. A number of New England cities, that already had other type schools, investigated the new monitorial plan and were impressed with its many important points of superiority over methods then in use. The Report of the Investigating Committee (1828) for Boston (R. 312), forms a good example of such. As in England, the system was very popular from about 1810 to 1830, but by 1840 its popularity was over.

THE INTEREST THE NEW PLAN AWAKENED. It is not strange that the new plan aroused widespread enthusiasm in many discerning men, and for almost a quarter of a century was advocated as the best system of education then known. Two quotations will illustrate what leading men of the time thought of it. De Witt Clinton, for twenty-one years president of the New York “Free School Society,” and later governor of the State, wrote, in 1809:

When I perceive that many boys in our school have been taught to read and write in two months, who did not before know the alphabet, and that even one has accomplished it in three weeks–when I view all the bearings and tendencies of this system–when I contemplate the habits of order which it forms, the spirit of emulation which it excites, the rapid improvement which it produces, the purity of morals which it inculcates–when I behold the extraordinary union of celerity in instruction and economy of expense–and when I perceive one great assembly of a thousand children, under the eye of a single teacher, marching with unexampled rapidity and with perfect discipline to the goal of knowledge, I confess that I recognize in Lancaster the benefactor of the human race. I consider his system as creating a new era in education, as a blessing sent down from heaven to redeem the poor and distressed of this world from the power and dominion of ignorance.

In a message to the legislature of Connecticut, a State then fairly well supplied with schools of the Massachusetts district type, Governor Wolcott said, in 1825:

If funds can be obtained to defray the expenses of the necessary preparations, I have no doubt that schools on the Lancastrian model ought, as soon as possible, to be established in several parts of this state. Wherever from 200 to 1000 children can be convened within a suitable distance, this mode of instruction in every branch of reading, speaking, penmanship, arithmetic, and bookkeeping, will be found much more efficient, direct, and economical than the practices now generally pursued in our primary schools.

The Lancastrian schools materially hastened the adoption of the free school system in all the Northern States by gradually accustoming people to bearing the necessary taxation which free schools entail. They also made the common school common and much talked of, and awakened thought and provoked discussion on the question of public education. They likewise dignified the work of the teacher by showing the necessity for teacher- training. The Lancastrian Model Schools, first established in the United States in 1818, were the precursors of the American normal schools.

COMING OF THE INFANT SCHOOL. A curious early condition in America was that, in some of the cities where public schools had been established, by one agency or another, no provision had been made for beginners. These were supposed to obtain the elements of reading at home, or in the Dame Schools. In Boston, for example, where public schools were maintained by the city, no children could be received into the schools who had not learned to read and write (R. 314 a). This made the common age of admission somewhere near eight years. The same was in part true of Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and other cities. When the monitorial schools were established they tended to restrict their membership in a similar manner, though not always able to do so.

In 1816 there came to America, also from England, a valuable supplement to education as then known in the form of the so-called Infant Schools (p. 630). First introduced at Boston (R. 313), the Infant Schools proved popular, and in 1818 the city appropriated $5000 for the purpose of organizing such schools to supplement the public-school system. These were to admit children at four years of age, were to be known as primary schools, were to be taught by women, were to be open all the year round, and were to prepare the children for admission to the city schools, which by that time had come to be known as English grammar schools. Providence, similarly, established primary (Infant) schools in 1828 for children between the ages of four and eight, to supplement the work of the public schools, there called writing schools.

THE DAME SCHOOL ABSORBED. For New England the establishment of primary schools virtually took over the Dame School instruction as a public function, and added the primary grades to the previously existing school. We have here the origin of the division, often still retained at least in name in the Eastern States, of the “primary grades” and the “grammar grades” of the elementary school.

Erected in 1843. Cost (with site), $17,000. A typical New York school building, after 1830. The infant or primary school was on the first floor, the second floor contains the girls’ school, and the third floor the boys’ school. Each floor had one large room seating 252 children; the primary schoolroom could be divided into two rooms by folding doors, so as to segregate the infant class. This building was for long regarded as the perfection of the builder’s art, and its picture was printed for years on the cover of the Society’s Annual Reports.]

An “Infant-School Society” was organized in New York, in 1827. The first Infant School was established under the direction of the Public School Society as the “Junior Department” of School No. 8, with a woman teacher in charge, and using monitorial methods. A second school was established the next year. In 1830 the name was changed from Infant School to Primary Department, and where possible these departments were combined with the existing schools. In 1832 it was decided to organize ten primary schools, under women teachers, for children from four to ten years of age, and after the Boston plan of instruction. This abandoned the monitorial plan of instruction for the new Pestalozzian form, which was deemed better suited to the needs of the smaller children. By 1844 fifty-six Primary Departments had been organized in connection with the upper schools of the city.

In Philadelphia three Infant-School Societies were founded in 1827-28, and such schools were at once established there. By 1830 the directors of the school system had been permitted by the legislature of the State to expend public money for such schools, and thirty such, under women teachers, were in operation in the city by 1837.


PRIMARY EDUCATION ORGANIZED. The Infant-School idea was soon somewhat generally adopted by the Eastern cities, and changed somewhat to make of it an American primary school. Where children had not been previously admitted to the schools without knowing how to read, as in Boston, they supplemented the work of the public schools by adding a new school beneath. Where the reverse had been the case, as in New York City, the organization of Infant Schools as Junior Departments enabled the existing schools to advance their work. Everywhere it resulted, eventually, in the organization of primary and grammar school departments, often with intermediate departments in between, and, with the somewhat contemporaneous evolution of the first high schools, the main outlines of the American free public-school system were now complete.

These four important educational movements–the secular Sunday School, the semi-public city School Societies, the Lancastrian plan for instruction, and the Infant-School idea–all arising in philanthropy, came as successive educational ideas to America during the first half of the nineteenth century, supplemented one another, and together accustomed a new generation to the idea of a common school for all.


It is hardly probable, however, that these philanthropic efforts alone, valuable as they were, could have resulted in the great American battle for tax-supported schools, at as early a date as this took place, had they not been supplemented by a number of other movements of a social, political, and economic character which in themselves materially changed the nature and direction of our national life. The more important of these were: (1) The rise of cities and of manufacturing, (2) the extension of the suffrage, and (3) the rise of new class-demands for schools.

GROWTH OF CITY POPULATION AND MANUFACTURING. At the time of the inauguration of the National Government nearly every one in America lived on the farm or in some little village. The first forty years of the national life were essentially an agricultural and a pioneer period. Even as late as 1820 there were but thirteen cities of 8000 inhabitants or over in the whole of the twenty-three States at that time comprising the Union, and these thirteen cities contained but 4.9 per cent of the total population of the Nation.

After about 1825 these conditions began to change. By 1820 many little villages were springing up, and these frequently proved the nuclei for future cities. In New England many of these places were in the vicinity of some waterfall, where cheap power made manufacturing on a large scale possible. Lowell, Massachusetts, which in 1820 did not exist and in 1840 had a population of over twenty thousand people, collected there largely to work in the mills, is a good illustration. Other cities, such as Cincinnati and Detroit, grew because of their advantageous situation as exchange and wholesale centers. With the revival of trade and commerce after the second war with Great Britain the cities grew rapidly both in number and size.

The rise of the new cities and the rapid growth of the older ones materially changed the nature of the educational problem, by producing an entirely new set of social and educational conditions for the people of the Central and Northern States to solve. The South, with its plantation life, negro slavery, and absence of manufacturing was largely unaffected by these changed conditions until well after the close of the Civil War. In consequence the educational awakening there did not come for nearly half a century after it came in the North. In the cities in the coast States north of Maryland, but particularly in those of New York and New England, manufacturing developed very rapidly. Cotton-spinning in particular became a New England industry, as did also the weaving of wool, while Pennsylvania became the center of the iron manufacturing industries. [7]

The development of this new type of factory work meant the beginnings of the breakdown of the old home and village industries, the eventual abandonment of the age-old apprenticeship system (Rs. 200, 201), the start of the cityward movement of the rural population, and the concentration of manufacturing in large establishments, employing many hands to perform continuously certain limited phases of the manufacturing process. This in time was certain to mean a change in educational methods. It also called for the concentration of both capital and labor. The rise of the factory system, business on a large scale, and cheap and rapid transportation, all combined to diminish the importance of agriculture and to change the city from an unimportant to a very important position in our national life. The 13 cities of 1820 increased to 44 by 1840, and to 141 by 1860. There were four times as many cities in the North, too, where manufacturing had found a home, as in the South, which remained essentially agricultural.

NEW SOCIAL PROBLEMS IN THE CITIES. The many changes in the nature of industry and of village and home life, effected by the development of the factory system and the concentration of manufacturing and population in the cities, also contributed materially in changing the character of the old educational problem. When the cities were as yet but little villages in size and character, homogeneous in their populations, and the many social and moral problems incident to the congestion of peoples of mixed character had not as yet arisen, the church and charity and private school solution of the educational problem was reasonably satisfactory. As the cities now increased rapidly in size, became more city-like in character, drew to them diverse elements previously largely unknown, and were required by state laws to extend the right of suffrage to all their citizens, the need for a new type of educational organization began slowly but clearly to manifest itself to an increasing number of citizens. The church, charity, and private school system completely broke down under the new strain. School Societies and Educational Associations, organized for propaganda, now arose in the cities; grants of city or state funds for the partial support of both church and society schools were demanded and obtained; and numbers of charity organizations began to be established in the different cities to enable them to handle better the new problems of pauperism, intemperance, and juvenile delinquency which arose.

THE EXTENSION OF THE SUFFRAGE. The Constitution of the United States, though framed by the ablest men of the time, was framed by men who represented the old aristocratic conception of education and government. The same was true of the conventions which framed practically all the early state constitutions. The early period of the national life was thus characterized by the rule of a class–a very well-educated and a very capable class, to be sure–but a class elected by a ballot based on property qualifications and belonging to the older type of political and social thinking.

Notwithstanding the statements of the Declaration of Independence, the change came but slowly. Up to 1815 but four States had granted the right to vote to all male citizens, regardless of property holdings or other somewhat similar restrictions. After 1815 a democratic movement, which sought to abolish all class rule and all political inequalities, arose and rapidly gained strength. In this the new States to the westward, with their absence of old estates or large fortunes, and where men were judged more on their merits than in an older society, were the leaders. As will be seen from the map, every new State admitted east of the Mississippi River, except Ohio (admitted in 1802), where the New England element predominated, and Louisiana (1812), provided for full manhood suffrage at the time of its admission to statehood. Seven additional Eastern States had extended the same full voting privileges to their citizens by 1845, while the old requirements had been materially modified in most of the other Northern States. This democratic movement for the leveling of all class distinctions between white men became very marked, after 1820; came to a head in the election of Andrew Jackson as President, in 1828; and the final result was full manhood suffrage in all the States. This gave the farmer in the West and the new manufacturing classes in the cities a preponderating influence in the affairs of government.

[Illustration: FIG. 199. DATES OF THE GRANTING OF FULL MANHOOD SUFFRAGE Some of the older States granted almost full manhood suffrage at an earlier date, retaining a few minor restrictions until the date given on the map. States shaded granted full suffrage at the time of admission to the Union.]

EDUCATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE EXTENSION OF SUFFRAGE. The educational significance of the extension of full manhood suffrage to all was enormous and far-reaching.

There now took place in the United States, after about 1825, what took place in England after the passage of the Second Reform Act (p. 642) of 1867. With the extension of the suffrage to all classes of the population, poor as well as rich, laborer, as well as employer, there came to thinking men, often for the first time, a realization that general education had become a fundamental necessity for the State, and that the general education of all in the elements of knowledge and civic virtue must now assume that importance in the minds of the leaders of the State that the education of a few for the service of the Church and of the many for simple church membership had once held in the minds of ecclesiastics.

This new conception is well expressed in the preamble to the first (optional) school law enacted in Illinois (1825), which declares:

To enjoy our rights and liberties, we must understand them; their security and protection ought to be the first object of a free people; and it is a well-established fact that no nation has ever continued long in the enjoyment of civil and political freedom, which was not both virtuous and enlightened; and believing that the advancement of literature always has been, and ever will be the means of developing more fully the rights of man, that the mind of every citizen in a republic is the common property of society, and constitutes the basis of its strength and happiness; it is therefore considered the peculiar duty of a free government, like ours, to encourage and extend the improvement and cultivation of the intellectual energies of the whole.

UTTERANCES OF PUBLIC MEN AND WORKINGMEN. Governors now began to recommend to their legislatures the establishment of tax-supported schools, and public men began to urge state action and state control. An utterance by De Witt Clinton, for nine years governor of New York, may be taken as an example of many. In a message to the legislature, in 1826, defending the schools established, he said:

The first duty of government, and the surest evidence of good government, is the encouragement of education. A general diffusion of knowledge is a precursor and protector of republican institutions, and in it we must confide as the conservative power that will watch over our liberties and guard them against fraud, intrigue, corruption, and violence. I consider the system of our common schools as the palladium of our freedom, for no reasonable apprehension can be entertained of its subversion as long as the great body of the people are enlightened by education.

After about 1825 many labor unions were formed, and the representatives of these new organizations joined in the demands for schools and education, urging the free education of their children as a natural right. In 1829 the workingmen of Philadelphia asked each candidate for the legislature for a formal declaration of the attitude he would assume toward the provision of “an equal and a general system of education” for the State. In 1830 the Workingmen’s Committee of Philadelphia submitted a detailed report (R. 315), after five months spent in investigating educational conditions in Pennsylvania, vigorously condemning the lack of provision for education in the State, and the utterly inadequate provision where any was made. Seth Luther, in an address on “The Education of Workingmen,” delivered in 1832, declared that “a large body of human beings are ruined by a neglect of education, rendered miserable in the extreme, and incapable of self-government.” Stephen Simpson, in his _A Manual for Workingmen_, published in 1831, declared that “it is to education, therefore, that we must mainly look for redress of that perverted system of society, which dooms the producer to ignorance, to toil, and to penury, to moral degradation, physical want, and social barbarism.” Many resolutions were adopted by these organizations demanding free state- supported schools. [8]


THE ALIGNMENT OF INTERESTS. The second quarter of the nineteenth century may be said to have witnessed the battle for tax-supported, publicly controlled and directed, and non-sectarian common schools. In 1825 such schools were still the distant hope of statesmen and reformers; in 1850 they had become an actuality in almost every Northern State. The twenty- five years intervening marked a period of public agitation and educational propaganda; of many hard legislative fights; of a struggle to secure desired legislation, and then to hold what had been secured; of many bitter contests with church and private-school interests, which felt that their “vested rights” were being taken from them; and of occasional referenda in which the people were asked, at the next election, to advise the legislature as to what to do. Excepting the battle for the abolition of slavery, perhaps no question has ever been before the American people for settlement which caused so much feeling or aroused such bitter antagonisms. The friends of free schools were at first commonly regarded as fanatics, dangerous to the State, and the opponents of free schools were considered by them as old-time conservatives or as selfish members of society.

Naturally such a bitter discussion of a public question forced an alignment of the people for or against publicly supported and controlled schools, and this alignment of interests may be roughly stated to have been about as follows:

_I. For Public Schools._
Men considered as:
1. “Citizens of the Republic.”
2. Philanthropists and humanitarians. 3. Public men of large vision.
4. City residents.
5. The intelligent workingmen in the cities. 6. Non-taxpayers.
7. Calvinists.
8. “New England men.”

_II. Lukewarm, or against Public Schools._ Men considered as:
1. Belonging to the old aristocratic class. 2. The conservatives of society.
3. Politicians of small vision.
4. Residents of rural districts.
5. The ignorant, narrow-minded, and penurious. 6. Taxpayers.
7. Lutherans, Reformed-Church, Mennonites, and Quakers. 8. Southern men.
9. Proprietors of private schools. 10. The non-English-speaking classes.

THE WORK OF PROPAGANDA. To meet the arguments of the objectors, to change the opinions of a thinking few into the common opinion of the many, to overcome prejudice, and to awaken the public conscience to the public need for free and common schools in such a democratic society, was the work of a generation. To convince the masses of the people that the scheme of state schools was not only practicable, but also the best and most economical means for giving their children the benefits of an education; to convince propertied citizens that taxation for education was in the interests of both public and private welfare; to convince legislators that it was safe to vote for free-school bills; and to overcome the opposition due to apathy, religious jealousies, and private interests, was the work of years. In time, though, the desirability of common, free, tax- supported, non-sectarian, state-controlled schools became evident to a majority of the citizens in the different American States, and as it did the American State School, free and equally open to all, was finally evolved and took its place as the most important institution in the national life working for the perpetuation of a free democracy and the advancement of the public welfare.

For this work of propaganda hundreds of School Societies and Educational Associations were organized; many conventions were held, and many resolutions favoring state schools were adopted; many “Letters” and “Addresses to the Public” were written and published; public-spirited citizens traveled over the country, making addresses to the people explaining the advantages of free state schools; many public-spirited men gave the best years of their lives to the state-school propaganda; and many governors sent communications on the subject to legislatures not yet convinced as to the desirability of state action. At each meeting of the legislatures for years a deluge of resolutions, memorials, and petitions for and against free schools met the members.

The invention of the steam printing press came at about this time, and the first modern newspapers at a cheap price now appeared. These usually espoused progressive measures, and tremendously influenced public sentiment. Those not closely connected with church or private-school interests usually favored public tax-supported schools.


1. Explain why the development of a national consciousness was practically necessary before an educational consciousness could be awakened.

2. Show why it was natural, suffrage conditions considered, that the early interest should have been in advanced education.

3. Why did the Sunday-School movement prove of so much less usefulness in America than in England?

4. Show the analogy between the earlier school societies for educational work and other forms of modern associative effort.

5. Explain the great popularity of the Lancastrian schools over those previously common in America.

6. What were two of the important contributions of the Infant-School idea to American education?

7. Why are schools and education much more needed in a country experiencing a city and manufacturing development than in a country experiencing an agricultural development?

8. Show how the development of cities caused the old forms of education to break down, and made evident the need for a new type of education.

9. Show how each extension of the suffrage necessitates an extension of educational opportunities and advantages.

10. Explain the alignment of each class, for or against tax-supported schools, on historical and on economic grounds.


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

307. Fowle: The Schools of Boston about 1790-1815. 308. Rhode Island: Petition for Free Schools, 1799. 309. Providence: Rules and Regulations for the Schools in 1820. 310. Providence: A Memorial for Better Schools, 1837. 311. Bourne: Beginnings of Public Education in New York City. 312. Boston Report: Advantages of the Monitorial System. 313. Wightman: Establishment of Primary Schools in Boston. 314. Boston: The Elementary-School System in 1823. 315. Philadelphia: Report of Workingmen’s Committee on Schools.


1. Just what advantages for boys and for girls existed in Boston (307 a, b) before the creation of the reading schools?

2. What improvements and additions did the reading schools (307 c) introduce?

3. State the main features of the Rhode Island petition (308) of 1799.

4. Just what kind of schools do the Providence regulations (309) of 1820 provide for and describe?

5. Despite the many advances made in public schools since the date of the Providence Memorial (310), have relative public and private school expenditures materially changed?

6. Compare the New York Public School Society Address (311) with the English charity-school organization (237, 238) as to purpose and instruction.

7. Show that a report on modern classroom organization would present advantages over the monitorial plan, comparable with those outlined by the Boston Report (312) comparing the monitorial and individual plans.

8. Just what does the Boston Report on Primary Schools (313) reveal as to the character of education then provided?

9. Just what kind of elementary schools did Boston have (314) in 1823?

10. Just what kind of schools existed in the cities of Pennsylvania in 1830, judging from the Report (315) of the Workingmen’s Committee? Was the Report correct with reference to “a monopoly of talent”?


Binns, H. B. _A Century of Education, 1808-1908_. Boese, Thos, _Public Education in the City of New York_. Cubberley, E. P. _Public Education in the United States_. * Fitzpatrick, E. A. _The Educational Views and Influences of De Witt Clinton_.
McManis, J. T. “The Public School Society of New York City,” in _Educational Review_, vol. 29, pp. 303-11. (March, 1905.) * Palmer, A. E. _The New York Public School System_. * Reigart, J. F. _The Lancastrian System of Instruction in the Schools of New York City_.
* Salmon, David. _Joseph Lancaster_. * Simcoe, A. M. _Social Forces in American History_.



The problem which confronted those interested in establishing state- controlled schools was not exactly the same in any two States, though the battle in many States possessed common elements, and hence was somewhat similar in character. Instead of tracing the struggle in detail in each of the different States, it will be much more profitable for our purposes to pick out the main strategic points in the contest, and then illustrate the conflict for these by describing conditions in one or two States where the controversy was most severe or most typical. The seven strategic points in the struggle for free, tax-supported, non-sectarian, state-controlled schools in the United States were:

1. The battle for tax support.
2. The battle to eliminate the pauper-school idea. 3. The battle to make the schools entirely free. 4. The battle to establish state supervision. 5. The battle to eliminate sectarianism. 6. The battle to extend the system upward. 7. Addition of the state university to crown the system.

We shall consider each of these, briefly, in order.


EARLY SUPPORT AND ENDOWMENT FUNDS. In New England, land endowments, local taxes, direct local appropriations, license taxes, and rate-bills had long been common. Land endowments began early in the New England Colonies, while rate-bills date back to the earliest times and long remained a favorite means of raising money for school support. These means were adopted in the different States after the beginning of our national period, and to them were added a variety of license taxes, while occupational taxes, lotteries, and bank taxes also were employed to raise money for schools. A few examples of these may be cited:

Connecticut, in 1774, turned over all proceeds of liquor licenses to the towns where collected, to be used for schools. New Orleans, in 1826, licensed two theaters on condition that they each pay $3000 annually for the support of schools in the city. New York, in 1799, authorized four state lotteries to raise $100,000 for schools, a similar amount again in 1801, and numerous other lotteries before 1810. New Jersey (R. 246) and most of the other States did the same. Congress passed fourteen joint resolutions, between 1812 and 1836, authorizing lotteries to help support the schools of the city of Washington. Bank taxes were a favorite source of income for schools, between about 1825 and 1860, banks being chartered on condition that they would pay over each year for schools a certain sum or percentage of their earnings. These all represent what is known as indirect taxation, and were valuable in accustoming the people to the idea of public schools without appearing to tax them for their support.

The National Land Grants, begun in the case of Ohio in 1802, soon stimulated a new interest in schools. Each State admitted after Ohio also received the sixteenth section for the support of common schools, and two townships of land for the endowment of a state university. The new Western States, following the lead of Ohio (R. 260) and Indiana (R. 261), dedicated these section lands and funds to free common schools. The sixteen older States, however, did not share in these grants, so most of them now set about building up a permanent school fund of their own, though at first without any very clear idea as to how the income from the fund was to be used. [1]

THE BEGINNINGS OF SCHOOL TAXATION. The early idea, which seems for a time to have been generally entertained, that the income from land grants, license fees, and these permanent endowment funds would in time entirely support the necessary schools, was gradually abandoned as it was seen how little in yearly income these funds and lands really produced, and how rapidly the population of the States was increasing. By 1825 it may be said to have been clearly recognized by thinking men that the only safe reliance of a system of state schools lay in the general and direct taxation of all property for their support. “The wealth of the State must educate the children of the State” became a watchword, and the battle for direct, local, county, and state taxation for education was clearly on by 1825 to 1830 in all the Northern States, except the four in New England where the principle of taxation for education had for long been established. [2] Even in these States the struggle to increase taxation and provide better schools called for much argument and popular education (R. 316), and occasional backward movements (Rs. 317, 318) were encountered.

[Illustration: FIG. 200. THE FIRST FREE PUBLIC SCHOOL IN DETROIT A one-room school, opened in the Second Ward, in 1838. No action was taken in any other ward until 1842.]

The struggle to secure the first legislation, weak and ineffective as it seems to us to-day, was often hard and long. “Campaigns of education” had to be prepared for and carried through. Many thought that tax-supported schools would be dangerous for the State, harmful to individual good, and thoroughly undemocratic. Many did not see the need for schools at all. Portions of a town or a city would provide a free school, while other portions would not. Often those in favor of taxation were bitterly assailed, and even at times threatened with personal violence. Often those in favor of improving the school had to wait patiently for the opposition slowly to wear itself out (R. 319) before any real progress could be made.

STATE SUPPORT FIXED THE STATE SYSTEM. With the beginnings of state aid in any substantial sums, either from the income from permanent endowment funds, state appropriations, or direct state taxation, the State became, for the first time, in a position to enforce quite definite requirements in many matters. Communities which would not meet the State’s requirements would receive no state funds.

One of the first requirements to be thus enforced was that communities or districts receiving state aid must also levy a local tax for schools. Commonly the requirement was a duplication of state aid. Generally speaking, and recognizing exceptions in a few States, this represents the beginnings of compulsory local taxation for education. As early as 1797 Vermont had required the towns to support their schools on penalty of forfeiting their share of state aid. New York in 1812, Delaware in 1829, and New Jersey in 1846 required a duplication of all state aid received. Wisconsin, in its first constitution of 1848, required a local tax for schools equal to one half the state aid received. The next step in state control was to add still other requirements, as a prerequisite to receiving state aid. One of the first of such was that a certain length of school term, commonly three months, must be provided in each school district. Another was the provision of free heat, and later on free schoolbooks and supplies.

When the duplication-of-state-aid-received stage had been reached, compulsory local taxation for education had been established, and the great central battle for the creation of a state school system had been won. The right to tax for support, and to compel local taxation, was the key to the whole state system of education. From this point on the process of evolving an adequate system of school support in any State has been merely the further education of public opinion to see new educational needs.


THE PAUPER-SCHOOL IDEA. The pauper-school idea was a direct inheritance from England, and its home in America was in the old Central and Southern Colonies, where the old Anglican Church had been in control. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia were the chief representatives, though the idea had friends among certain classes of the population in other of the older States. The new and democratic West would not tolerate it. The pauper-school conception was a direct inheritance from English rule, belonged to a society based on classes, and was wholly out of place in a Republic founded on the doctrine that “all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Still more, it was a very dangerous conception of education for a democratic form of government to tolerate or to foster. Its friends were found among the old aristocratic or conservative classes, the heavy taxpayers, the supporters of church schools, and the proprietors of private schools. Citizens who had caught the spirit of the new Republic, public men of large vision, intelligent workingmen, and men of the New England type of thinking were opposed on principle to a plan which drew such invidious distinctions between the future citizens of the State. To educate part of the children in church or private pay schools, they said, and to segregate those too poor to pay tuition and educate them at public expense in pauper schools, often with the brand of pauper made very evident to them, was certain to create classes in society which in time would prove a serious danger to our democratic institutions.

Large numbers of those for whom the pauper schools were intended would not brand themselves as paupers by sending their children to the schools, and others who accepted the advantages offered, for the sake of their children, despised the system. [3]

The battle for the elimination of the pauper-school idea was fought out in the North in the States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and the struggle in these two States we shall now briefly describe.

THE PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATION. In Pennsylvania we find the pauper-school idea fully developed. The constitution of 1790 (R. 259) had provided for a state system of pauper schools, but nothing was done to carry even this constitutional direction into effect until 1802. A pauper-school law was then enacted, directing the overseers of the poor to notify such parents as they deemed sufficiently indigent that, if they would declare themselves to be paupers, their children might be sent to some specified private or pay school and be given free education (R. 315). The expense for this was assessed against the education poor-fund, which was levied and collected in the same manner as were road taxes or taxes for poor relief. No provision was made for the establishment of public schools, even for the children of the poor, nor was any standard set for the education to be provided in the schools to which they were sent. No other general provision for elementary education was made in the State until 1834.

With the growth of the cities, and the rise of their special problems, something more than this very inadequate provision for schooling became necessary. “The Philadelphia Society for the Establishment and Support of Charity Schools” had long been urging a better system, and in 1814 “‘The Society for the Promotion of a Rational System of Education” was organized in Philadelphia for the purpose of educational propaganda. Bills were prepared and pushed, and in 1818 Philadelphia was permitted, by special law, to organize as “the first school district” in the State of Pennsylvania, and to provide, with its own funds, a system of Lancastrian schools for the education of the children of its poor. [4]

THE LAW OF 1834. In 1827 “The Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Public Schools” began an educational propaganda which did much to bring about the Free-School Act of 1834. In an “Address to the Public” it declared its object to be the promotion of public education throughout the State of Pennsylvania, and the “Address” closed with these words:

This Society is at present composed of about 250 members, and a correspondence has been commenced with 125 members, who reside in every district in the State. It is intended to direct the continued attention of the public to the importance of the subject; to collect and diffuse all information which may be deemed valuable; and to persevere in their labors until they shall be crowned with success.

Memorials were presented to the legislature year after year, governors were interested, “Addresses to the Public” were prepared, and a vigorous propaganda was kept up until the Free-School Law of 1834 was the result.

This law, though, was optional. It created every ward, township, and borough in the State a school district, a total of 987 being created for the State. Each school district was ordered to vote that autumn on the acceptance or rejection of the law. Those accepting the law were to organize under its provisions, while those rejecting the law were to continue under the educational provisions of the old Pauper-School Act.

[Illustration: FIG. 201. THE PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL ELECTIONS OF 1835 Showing the percentage of school districts in each county organizing under and accepting the School Law of 1834. Percentage of districts accepting indicated on the map for a few of the counties.]

The results of the school elections of 1834 are shown, by counties, on the below map. Of the total of 987 districts created, 502, in 46 of the then 52 counties (Philadelphia County not voting), or 52 per cent of the whole number, voted to accept the new law and organize under it; 264 districts, in 31 counties, or 27 per cent of the whole, voted definitely to reject the law; and 221 districts, in 46 counties, or 21 per cent of the whole, refused to take any action either way. In 3 counties, indicated on the map, every district accepted the law, and in 5 counties, also indicated every district rejected or refused to act on the law. It was the predominantly German counties, located in the east-central portion of the State, which were strongest in their opposition to the new law. One reason for this was that the new law provided for English schools; another was the objection of the thrifty Germans to taxation; and another was the fear that the new state schools might injure their German parochial schools.

The real fight for free _versus_ pauper schools, though, was yet to come. Legislators who had voted for the law were bitterly assailed, and, though it was but an optional law, the question of its repeal and the reinstatement of the old Pauper-School Law became the burning issue of the campaign in the autumn of 1834. Many legislators who had favored the law were defeated for reelection. Others, seeing defeat, refused to run. Petitions for the repeal of the law, [5] and remonstrances against its repeal, flooded the legislature when it met. The Senate at once repealed the law, but the House, largely under the leadership of a Vermonter by the name of Thaddeus Stevens, [6] refused to reconsider, and finally forced the Senate to accept an amended and a still stronger bill. This defeat finally settled, in principle at least, the pauper-school question in Pennsylvania, [7] though it was not until 1873 that the last district in the State accepted the new system.

ELIMINATING THE PAUPER-SCHOOL IDEA IN NEW JERSEY. No constitutional mention of education was made in New Jersey until 1844, and no educational legislation was passed until 1816. In that year a permanent state school fund was begun, and in 1820 the first permission to levy taxes “for the education of such poor children as are paupers” was granted. In 1828 an extensive investigation showed that one third of the children of the State were without educational opportunities, and as a result of this investigation the first general school law for the State was enacted, in 1829. This provided for district schools, school trustees and visitation, licensed teachers, local taxation, and made a state appropriation of $20,000 a year to help establish the system. The next year, however, this law was repealed and the old pauper-school plan reestablished, largely due to the pressure of church and private-school interests. In 1830 and 1831 the state appropriation was made divisible among private and parochial schools, as well as the public pauper schools, and the use of all public money was limited “to the education of the children of the poor.”

Between 1828 and 1838 a number of conventions of friends of free public schools were held in the State, and much work in the nature of propaganda was done. At a convention in 1838 a committee was appointed to prepare an “Address to the People of New Jersey” on the educational needs of the State (R. 320), and speakers were sent over the State to talk to the people on the subject. The campaign against the pauper school had just been fought to a conclusion in Pennsylvania, and the result of the appeal in New Jersey was such a popular manifestation in favor of free schools that the legislature of 1838 instituted a partial state school system. The pauper-school laws were repealed, and the best features of the short-lived Law of 1829 were reenacted. In 1844 a new state constitution limited the income of the permanent state school fund exclusively to the support of public schools.

With the pauper-school idea eliminated from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the North was through with it. The wisdom of its elimination soon became evident, and we hear little more of it among Northern people. The democratic West never tolerated it. It continued some time longer in Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia, and at places for a time in other Southern States, but finally disappeared in the South as well in the educational reorganizations which took place following the close of the Civil War.


THE SCHOOLS NOT YET FREE. The rate-bill, as we have previously stated, was an old institution, also brought over from England, as the term “rate” signifies. It was a charge levied upon the parent to supplement the school revenues and prolong the school term, and was assessed in proportion to the number of children sent by each parent to the school. In some States, as for example Massachusetts and Connecticut, its use went back to colonial times; in others it was added as the cost for education increased, and it was seen that the income from permanent funds and authorized taxation was not sufficient to maintain the school the necessary length of time. The deficiency in revenue was charged against the parents sending children to school, _pro rata_, and collected as ordinary tax-bills (R. 321). The charge was small, but it was sufficient to keep many poor children away from the schools.

The rising cities, with their new social problems, could not and would not tolerate the rate-bill system, and one by one they secured special laws from legislatures which enabled them to organize a city school system, separate from city-council control, and under a local “board of education.” One of the provisions of these special laws nearly always was the right to levy a city tax for schools sufficient to provide free education for the children of the city.

[Illustration: FIG. 202. THE NEW YORK REFERENDUM OF 1850 Total vote: For free schools, 17 counties and 209,346 voters; against free schools, 42 counties and 184,308 voters.]

THE FIGHT AGAINST THE RATE-BILL IN NEW YORK. The attempt to abolish the rate-bill and make the schools wholly free was most vigorously contested in New York State, and the contest there is most easily described. From 1828 to 1868, this tax on the parents produced an average annual sum of $410,685.66, or about one half of the sum paid all the teachers of the State for salary. While the wealthy districts were securing special legislation and taxing themselves to provide free schools for their children, the poorer and less populous districts were left to struggle to maintain their schools the four months each year necessary to secure state aid. Finally, after much agitation, and a number of appeals to the legislature to assume the rate-bill charges in the form of general state taxation, and thus make the schools entirely free, the legislature, in 1849, referred the matter back to the people to be voted on at the elections that autumn. The legislature was to be thus advised by the people as to what action it should take. The result was a state-wide campaign for free, public, tax-supported schools, as against partially free, rate-bill schools.

The result of the 1849 election was a vote of 249,872 in favor of making “the property of the State educate the children of the State,” and 91,952 against it. This only seemed to stir the opponents of free schools to renewed action, and they induced the next legislature to resubmit the question for another vote, in the autumn of 1850.

The result of the referendum of 1850 is shown on the map on page 685. The opponents of tax-supported schools now mustered their full strength, doubling their vote in 1849, while the majority for free schools was materially cut down. The interesting thing shown on this map was the clear and unmistakable voice of the cities. They would not tolerate the rate- bill, and, despite their larger property interests, they favored tax- supported free schools. The rural districts, on the other hand, opposed the idea.

THE RATE-BILL IN OTHER STATES. These two referenda virtually settled the question in New York, though for a time a compromise was adopted. The state appropriation for schools was very materially increased, the rate- bill was retained, and the organization of “union districts” to provide free schools by local taxation where people desired them was authorized. Many of these “union free districts” now arose in the more progressive communities of the State, and finally, in 1867, after rural and other forms of opposition had largely subsided, and after almost all the older States had abandoned the plan, the New York legislature finally abolished the rate-bill and made the schools of New York entirely free.

The dates for the abolition of the rate-bill in the other older Northern States were:

1834. Pennsylvania. 1867. New York. 1852. Indiana. 1868. Connecticut.
1853. Ohio. 1868. Rhode Island. 1855. Illinois. 1869. Michigan.
1864. Vermont. 1871. New Jersey.

The New York fight of 1849 and 1850 was the pivotal fight; in the other States it was abandoned by legislative act, and without a serious contest. In the Southern States free education came with the educational reorganizations following the close of the Civil War.


BEGINNINGS OF STATE CONTROL. The great battle for state schools was not only for taxation to stimulate their development where none existed, but was also indirectly a battle for some form of state control of the local systems which had already grown up. The establishment of permanent state school funds by the older States, to supplement any other aid which might be granted, also tended toward the establishment of some form of state supervision and control of the local school systems. The first step was the establishment of some form of state aid; the next was the imposing of conditions necessary to secure this state aid.

State oversight and control, however, does not exercise itself, and it soon became evident that the States must elect or appoint some officer to represent the State and enforce the observance of its demands. It would be primarily his duty to see that the laws relating to schools were carried out, that statistics as to existing conditions were collected and printed, and that communities were properly advised as to their duties and the legislature as to the needs of the State. We find now the creation of a series of school officers to represent the State, the enactment of new laws extending control, and a struggle to integrate, subordinate, and reduce to some semblance of a state school system the hundreds of little community school systems which had grown up.

THE FIRST STATE SCHOOL OFFICERS. The first American State to create a state officer to exercise supervision over its schools was New York, in 1812. In enacting the new law [8] providing for state aid for schools the first State Superintendent of Common Schools in the United States was created. So far as is known this was a distinctively American creation, uninfluenced by the practice in any other land. It was to be the duty of this officer to look after the establishment and maintenance of the schools throughout the State. [9] Maryland created the office in 1826, but two years later abolished it and did not re-create it until 1864. Illinois directed its Secretary of State to act, _ex officio_, as Superintendent of Schools in 1825, as did also Vermont in 1827, Louisiana in 1833, Pennsylvania in 1834, and Tennessee in 1835. Illinois did not create a real State Superintendent of Schools, though, until 1854, Vermont until 1845, Louisiana until 1847, Pennsylvania until 1857, or Tennessee until 1867. The first States to create separate school officials who have been continued to the present time were Michigan and Kentucky, both in 1837. Often quite a legislative struggle took place to secure the establishment of the office, and later on to prevent its abolition.

For a list of the 28 City Superintendencies established up to 1870, see Cubberley’s _Public School Administration_, p. 58. For the history of the state educational office in each State see Cubberley and Elliott, _State and County School Administration, Source Book_, pp. 283-87.]

By 1850 there were _ex-officio_ state school officers in nine and regular school officers in seven of the then thirty-one States, and by 1861 there were _ex-officio_ officers in nine and regular officers in nineteen of the then thirty-four States, as well as one of each in two of the organized Territories. The above map shows the growth of supervisory oversight by 1861–forty-nine years from the time the first American state school officer was created. The map also shows the ten of the thirty-four States which had, by 1861, also created the office of County Superintendent of Schools, as well as the twenty-five cities which had, by 1861, created the office of City Superintendent of Schools. Only three more cities–Albany, Washington, and Kansas City–were added before 1870, making a total of twenty-eight, but since that date the number of city superintendents has increased to something like fourteen hundred to-day.

THE FIRST STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION. Another important form for state control which was created a little later was the State Board of Education, with an appointed Secretary, who exercised about the same functions as a State Superintendent of Schools. This form of organization first arose in Massachusetts, in 1837, in an effort to subordinate the district schools and reduce them to a semblance of an organized system. In 1826 each town (township) had been required to appoint a School Committee (School Board) to exercise general supervision over its schools, in 1834 the state permanent school fund was created, and in 1837 the reform movement reached its culmination in the creation of the first real State Board of Education in the United States. Instead of following the usual American practice of the time, and providing for an elected State School Superintendent, Massachusetts provided for a small appointed State Board of Education which in turn was to select a Secretary, who was to act in the capacity of a state school officer and report to the Board, and through it to the legislature and the people. Neither the Board nor the Secretary were given any powers of compulsion, their work being to investigate conditions, report facts, expose defects, and make recommendations as to action to the legislature. The permanence and influence of the Board thus depended very largely on the character of the Secretary it selected.

HORACE MANN THE FIRST SECRETARY. A prominent Brown University graduate and lawyer in the State Senate, by the name of Horace Mann (1796-1859), who as president of the Senate had been of much assistance in securing passage of the bill creating the State Board of Education, was finally induced by the Governor and the Board to accept the position of Secretary. Mr. Mann now began a most memorable work of educating public opinion, and soon became the acknowledged leader in school organization in the United States. State after State called upon him for advice and counsel, while his twelve annual Reports to the State Board of Education will always remain memorable documents. Public men of all classes–lawyers, clergymen, college professors, literary men, teachers–were laid under tribute and sent forth over the State explaining to the people the need for a reawakening of educational interest in Massachusetts. Every year Mr. Mann organized a “campaign,” to explain to the people the meaning and importance of general education. So successful was he, and so ripe was the time for such a movement, that he not only started a great common school revival in Massachusetts which led to the regeneration of the schools there, but one which was felt and which influenced development in every Northern State.

His twelve carefully written _Reports_ on the condition of education in Massachusetts and elsewhere, with his intelligent discussion of the aims and purposes of public education, occupy a commanding place in the history of American education, while he will always be regarded as perhaps the greatest of the “founders” of our American system of free public schools. No one did more than he to establish in the minds of the American people the conception that education should be universal, non-sectarian, and free, and that its aim should be social efficiency, civic virtue, and character, rather than mere learning or the advancement of sectarian ends. Under his practical leadership an unorganized and heterogeneous series of community school systems was reduced to organization and welded together into a state school system, and the people of Massachusetts were effectively recalled to their ancient belief in and duty toward the education of the people.

HENRY BARNARD IN CONNECTICUT AND RHODE ISLAND. Almost equally important, though of a somewhat different character, was the work of Henry Barnard (1811-1900) in Connecticut and Rhode Island. A graduate of Yale, and also educated for the law, he turned aside to teach and became deeply interested in education. The years 1835-37 he spent in Europe studying schools, particularly the work of Pestalozzi’s disciples. On his return to America he was elected a member of the Connecticut legislature, and at once formulated and secured passage of the Connecticut law (1839) providing for a State Board of Commissioners for Common Schools, with a Secretary, after the Massachusetts plan. Mr. Barnard was then elected as its first Secretary, and reluctantly gave up the law and accepted the position at the munificent salary of $3 a day and expenses. Until the legislature abolished both the Board and the position, in 1842, he rendered for Connecticut a service scarcely less important than the better-known reforms which Horace Mann was at that time carrying on in Massachusetts.


HORACE MANN (1796-1859)
(From the painting at the Westfield, Massachusetts, Normal School)

HENRY BARNARD (1811-1900)]

In 1843 he was called to Rhode Island to examine and report upon the existing schools, and from 1845 to 1849 acted as State Commissioner of Public Schools there, where he rendered a service similar to that previously rendered in Connecticut. In addition he organized a series of town libraries throughout the State. For his teachers’ institutes he devised a traveling model school, to give demonstration lessons in the art of teaching. From 1851 to 1855 he was again in Connecticut, as principal of the newly established state normal school and _ex-officio_ Secretary of the Connecticut State Board of Education. He now rewrote the school laws, increased taxation for schools, checked the power of the districts, there known as “school societies,” and laid the foundations of a state system of schools. The work of Mann and Barnard had its influence throughout all the Northern States, and encouraged the friends of education everywhere. Almost contemporaneous with them were leaders in other States who helped fight through the battles of state establishment and state organization and control, and the period of their labors has since been termed the period of the “great awakening.”


THE SECULARIZATION OF AMERICAN EDUCATION. The Church, it will be remembered, was from the earliest colonial times in possession of the education of the young. Not only were the earliest schools controlled by the Church and dominated by the religious motive, but the right of the Church to dictate the teaching in the schools was clearly recognized by the State. Still more, the State looked to the Church to provide the necessary education, and assisted it in doing so by donations of land and money. The minister, as a town official, naturally examined the teachers and the instruction in the schools. After the establishment of the National Government this relationship for a time continued. [10] New York and the New England States specifically set aside lands to help both church and school. After about 1800 these land endowments for religion ceased, but grants of state aid for religious schools continued for nearly a half-century longer. Then it became common for a town or city to build a schoolhouse from city taxation, and let it out rent-free to any responsible person who would conduct a tuition school in it, with a few free places for selected poor children. Still later, with the rise of the state schools, it became quite common to take over church and private schools and aid them on the same basis as the new state schools.

In colonial times, too, and for some decades into our national period, the warmest advocates of the establishment of schools were those who had in view the needs of the Church. Then gradually the emphasis shifted to the needs of the State, and a new class of advocates of public education now arose. Still later the emphasis has been shifted to industrial and civic and national needs, and the religious aim has been almost completely eliminated. This change is known as the secularization of American education. It also required many a bitter struggle, and was accomplished in the different States but slowly. The two great factors which served to produce this change were:

1. The conviction that the life of the Republic demanded an educated and intelligent citizenship, and hence the general education of all in common schools controlled by the State; and

2. The great diversity of religious beliefs among the people, which forced tolerance and religious freedom through a consideration of the rights of minorities.

The secularization of education must not be regarded either as a deliberate or a wanton violation of the rights of the Church, but rather as an unavoidable incident connected with the coming to self-consciousness and self-government of a great people.

THE FIGHT IN MASSACHUSETTS. The educational awakening in Massachusetts, brought on largely by the work of Horace Mann, was to many a rude awakening. Among other things, it revealed that the old school of the Puritans had gradually been replaced by a new and purely American type of school, with instruction adapted to democratic and national rather than religious ends. Mr. Mann stood strongly for such a conception of public education, and being a Unitarian, and the new State Board of Education being almost entirely liberal in religion, an attack was launched against them, and for the first time in our history the cry was raised that “The public schools are Godless schools.” Those who believed in the old system of religious instruction, those who bore the Board or its Secretary personal ill-will, and those who desired to break down the Board’s authority and stop the development of the public schools, united their forces in this first big attack against secular education. Horace Mann was the first prominent educator in America to meet and answer the religious onslaught.

A violent attack was opened in both the pulpit and the press. It was claimed that the Board was trying to eliminate the Bible from the schools, to abolish correction, and to “make the schools a counterpoise to religious instruction at home and in Sabbath schools.” The local right to demand religious instruction was insisted upon.

Mr. Mann felt that a great public issue had been raised which should be answered carefully and fully. In three public statements he answered the criticisms and pointed out the errors in the argument (R. 322). The Bible, he said, was an invaluable book for forming the character of children, and should be read without comment in the schools, but it was not necessary to teach it there. He showed that most of the towns had given up the teaching of the Catechism before the establishment of the Board of Education. He contended that any attempt to decide what creed or doctrine should be taught would mean the ruin of the schools. The attack culminated in the attempts of the religious forces to abolish the State Board of Education, in the legislatures of 1840 and 1841, which failed dismally. Most of the orthodox people of the State took Mr. Mann’s side, and Governor Briggs, in one of his messages, commended his stand by inserting the following:

Justice to a faithful public officer leads me to say that the indefatigable and accomplished Secretary of the Board of Education has performed services in the cause of common schools which will earn him the lasting gratitude of the generation to which he belongs.

THE ATTEMPT TO DIVIDE THE SCHOOL FUNDS. As was stated earlier, in the beginning it was common to aid church schools on the same basis as the state schools, and sometimes, in the beginnings of state aid, the money was distributed among existing schools without at first establishing any public schools. In many Eastern cities church schools at first shared in the public funds. In Pennsylvania church and private schools were aided from poor-law funds up to 1834. In New Jersey the first general school law of 1829 had been repealed a year later through the united efforts of church and private-school interests, who unitedly fought the development of state schools, and in 1830 and 1831 new laws had permitted all private and parochial schools to share in the small state appropriation for education.

After the beginning of the forties, when the Roman Catholic influence came in strongly with the increase in Irish immigration to the United States, a new factor was introduced and the problem, which had previously been a Protestant problem, took on a somewhat different aspect in the form of a demand for a division of the school funds. Between 1825 and 1842 the fight was especially severe in New York City. In 1825 the City Council refused to grant public money to any religious Society, [11] and in 1840 the Catholics carried the matter to the State Legislature.

The legislature deferred action until 1842, and then did the unexpected thing. The heated discussion of the question in the city and in the legislature had made it evident that, while it might not be desirable to continue to give funds to a privately organized corporation, to divide them among the quarreling and envious religious sects would be much worse. The result was that the legislature created for the city a City Board of Education, to establish real public schools, and stopped the debate on the question of aid to religious schools by enacting that no portion of the school funds was in the future to be given to any school in which “any religious sectarian doctrine or tenet should be taught, inculcated, or practiced.” Thus the real public-school system of New York City was evolved out of this attempt to divide the public funds among the churches. The Public School Society continued for a time, but its work was now done, and, in 1853, surrendered its buildings and property to the City Board of Education and disbanded.

THE CONTEST IN OTHER STATES. As early as 1830, Lowell, Massachusetts, had granted aid to the Irish Catholic parochial schools in the city, and in 1835 had taken over two such schools and maintained them as public schools. In 1853 the representatives of the Roman Catholic Church made a demand on the state legislature for a division of the school fund of the State. To settle the question once for all a constitutional amendment was submitted by the legislature to the people, providing that all state and town moneys raised or appropriated for education must be expended only on regularly organized and conducted public schools, and that no religious sect should ever share in such funds. This measure failed of adoption at the election of 1853 by a vote of 65,111 for and 65,512 against, but was re-proposed and adopted in 1855. This settled the question in Massachusetts, as Mann had tried to settle it earlier, and as New Hampshire had settled it in its constitution of 1792, Connecticut in its constitution of 1818, and Rhode Island in its constitution of 1842.

Other States now faced similar demands, but no demand for a share in or a division of the public-school funds, after 1840, was successful. The demand everywhere met with intense opposition, and with the coming of enormous numbers of Irish Catholics after 1846, and German Lutherans after 1848, the question of the preservation of the schools just established as unified state school systems now became a burning one. Petitions for a division of the funds deluged the legislatures (R. 323), and these were met by counter-petitions (R. 324). Mass meetings on both sides of the question were held. Candidates for office were forced to declare themselves. Anti-Catholic riots occurred in a number of cities. The Native-American Party was formed, in 1841, “to prevent the union of Church and State,” and to “keep the Bible in the schools.” In 1841 the Whig Party, in New York, inserted a plank in its platform against sectarian schools. In 1855 the national council of the Know-Nothing Party, meeting in Philadelphia, in its platform favored public schools and the use of the Bible therein, but opposed sectarian schools. This party carried the elections that year in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Kentucky.

To settle the question in a final manner legislatures now began to propose constitutional amendments to the people of their several States which forbade a division or a diversion of the funds, and these were almost uniformly adopted at the first election after being proposed. No State admitted to the Union after 1858, except West Virginia, failed to insert such a provision in its first state constitution. [12]


The elementary or common schools which had been established in the different States, by 1850, supplied an elementary or common school education to the children of the masses of the people, and the primary schools which were added, after about 1820, carried this education downward to the needs of the beginners. In the rural schools the American school of the 3 Rs provided for all the children, from the little ones up, so long as they could advantageously partake of its instruction. Education in advance of this common school training was in semi-private institutions–the academies and colleges–in which a tuition fee was charged. The next struggle came in the attempt to extend the system upward so as to provide to pupils, free of charge, a more complete education than the common schools afforded.

[Illustration: FIG. 204. A TYPICAL NEW ENGLAND ACADEMY Pittsfield Academy, New Hampshire.]

THE TRANSITION ACADEMY. About the middle of the eighteenth century a tendency manifested itself, in Europe as well as in America, to establish higher schools offering a more practical curriculum than the old Latin schools had provided. In America it became particularly evident, after the coming of nationality, that the old Latin grammar-school type of instruction, with its limited curriculum and exclusively college- preparatory ends, was wholly inadequate for the needs of the youth of the land. The result was the gradual dying-out of the Latin school and the evolution of the tuition Academy, previously referred to briefly on page 463.

The academy movement spread rapidly during the first half of the nineteenth century. By 1800 there were 17 academies in Massachusetts, 36 by 1820, and 403 by 1850. By 1830 there were, according to Hinsdale, 950 incorporated academies in the United States, and many unincorporated ones, and by 1850, according to Inglis, there were, of all kinds, 1007 academies in New England, 1636 in the Middle Atlantic States, 2640 in the Southern States, 753 in the Upper Mississippi Valley States, and a total reported for the entire United States of 6085, with 12,260 teachers employed and 263,096 pupils enrolled. [13]

The greatest period of their development was from 1820 to 1830, though they continued to dominate secondary education until 1850, and were very prominent until after the Civil War.

CHARACTERISTIC FEATURES. The most characteristic features of these academies were their semi-public control (R. 325), their broadened curriculum and religious purpose, and the extension of their instruction to girls. The Latin Grammar School was essentially a town free school, maintained by the towns for the higher education of certain of their male children. It was aristocratic in type, and belonged to the early period of class education. With the decline in zeal for education, after 1750, these tax-supported higher schools largely died out, and in their place private energy and benevolence came to be depended upon to supply the needed higher education.

One of the main purposes expressed in the endowment or creation of the academies was the establishment of courses which should cover a number of subjects having value aside from mere preparation for college, particularly subjects of a modern nature, useful in preparing youths for the changed conditions of society and government and business. The study of real things rather than words about things, and useful things rather than subjects merely preparatory to college, became prominent features of the new courses of study. Among the most commonly found new subjects were algebra, astronomy, botany, chemistry, general history, United States history, English literature, surveying, intellectual philosophy, declamation, and debating. [14]

Not being bound up with the colleges, as the earlier Latin grammar schools had largely been, the academies became primarily independent institutions, taking pupils who had completed the English education of the common school and giving them an advanced education in modern languages, the sciences, mathematics, history, and the more useful subjects of the time, with a view to “rounding out” their studies and preparing them for business life and the rising professions. They thus built upon instead of running parallel to the common school course, as the old Latin grammar school had done (see Figure 198, p. 666) and hence clearly mark a transition from the aristocratic and somewhat exclusive college-preparatory Latin grammar school of colonial times to the more democratic high school of to-day. The academies also served a very useful purpose in supplying to the lower schools the best-educated teachers of the time.

The old Latin grammar school, too, had been maintained exclusively for boys. Girls had been excluded as “Improper & inconsistent w’th such a Grammar Schoole as ye law injoines, and is ye Designe of this Settlem’t.” The new academies soon reversed this situation. Almost from the first they began to be established for girls as well as boys, and in time many became co-educational. In New York State alone 32 academies were incorporated between 1819 and 1853 with the prefix “Female” to their title. In this respect, also, these institutions formed a transition to the modern co- educational high school. The higher education of women in the United States clearly dates from the establishment of the academies. Troy (New York) Seminary, founded by Emma Willard, in 1821, and Mt. Holyoke (Massachusetts) Seminary, founded by Mary Lyon, in 1836, though not the first institutions for girls, were nevertheless important pioneers in the higher education of women.

THE DEMAND FOR HIGHER SCHOOLS. The different movements tending toward the building-up of free public-school systems in the cities and States, which we have described in this and the preceding chapter, and which became clearly defined in the Northern States after 1825, came just at the time when the Academy had reached its maximum development. The settlement of the question of general taxation for education, the elimination of the rate-bill by the cities and later by the States, the establishment of the American common school as the result of a long native evolution, and the complete establishment of public control over the entire elementary-school system, all tended to bring the semi-private tuition academy into question. Many asked why not extend the public-school system upward to provide the necessary higher education for all in one common state- supported school. [15]

The demand for an upward extension of the public school, which would provide academy instruction for the poor as well as the rich, and in one common public higher school, now made itself felt. As the colonial Latin grammar school had represented the educational needs of a society based on classes, and the academies had represented a transition period and marked the growth of a middle class, so the rising democracy of the second quarter of the nineteenth century now demanded and obtained the democratic high school, supported by the public and equally open to all, to meet the educational needs of a new society built on the basis of a new and aggressive democracy. Where, too, the academy had represented in a way a missionary effort–that of a few providing something for the good of the people (Rs. 319, 325)–the high school on the other hand represented a cooeperative effort on the part of the people to provide something for themselves.

The transitional character of the Academy is well shown in this diagram.]

THE FIRST AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL. The first high school in the United States was established in Boston, in 1821 (R. 326). For three years it was known as the “English Classical School” (R. 327), but in 1824 the school appears in the records as the “English High School.” In 1826 Boston also opened the first high school for girls, but abolished it in 1828, due to its great popularity, and instead extended the course of study for girls in the elementary schools.

[Illustration: FIG. 206 THE FIRST HIGH SCHOOL IN THE UNITED STATES Established at Boston in 1821.]

THE MASSACHUSETTS LAW OF 1827. Though Portland, Maine, established a high school in 1821, Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1824, and New Bedford, Haverhill, and Salem, Massachusetts, in 1827, copying the Boston idea, the real beginning of the American high school as a distinct institution dates from the Massachusetts Law of 1827 (R. 328), enacted through the influence of James G. Carter. This law formed the basis of all subsequent legislation in Massachusetts, and deeply influenced development in other States. The law is significant in that it required a high school in every town having 500 families or over, in which should be taught United States history, bookkeeping, algebra, geometry, and surveying, while in every town having 4000 inhabitants or over, instruction in Greek, Latin, history, rhetoric, and logic must be added. A heavy penalty was attached for failure to comply with the law. In 1835 the law was amended so as to permit any smaller town to form a high school as well.

This Boston and Massachusetts legislation clearly initiated the public high-school movement in the United States. It was there that the new type of higher school was founded, there that its curriculum was outlined, there that its standards were established, and there that it developed earliest and best.

THE STRUGGLE TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN HIGH SCHOOLS. The development of the American high school, even in its home, was slow. Up to 1840 not much more than a dozen high schools had been established in Massachusetts, and not more than an equal number in the other States. The Academy was the dominant institution, the cost of maintenance was a factor, and the same opposition to an extension of taxation to include high schools was manifested as was earlier shown toward the establishment of common schools. The early state legislation, as had been the case with the common schools, was nearly always permissive and not mandatory. Massachusetts forms a notable exception in this regard. The support for the schools had to come practically entirely from increased local taxation, and this made the struggle to establish and maintain high schools in any State for a long time a series of local struggles. Years of propaganda and patient effort were required, and, after the establishment of a high school in a community, constant watchfulness was necessary to prevent its abandonment (R. 329).

[Illustration: FIG. 207. HIGH SCHOOLS IN THE UNITED STATES BY 1860 Based on the table given in the _Report of the United States Commissioner of Education_, 1904, vol. II, pp. 1782-1989. This table is only approximately correct, as exact information is difficult to obtain. This table gives 321 high schools by 1860, and all but 35 of these were in the States shown on the above map. There were two schools in California and three in Texas, and the remainder not shown were in the Southern States. Of the 321 high schools reported, over half (167) were in the three States of Massachusetts (78), New York (41), and Ohio (48).]

In many States, legislation providing for the establishment of high schools was attacked in the courts. One of the clearest cases of this came in Michigan, in a test case appealed from the city of Kalamazoo, and commonly known as the Kalamazoo case. The opinion of the Supreme Court of the State (R. 330) was so favorable and so positive that this decision deeply influenced development in almost all of the Upper Mississippi Valley States. The struggle to establish and maintain high schools in Massachusetts and New York preceded the development in most other States, because there the common school had been established earlier. In consequence, the struggle to extend and complete the public-school system came there earlier also. The development was likewise more peaceful there, and came more rapidly. In Massachusetts this was in large part a result of the educational awakening started by James G. Carter and Horace Mann. In New York it was due to the early support of Governor De Witt Clinton, and the later encouragement and state aid which came from the Regents of the University of the State of New York. Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire were like Massachusetts in spirit, and followed closely its example. In Rhode Island and New Jersey, due to old conditions, and in Connecticut, due to the great decline in education there after 1800, the high school developed much more slowly, and it was not until after 1865 that any marked development took place in these States. The democratic West soon adopted the idea, and established high schools as soon as cities developed and the needs of the population warranted. In the South the main high- school development dates from relatively recent times.

Gradually the high school has been accepted as a part of the state common- school system by all the American States, and the funds and taxation originally provided for the common schools have been extended to cover the high school as well. The new States of the West have based their legislation largely on what the Eastern and Central States earlier fought out.


THE COLONIAL COLLEGES. The earlier colleges–Harvard, William and Mary, Yale–had been created by the religious-state governments of the earlier colonial period, and continued to retain some state connections for a time after the coming of nationality. As it early became evident that a democracy demands intelligence on the part of its citizens, that the leaders of democracy are not likely to be too highly educated, and that the character of collegiate instruction must ultimately influence national development, efforts were accordingly made to change the old colleges or create new ones, the final outcome of which was the creation of state universities in all the new and in most of the older States. The evolution of the state university, as the crowning head of the free public school system of the State, represents the last phase which we shall trace of the struggle of democracy to create a system of schools suited to its peculiar needs.

The close of the colonial period found the Colonies possessed of nine colleges. These, with the dates of their foundation, the Colony founding them, and the religious denomination they chiefly represented were:

1636. Harvard College Massachusetts Puritan 1693. William and Mary Virginia Anglican 1701. Yale College Connecticut Congregational 1746. Princeton New Jersey Presbyterian 1753-55 Academy and College Pennsylvania Non-denominational 1754. King’s College (Columbia) New York Anglican 1764. Brown Rhode Island Baptist 1765. Rutgers New Jersey Reformed Dutch 1769. Dartmouth New Hampshire Congregational

The religious purpose had been dominant in the founding of each institution, though there was a gradual shading-off in strict denominational control and insistence upon religious conformity in the foundations after 1750. Still the prime purpose in the founding of each was to train up a learned and godly body of ministers, the earlier congregations at least “dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” In a pamphlet, published in 1754, President Clap of Yale declared that “Colleges are _Societies of Ministers_, for training up Persons for the Work of the _Ministry_” and that “The great design of founding this School (Yale), was to Educate Ministers in our _own Way_.” In the advertisement published in the New York papers announcing the opening of King’s College, in 1754, it was stated that:

IV. The chief Thing that is aimed at in this College, is, to teach and engage the Children _to know God in Jesus Christ_, and to love and serve him in all _Sobriety, Godliness_, and _Richness of Life_, with a perfect Heart and a Willing Mind: and to train them up in all Virtuous Habits, and all such useful Knowledge as may render them creditable to their Families and Friends, Ornaments to their Country, and useful to the Public Weal in their generation.

These colonial institutions were all small. For the first fifty years of Harvard’s history the attendance at the college seldom exceeded twenty, and the President did all the teaching. The first assistant teacher (tutor) was not appointed until 1699, and the first professor not until 1721, when a professorship of divinity was endowed. By 1800 the instruction was conducted by the President and three professors–divinity, mathematics, and “Oriental languages”–assisted by a few tutors who received only class fees, and the graduating classes seldom exceeded forty. The course was four years in length, and all students studied the same subjects. The first three years were given largely to the so-called “Oriental languages” Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. In addition, Freshmen studied arithmetic; Sophomores, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry; and Juniors, natural (book) science; and all were given much training in oratory, and some general history was added. The Senior year was given mainly to ethics, philosophy, and Christian evidences. [16] The instruction in the eight other older colleges, before 1800, was not materially different.

[Illustration: FIG. 208. COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES ESTABLISHED BY 1860 Compiled from data given in the _Reports of the United States Commissioner of Education_. Of the 246 colleges shown on the map, but 17 were state institutions, and but two or three others had any state connections.]

GROWTH OF COLLEGES BY 1860. Fifteen additional colleges were founded before 1800, and it has been estimated that by that date the two dozen American colleges then existing did not have all told over one hundred professors and instructors, not less than one thousand nor more than two thousand students, or property worth over one million dollars. Their graduating classes were small. No one of the twenty-four admitted women in any way to its privileges. After 1820, with the firmer establishment of the Nation, the awakening of a new national consciousness, the development of larger national wealth, and a court decision which safeguarded the endowments, interest in the founding of new colleges perceptibly quickened, as may be seen from the adjoining table, and between 1820 and 1880 came the great period of denominational effort. The map shows the colleges established by 1860, from which it will be seen how large a part the denominational colleges played in the early history of higher education in the United States. Up to about 1870 the provision of higher education, as had been the case earlier with the provision of secondary education by the academies, had been left largely to private effort. There were, to be sure, a few state universities before 1870, though usually these were not better than the denominational colleges around them, and often they maintained a non-denominational character only by preserving a proper balance between the different denominations in the employment of their faculties. Speaking generally, higher education in the United States before 1870 was provided very largely in the tuitional colleges of the different religious denominations, rather than by the State. Of the 246 colleges founded by the close of the year 1860, as shown on the map, but 17 were state institutions, and but two or three others had any state connections.


Before 1780 10
1780-89 7
1790-99 7
1800-09 9
1810-19 5
1820-29 22
1830-39 38
1840-49 42
1850-59 92
1860-69 73
1870-79 61
1880-89 74
1890-99 54

Total 494

(After a table by Dexter corrected by U.S. Comr. Educ. data. Only approximately correct.)

THE NEW NATIONAL ATTITUDE TOWARD THE COLLEGES. After the coming of nationality there gradually grew up a widespread dissatisfaction with the colleges as then conducted, because they were aristocratic in tendency, because they devoted themselves so exclusively to the needs of a class, and because they failed to answer the needs of the States in the matter of higher education. Due to their religious origin, and the common requirement that the president and trustees must be members of some particular denomination, they were naturally regarded as representing the interests of some one sect or faction within the State rather than the interests of the State itself. With the rise of the new democratic spirit after about 1820 there came a demand, felt least in New England and most in the South and the new States in the West, for institutions of higher learning which should represent the State. It was argued that colleges were important instrumentalities for moulding the future, that the kind of education given in them must ultimately influence the welfare of the State, and that higher education cannot be regarded as a private matter. The type of education given in these higher institutions, it was argued, “will appear on the bench, at the bar, in the pulpit, and in the senate, and will unavoidably affect our civil and religious principles.” For these reasons, as well as to crown our state school system and to provide higher educational advantages for its leaders, it was argued that the State should exercise control over the colleges.

This new national spirit manifested itself in a number of ways. In New York we see it in the reorganization of King’s College, the rechristening of the institution as Columbia, and the placing of it under at least the nominal supervision of the governing educational body of the State. In Pennsylvania an attempt was made to bring the university into closer connection with the State, but this failed. In New Hampshire the legislature tried, in 1816, to transform Dartmouth College into a state institution. This act was contested in the courts, and the case was finally carried to the Supreme Court of the United States. There it was decided, in 1819, that the charter of a college was a contract, the obligation of which a legislature could not impair.

EFFECT OF THE DARTMOUTH COLLEGE DECISION. The effect of this decision manifested itself in two different ways. On the one hand it guaranteed the perpetuity of endowments, and the great period of private and denominational effort (see table) now followed. On the other hand, since the States could not change charters and transform old establishments, they began to turn to the creation of new state universities of their own. Virginia created its state university the same year as the Dartmouth case decision. The University of North Carolina, which had been established in 1789, and which began to give instruction in 1795, but which had never been under direct state control, was taken over by the State in 1821. The University of Vermont, originally chartered in 1791, was rechartered as a state university in 1838. The University of Indiana was established in 1820. Alabama provided for a state university in its first constitution, in 1819, and the institution opened for instruction in 1831. Michigan, in framing its first constitution preparatory to entering the Union, in 1835, made careful provisions for the safeguarding of the state university and for establishing it as an integral part of its state school system, as Indiana had done in 1816. Wisconsin provided for the creation of a state university in 1836, and embodied the idea in its first constitution when it entered the Union in 1848, and Missouri provided for a state university in 1839, Mississippi in 1844, Iowa in 1847, and Florida in 1856. The state university is today found in every “new” State and in some of the “original” States, and practically every new Western and Southern State followed the patterns set by Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin and made careful provision for the establishment and maintenance of a state university in its first state constitution.

There was thus quietly added another new section to the American educational ladder, and the free public-school system was extended farther upward. Though the great period of state university foundation came after 1860, and the great period of state university expansion after 1885, the beginnings were clearly marked early in our national history. Of the sixteen States having state universities by 1860 (see Figure 208), all except Florida had established them before 1850. For a long time small, poorly supported by the States, much like the church colleges about them in character and often inferior in quality, one by one the state universities have freed themselves alike from denominational restrictions on the one hand and political control on the other, and have set about rendering the service to the State which a state university ought to render. Michigan, the first of our state universities to free itself, take its proper place, and set an example for others to follow, opened in 1841 with two professors and six students. In 1844 it was a little institution of three professors, one tutor, one assistant, and one visiting lecturer, had but fifty-three students, and offered but a single course of study, consisting chiefly of Greek, Latin, mathematics, and intellectual and moral science (R. 331). As late as 1852 it had but seventy-two students, but by 1860, when it had largely freed itself from the incubus of Baptist Latin, Congregational Greek, Methodist intellectual philosophy, Presbyterian astronomy, and Whig mathematics, and its remarkable growth as a state university had begun, it enrolled five hundred and nineteen.

THE AMERICAN FREE PUBLIC-SCHOOL SYSTEM NOW ESTABLISHED. By the close of the second quarter of the nineteenth century, certainly by 1860, we find the American public-school system fully established, in principle at least, in all our Northern States (R. 332). Much yet remained to be done to carry into full effect what had been established in principle, but everywhere democracy had won its fight, and the American public school, supported by general taxation, freed from the pauper-school taint, free and equally open to all, under the direction of representatives of the people, free from sectarian control, and complete from the primary school through the high school, and in the Western States through the university as well, was established permanently in American public policy. It was a real democratic educational ladder that had been created, and not the typical two-class school system of continental European States. The establishment of the free public high school and the state university represent the crowning achievements of those who struggled to found a state-supported educational system fitted to the needs of great democratic States. Probably no other influences have done more to unify the American People, reconcile diverse points of view, eliminate state jealousies, set ideals for the people, and train leaders for the service of the States and of the Nation than the academies, high schools, and colleges scattered over the land. They have educated but a small percentage of the people, to be sure, but they have trained most of the leaders who have guided the American democracy since its birth.

[Illustration: FIG. 209. THE AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL LADDER Compare this with the figure on page 577, and the democratic nature of the American school system will be apparent.]


1. Explain the theory of “vested rights” as applied to private and parochial schools.

2. Does every great advance in provisions for human welfare require a period of education and propaganda? Illustrate.

3. Explain just what is meant by “the wealth of the State must educate the children of the State.”

4. Show how the retention of the pauper-school idea would have been dangerous to the life of the Republic.

5. Why were the cities more anxious to escape from the operation of the pauper-school law than were the towns and rural districts?

6. Why were the pauper-school and the rate-bill so hard to eliminate?

7. Explain why, in America, schools naturally developed from the community outward.

8. State your explanation for the older States beginning to establish permanent school funds, often before they had established a state system of schools.

9. Show the gradual transition from church control of education, through state aid of church schools, to secularized state schools.

10. Show why secularized state schools were the only possible solution for the United States.

11. Show that secularization would naturally take place in the textbooks and the instruction, before manifesting itself in the laws.

12. Show how the American academy was a natural development in the national life.

13. Show how the American high school was a natural development after the academy.

14. Show why the high school could be opposed by men who had accepted tax- supported elementary schools. Why has such reasoning been abandoned now?

15. Explain the difference, and illustrate from the history of American educational development, between establishing a thing in principle and carrying it into full effect.

16. Was the early argument as to the influence of higher education on the State a true argument? Why?

17. What would have been the probable results had the Dartmouth College case been decided the other way?

18. Show how the opening of collegiate instruction to women was a phase of the new democratic movement.

19. Show how college education has been a unifying force in the national life.


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

316. Mann: The Ground of the Free-School System. 317. Governor Cleveland: Repeal of the Connecticut School Law. 318. Mann: On the Repeal of the Connecticut School Law. 319. Gulliver: The Struggle for Free Schools in Norwich. 320. Address: The State and Education.
321. Michigan: A Rate-Bill, and a Warrant for Collection. 322. Mann: On Religious Instruction in the Schools. 323. Michigan: Petition for a Division of the School Fund. 324. Michigan: Counter-Petition against a Division. 325. Connecticut: Act of Incorporation of Norwich Free Academy, 326. Boston: Establishment of the First American High School. 327. Boston: The Secondary-School System in 1823. 328. Massachusetts: The High School Law of 1827. 329. Gulliver: An Example of the Opposition to High Schools. 330. Michigan: The Kalamazoo Decision.
331. Michigan: Program of Studies at University, 1843. 332. Tappan: The Michigan State System of Public Instruction.


1. Do Mann’s three propositions (316) hold equally true to-day?

2. Of what type of person is the reasoning of Governor Cleveland (317) typical?

3. Assuming Mann’s description of Connecticut progress (318) to be correct, how do you account for the legislature following Governor Cleveland’s recommendations so readily?

4. Did the leaders in Norwich (319) use good diplomacy?

5. Point out the essential soundness of the reasoning of the New Jersey Report (320).

6. Explain the willingness of people seventy-five years ago to conduct the school business on such a small basis (321) as the rate-bill indicates.

7. Show that, as Mr. Mann points out (322), sectarian schools and a State Church are near together.

8. Point out the weakness in the argument in the Michigan petition (323).

9. State the purpose and nature of the first American high school (326), and contrast it with the earlier academy.

10. Contrast the English Classical School (High School) of Boston of 1823, with the older Latin School (327), as to purpose and instruction.

11. Just what did the Massachusetts Law of 1827 (328) require?

12. Has such opposition as that described in 329 completely died out even now?

13. State the line of reasoning and the conclusions of the Court in the Kalamazoo Case (330). Point out how this decision might influence development elsewhere.

14. Compare the University of Michigan of 1843 (331) with a present-day high school.

15. Show that Michigan (332) had perfected an American educational ladder.


* Brown, E. E. _The Making of our Middle Schools_. * Brown, S. W. _The Secularization of American Education_. Cubberley, E. P. _Public Education in the United States_. Dexter, E. G. _A History of Education in the United States_. * Hinsdale, B. A. _Horace Mann, and the Common School Revival in the United States_.
* Inglis, A. J. _The Rise of the High School in Massachusetts_. Martin, George H. _The Evolution of the Massachusetts Public School System_.
* Mead, A. R. _The Development of Free Schools in the United States, as Illustrated by Connecticut and Michigan_. Taylor, James M. _Before Vassar Opened_. * Thwing, Charles F. _A History of Higher Education in America_.




THE FIVE TYPE NATIONS. We have now traced, in some detail, the struggles of forward-looking men to establish national systems of education in five great world nations. In each we have described the steps by means of which the State gradually superseded the Church in the control of education, and the motives and impulses which finally led the State to take over the school as a function of the State. The steps and impelling motives and rate of transfer were not the same in any two nations, but in each of the five the political necessities of the State in time made the transfer seem desirable. Time everywhere was required to effect the change. The movement began earliest and was concluded earliest in the German States, and was concluded last in England. In the German States, France, and Italy the change came rapidly and as a result of legislative acts or imperial decrees. In England and the United States the transfer took place, as we have seen, only in response to the slow development of public opinion.

This change in control and extension of educational advantages was essentially a nineteenth-century movement, and a resultant of the new political philosophy and the democratic revolutions of the later eighteenth century, combined with the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century. A new political impulse now replaced the earlier religious motive as the incentive for education, and education for literacy and citizenship became, during the nineteenth century, a new political ideal that has, in time, spread to progressive nations all over the world.

The five great nations whose educational evolution has been described in the preceding chapters may be regarded as having formed types which have since been copied, in more or less detail, by the more progressive nations