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with a reasoning soul toward God, government, their fellow-men, and themselves, and also at least the first rudiments of useful and indispensable knowledge.”

It was in the American Colonies, though, that the waning of the old religious interest was most notable. Due to rude frontier conditions, the decline in force of the old religious-town governments, the diversity of sects, the rise of new trade and civil interests, and the breakdown of old-home connections, the hold on the people of the old religious doctrines was weakened there earlier than in the old world. By 1750 the change in religious thinking in America had become quite marked. As a consequence many of the earlier parochial schools had died out, while in the New England Colonies the colonial governments had been forced to exercise an increasing state oversight of the elementary school to keep it from dying out there as well.

STUDIES AND TEXTBOOKS. The studies of the elementary vernacular school remained, throughout the whole of the eighteenth century, much as before, namely, reading, a little writing and ciphering, some spelling, religion, and in Teutonic countries a little music. La Salle (R. 182) had prescribed, for the Catholic vernacular schools of France, instruction in French, some. Latin, “orthography, arithmetic, the matins and vespers, le Pater, l’Ave Maria, le Credo et le Confiteor, the Commandments, responses, Catechism, duties of a Christian, and maxims and precepts drawn from the Testament.” The Catechism was to be taught one half-hour daily. The schoolbooks in England in Locke’s day, as he tells us (p. 435), were “the Horn Book, Primer, Psalter, Testament, and Bible.” These indicate merely a religious vernacular school. The purpose stated for the English Church charity-schools (R. 238 b), schools that attained to large importance in England and the American Colonies during the eighteenth century, shows them to have been, similarly, religious vernacular schools. The _School Regulations_ which Frederick the Great promulgated for Prussia (1763), fixed the textbooks to be used (R. 274, sec 20), and indicate that the instruction in Prussia was still restricted to reading, writing, religion, singing, and a little arithmetic. In colonial America, Noah Webster’s description (R. 230) of the schools he attended in Connecticut, about 1764-70, shows that the studies and textbooks were “chiefly or wholly Dilworth’s Spelling Books, the Psalter, Testament, and Bible,” with a little writing and ciphering. A few words of description of these older books may prove useful here.

[Illustration: FIG. 130. A HORN BOOK]

THE HORN BOOK. The Horn Book goes back to the close of the fifteenth century, [7] and by the end of the sixteenth century was in common use throughout England. Somewhat similar alphabet boards, lacking the handle, were also used in Holland, France, and in German lands. This, a thin oak board on which was pasted a printed slip, covered by translucent horn, was the book from which children learned their letters and began to read, the mastery of which usually required some time. Cowper thus describes this little book:

Neatly secured from being soiled or torn Beneath a pane of thin translucent horn, A book (to please us at a tender age
‘T is called a book, though but a single page) Presents the prayer the Savior designed to teach, Which children use, and parsons–when they preach.

The Horn Book was much used well into the eighteenth century, but its reading matter was in time incorporated into the school Primer, now evolved out of an earlier elementary religious manual.

THE PRIMER. Originally the child next passed to the Catechism and the Bible, but about the middle of the seventeenth century the Primer began to be used. The Primer in its original form was a simple manual of devotion for the laity, compiled without any thought of its use in the schools. It contained the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and a few of the more commonly used prayers and psalms. [8] The Catechism soon was added, and with the prefixing of the alphabet and a few syllables and words it was transformed, as schools arose, into the first reading book for children. There was at first no attempt at grading, illustration, or the introduction of easy reading material. About the close of the seventeenth century the illustrated Primer, with some attempt at grading and some additional subject-matter, made its appearance, both in England and America, and at once leaped into great popularity.

The idea possibly goes back to the _Orbis Pictus_ (1654) of Comenius (p. 413: R. 221), the first illustrated schoolbook ever written. The first English Primer adapted to school use was _The Protestant Tutor_, a rather rabid anti-Catholic work which appeared in London, about 1685. A later edition of this contained the alphabet, some syllables and words, the figures and letters, the list of the books of the Bible, an alphabet of lessons, the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, the Ten Commandments, and a poem, long famous, on the death of the martyr, John Rogers. [9] It was an abridgement of this book which the same publisher brought out in Boston, about 1690, under the name of _The New England Primer_ (R. 202). This at once leaped into great popularity, and became the accepted reading book in all the schools of the American Colonies except those under the Church of England. For the next century and a quarter it was the chief school and reading book in use among the Dissenters and Lutherans in America. Schoolmasters drilled the children on the reading matter and the Catechism it contained, and the people recited from it yearly in the churches. It was also used for such spelling as was given. It was the first great American textbook success, and was still in use in the Boston dame schools as late as 1806. It was reprinted in England, and enjoyed a great sale among Dissenters there. Its sales in America alone have been estimated at least three million copies. The sale in Europe was also large. It was followed in England by other Primers and other introductory reading books, of which _The History of Genesis_ (1708), a series of simple stories retold from the first book of the Bible, and _The Child’s Weeks-Work_ (1712), containing proverbs, fables, conundrums, lessons on behavior, and a short catechism, are types. Frederick the Great, in his list of required textbooks for Prussian schools (R. 274, sec 20), does not mention a Primer.

[Illustration: THE WESTMINSTER CATECHISM. (A page from _The New England Primer_, natural size)]

THE CATECHISM. In all Protestant German lands the Shorter Catechism prepared by Luther, or the later Heidelberg Catechism; in Calvinistic lands the Catechism of Calvin; and in England and the American Colonies the Westminster Catechism, [10] formed the backbone of the religious instruction. Teachers drilled their pupils in these as thoroughly as on any other subject, writing masters set as copies sentences from the book, children were required to memorize the answers, and the doctrines contained were emphasized by teacher and preacher so that the children were saturated with the religious ideas set forth. No book except the Bible did so much to form the character, and none so much to fix the religious bias of the children. Almost equal importance was given to the Catechism in Catholic lands (R. 182, sec 21-22), though there supplemented by more religious influences derived from the ceremonial of the Church.

[Illustration: FIG. 132. THOMAS DILWORTH (?-1780) The most celebrated English textbook writer of his day. (From the Frontispiece of his _Schoolmaster’s Assistant_, 1740)]

SPELLERS. The next step forward, in the transition from the religious Primer to secular reading matter for school children, came in the use of the so-called Spellers. Probably the first of these was _The English School-Master_ of Edmund Coote (R. 229), first issued in 1596. This gave thirty-two pages to the alphabet and spelling; eighteen to a shorter Catechism, prayers, and psalms; five to chronology; two to writing copies; two to arithmetic; and twenty to a list of hard words, alphabetically arranged and explained. As will be seen from this analysis of contents, this was a schoolmaster’s general manual and guide. After about 1740 such books became very popular, due to the publication that year of Thomas Dilworth’s _A New Guide to the English Tongue_. This book contained, as the title-page (R. 229) declared, selected lists of words with rules for their pronunciation, a short treatise on grammar, a collection of fables with illustrations for reading, some moral selections, and forms of prayer for children. It became very popular in New as well as in old England, and was followed by a long line of imitators, culminating in America in the publication of Noah Webster’s famous blue-backed _American Spelling Book_, in 1783. This was after the plan of the English Dilworth, but was put in better teaching form. It contained numerous graded lists of words, some illustrations, a series of graded reading lessons, and was largely secular in character. It at once superseded the expiring _New England Primer_ in most of the American cities, and continued popular in the United States for more than a hundred years. [11] It was the second great American textbook success, and was followed by a long list of popular Spellers and Readers, leading up to the excellent secular Readers of the present day.

This is from the 1827 edition, reduced one third in size.]

ARITHMETIC AND WRITING. The first English Arithmetic, published about 1540 to 1542, has been entirely lost, and was probably read by few. The first to attain any popularity was _Cocker’s Arithmetic_ (1677), this “Being a Plain and Familiar Method suitable to the meanest Capacity, for the understanding of that incomparable. Art.” A still more popular book was _Arithmetick: or that Necessary Art Made Most Easie_, by J. Hodder, Writing Master, a reprint of which appeared in Boston, in 1719. The first book written by an American author was Isaac Greenwood’s _Arithmetick, Vulgar and Decimal_, which appeared in Boston, in 1729. In 1743 appeared Dilworth’s _The Schoolmaster’s Assistant_, a book which retained its popularity in both England and America until after the beginning of the nineteenth century.

No text in Arithmetic is mentioned in the School Regulations of Frederick the Great (R. 274, sec 20), or in scarcely any of the descriptions left us of eighteenth-century schools. The study itself was common, but not universal, and was one that many teachers were not competent to teach. To possess a reputation as an “arithmeticker” was an important recommendation for a teacher, while for a pupil to be able to do sums in arithmetic was unusual, and a matter of much pride to parents. The subject was frequently taught by the writing master, in a separate school, [12] while the reading teacher confined himself to reading, spelling, and religion. Thus, for example, following earlier English practice, the Town Meeting of Boston, in 1789, ordered “three reading schools and three writing schools established in the town” for the instruction of children between the ages of seven and fourteen, the subjects to be taught in each being:

The writing schools: Writing, Arithmetic

The reading schools: Spelling, Accentuation, Reading of prose and verse, English grammar and composition

The teacher might or might not possess an arithmetic of his own, but the instruction to the pupil was practically always dictated and copied instruction. Each pupil made up his own book of rules and solved problems, and few pupils ever saw a printed arithmetic. Many of the early arithmetics were prepared after the catechism plan. There was almost no attempt to use the subject for drill in reasoning or to give a concrete type of instruction, before about the middle of the eighteenth century, [13] and but little along such reform lines was accomplished until after the beginning of the nineteenth century.

[Illustration: FIG. 134. TITLE-PAGE OF HODDER’S ARITHMETIC An early reprint of this famous book appeared in Boston in 1719.]

Writing, similarly, was taught by dictation and practice, and the art of the “scrivener,” as the writing master was called, was one thought to be difficult to learn. The lack of practical value of the art, the high cost of paper, and the necessity usually for special lessons, all alike tended to make writing a much less commonly known art than reading. Fees also were frequently charged for instruction in writing and arithmetic; reading, spelling, and religion being the only free subjects. The scrivener and the arithmetic teacher also frequently moved about, as business warranted, and was not fixed as was the teacher of the reading school.

THE TEACHERS. The development of the vernacular school was retarded not only by the dominance of the religious purpose of the school, but by the poor quality of teachers found everywhere in the schools. The evolution of the elementary-school teacher of to-day out of the church sexton, bell- ringer, or grave-digger, [14] or out of the artisan, cripple, or old dame who added school teaching to other employment in order to live, forms one of the interesting as well as one of the yet-to-be-written chapters in the history of the evolution of the elementary school.

Teachers in elementary schools everywhere in the eighteenth century were few in number, poor in quality, and occupied but a lowly position in the social scale. School dames in England (R. 235) and later in the American Colonies, and on the continent of Europe teachers who were more sextons, choristers, beadles, bell-ringers, grave-diggers, shoemakers, tailors, barbers, pensioners, and invalids than teachers, too often formed the teaching body for the elementary vernacular school (Rs. 231, 232, 233). In Switzerland, the Netherlands, and some of the American Colonies, where schools had become or were becoming local semi-civic affairs, the standards which might be imposed for teaching also were low. The grant of the tailoring monopoly to the elementary teachers of Prussia, [15] in 1738, and Kruesi’s recollections of how he became a schoolmaster in Switzerland, in 1793 (R. 234), were quite typical of the time. In Catholic France, and in some German Catholic lands as well, teaching congregations (p. 345), some of whose members had some rudimentary training for their work, were in charge of the existing parish schools. These provided a somewhat better type of teaching body than that frequently found in Protestant lands, though by the latter part of the eighteenth century the beginnings of teacher-training are to be seen in some of the German States. The Church of England, too, had by this time organized strong Societies [16] for the preparation of teachers for Church-of-England schools, both at home and abroad. In Dutch, German, and Scandinavian lands, and in colonies founded by these people in America, the parish school, closely tied up with and dependent upon the parish church, was the prevailing type of vernacular school, and in this the teacher was regarded as essentially an assistant to the pastor (R. 236) and the school as a dependency of the Church.

[FIG. 135. A “CHRISTIAN BROTHERS” SCHOOL La Salle teaching at Grenoble. Note the adult type of dress of the boys.]

In England, in addition to regular parish schools and endowed elementary schools, three peculiar institutions, known as the Dame School, the religious charity-school, and the private-adventure or “hedge school” had grown up, and the first two of these had reached a marked development by the middle of the eighteenth century. Because these were so characteristic of early English educational effort, and also played such an important part in the American Colonies as well, they merit a few words of description at this point.

THE DAME SCHOOL. The Dame School arose in England after the Reformation. By means of it the increasing desire for a rudimentary knowledge of the art of reading could be satisfied, and at the same time certain women could earn a pittance. This type of school was carried early to the American Colonies, and out of it was in time evolved, in New England, the American elementary school. The Dame School was a very elementary school, kept in a kitchen or living-room by some woman who, in her youth, had obtained the rudiments of an education, and who now desired to earn a small stipend for herself by imparting to the children of her neighborhood her small store of learning. For a few pennies a week the dame took the children into her home and explained to them the mysteries connected with learning the beginnings of reading and spelling. Occasionally a little writing and counting also were taught, though not often in England. In the American Colonies the practical situations of a new country forced the employment as teachers of women who could teach all three subjects, thus early creating the American school of the so-called “3 Rs”–“Reading, Riting, Rithmetic.” The Dame School appears so frequently in English literature, both poetry and prose, that it must have played a very important part in the beginnings of elementary education in England. Of this school Shenstone (1714-63) writes (R. 235):

In every village marked with little spire, Embowered in trees, and hardly known to fame, There dwells, in lowly shed and mean attire, A matron old, whom we schoolmistress name, Who boasts unruly brats with birch to tame.

[Illustration: FIG. 136. AN ENGLISH DAME SCHOOL (From a drawing of a school in the heart of London, after Barclay)]

The Reverend George Crabbe (1754-1832), another poet of homely life, writes (R. 235) of a deaf, poor, patient widow who sits

And awes some thirty infants as she knits; Infants of humble, busy wives who pay,
Some trifling price for freedom through the day.

This school flourished greatly in America during the eighteenth century, but with the coming of Infant Schools, early in the nineteenth, was merged into these to form the American Primary School.

[Illustration: FIG. 137. GRAVEL LANE CHARITY-SCHOOL, SOUTHWARK Founded in 1687, and one of the earliest of the Non-Conformist English charity-schools. Still carrying on its work in the original schoolroom at the time this picture appeared, in _Londina Illustrata_ in 1819.]

THE RELIGIOUS CHARITY-SCHOOL. Another thoroughly characteristic English institution was the church charity-school. The first of these was founded in Whitechapel, London, in 1680. In 1699, when the School of Saint Anne, Soho (R. 237), was founded by “Five Earnest Laymen for the Poore Boys of the Parish,” it was the sixth of its kind in England. In 1699 the “Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge” (S.P.C.K.) was founded for the purpose, among other things, of establishing catechetical schools for the education of the children of the poor in the principles of the Established Church (R. 238 b). In 1701 the “Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts” (S.P.G.) was also founded to extend the work of the Anglican Church abroad, supply schoolmasters and ministers, and establish schools, to train children to read, write, know and understand the Catechism, and fit into the teachings and worship of the Church. To develop piety and help the poor to lead industrious, upright, self- respecting lives, “to make them loyal Church members, and to fit them for work in that station of life in which it had pleased their Heavenly Father to place them,” were the principal objects of the Society.

All were taught reading, spelling, and the Catechism, and instruction in writing and arithmetic might be added. The training might also be coupled with that of the “schools of industry” (workhouse schools, as described by Locke [R. 217]) to augment the economic efficiency of the boy. Girls seem to have been provided for almost equally with boys, and, in addition to being taught to read and spell, were taught “to knit their Stockings and Gloves, to Mark, Sew, and make and mend their Cloathes.” Both boys and girls were usually provided with books and clothing, [17] a regular uniform being worn by the boys and girls of each school.

[Illustration: FIG. 138. A CHARITY-SCHOOL GIRL IN UNIFORM Saint Anne’s, Soho, England]

The chief motive in the establishment of these schools, though, was to decrease the “Prophaness and Debauchery … owing to a gross Ignorance of the Christian Religion” (R. 237) and to educate “Poor Children in the Rules and Principles of the Christian Religion as professed and taught in the Church of England.” Writing, in 1742, Reverend Griffith Jones, an organizer for the S.P.C.K. in Wales, said:

It is but a cheap education that we would desire for them [the poor], only the moral and religious branches of it, which indeed is the most necessary and indispensable part. The sole design of this charity is to inculcate upon such … as can be prevailed upon to learn, the knowledge and practice, the principles and duties of the Christian religion; and to make them good people, useful members of society, faithful servants of God, and men and heirs of eternal life.

These schools multiplied rapidly and soon became regular institutions, as the following table, showing the growth of the S.P.C.K. schools in London alone, shows:

Year Schools Boys Girls Total
1699 0 0 0 0
1704 54 1386 745 2131
1709 88 2181 1221 3402
1714 117 3077 1741 4818

In England and Ireland combined the Society had, by 1714, a total of 1073 schools, with 19,453 pupils enrolled, and by 1729 the number had increased to 1658, with approximately 34,000 pupils. From England the charity-school idea was early carried to the Anglican Colonies in America and became a fixed institution in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and somewhat in the Colonies farther south. In the Pennsylvania constitution of 1790 we find the following directions for the establishment of a state charity-school system to supplement the parish schools of the churches:

Sec. I. The legislature shall, as soon as conveniently may be, provide, by law, for the establishment of schools throughout the State, in such manner that the poor may be taught _gratis_.

[Illustration: FIG. 130. A CHARITY-SCHOOL BOY IN UNIFORM Saint Anne’s, Soho, England]

The first Pennsylvania school law of 1802 carried this direction into effect by providing for pauper schools in the counties, a condition that was not done away with until 1834. In New Jersey the system lasted until 1838.

THE PRIVATE-ADVENTURE, OR “HEDGE,” SCHOOL. This was a school analogous to the Dame School, but was kept by a man instead of a woman, and usually at his home or shop. Plate 15, showing a shoe cobbler teaching, represents one type of such schools. The term “hedge schools” arose in Ireland, where teaching was forbidden the Catholics, and secret schools arose in which priests and others taught what was possible. Of these McCarthy writes: [18]

On the highways and on the hillsides, in ditches and behind hedges, in the precarious shelter of the ruined walls of some ancient abbey, or under the roof of a peasant’s cabin, the priests set up schools and taught the children of their race.

The term soon came to be applied to any kind of a poor school, taught in an irregular manner or place. Similar irregular schools, under equivalent names, also were found in German lands, [19] the Netherlands, and in France, while in the American Colonies “indentured white servants” were frequently let out as schoolmasters. The following advertisement of a teacher for sale is typical of private-adventure elementary school-keeping during the colonial period.

[Illustration: FIG. 140. ADVERTISEMENT FOR A TEACHER TO LET (From the _American Weekly Mercury_ of Philadephia, 1735)]

These schools were taught by itinerant school-keepers, artisans, and tutors of the poorer type, but offered the beginnings of elementary education to many a child who otherwise would never have been able to learn to read. In the early eighteenth century these schools attained a remarkable development in England.

A new influence of tremendous future importance–general reading–was now coming in; the vernacular was fast supplanting Latin; newspapers were being started; little books or pamphlets (tracts) containing general information were being sold; books for children and beginners were being written; the popular novel and story had appeared; [20] and all these educative forces were creating a new and a somewhat general desire for a knowledge of the art of reading. This in turn caused a new demand for schools to teach the long-locked-up art, and this demand was capitalized to the profit of many types of people.

THE APPRENTICING OF ORPHANS AND CHILDREN OF THE POOR. The compulsory apprenticing of the children of the poor, as we have seen (p. 326), was an old English institution, and workhouse training, or the so-called “schools of industry” became, by the eighteenth century, a prominent feature of the English care of the poor. These represented the only form of education supported by taxation, and the only form of education to which Parliament gave any attention during the whole of the eighteenth century. This type of institution also was carried to the Anglican Colonies in America, as we have seen in the documents for Virginia (R. 200 a), and became an established institution in America as well.

The apprenticing of boys to a trade, a still older institution, was also much used as a means for training youths for a life in the trades, not only in England and the American Colonies, but throughout all European lands as well. The conditions surrounding the apprenticing of a boy had by the eighteenth century become quite fixed. The “Indenture of Apprenticeship” was drawn up by a lawyer, and by it the master was carefully bound to clothe and feed the boy, train him properly in his trade, look after his morals, and start him in life at the end of his apprenticeship. This is well shown in the many records which have been preserved, both in England (R. 242) and the American Colonies (R. 201). For many boys this type of education was the best possible at the time, and worthily started the possessor in the work of his trade.

In the eighteenth century different English church parishes began to set up workhouse schools of various types, and to maintain these out of parish “rates.” The one established in Bishopsgate Street, London, in 1701, is typical. This cared for about 375 children and in it, by 1720, there had been educated and placed forth 1420 children, and in addition 123 had died. Of this school it is recorded that poor children

“being taken into the said Workhouse are there taught to Read and Write, and kept to Work until they are qualified to be put out to be Apprentices, and for the Sea Service, or otherwise disposed; … The Habit of the Children is all the same, being made of Russit Cloth, and a round Badge worn upon their Breast, representing a poor Boy, and a Sheep; the Motto: ‘_God’s Providence is our Inheritance_.'” … In this workhouse children were “taught to spin Wool and Flax, to Sow and Knit, to make their own Cloaths, Shoes, and Stockings, and the like Employments; to inure them betimes to labour. They are also taught to read, and such as are capable, to write and cast Accounts; and also the Catechism, to ground them in Principles of Religion and Honesty.” [21]

The school established by Saint John’s parish, Southwark, London, in 1735, and designed to train and “put out” girls for domestic service (R. 241), and which cared for, clothed, and trained forty girls, is also typical of these parish schools “for the children of the industrious poor.”

METHODS OF INSTRUCTION. Throughout the eighteenth century the method of instruction commonly employed in the vernacular schools was what was known as the individual method. This was wasteful of both time and effort, and unpedagogical to a high degree (R. 244). Everywhere the teacher was engaged chiefly in hearing recitations, testing memory, and keeping order. The pupils came to the master’s desk, one by one (see Figures 98, 99), and recited what they had memorized. Aside from imposing discipline, teaching was an easy task. The pupils learned the assigned lessons and recited what they had learned. Such a thing as methodology–technique of instruction– was unknown. The dominance of the religious motive, too, precluded any liberal attitude in school instruction, the individual method was time- consuming, school buildings often were lacking, and in general there was an almost complete lack of any teaching equipment, books, or supplies. Viewed from any modern standpoint the schools of the eighteenth century attained to but a low degree of efficiency (R. 244). The school hours were long, the schoolmaster’s residence or place of work or business was commonly used as a schoolroom, and such regular schoolrooms as did exist were dirty and noisy and but poorly suited to school purposes. Schools everywhere, too, were ungraded, the school of one teacher being like that of any other teacher of that class.

So wasteful of time and effort was the individual method of instruction that children might attend school for years and get only a mere start in reading and writing. Paulsen, [22] writing of schools in German lands at an even later date, says that even in the better type of vernacular schools

many children never achieved anything beyond a little reading and knowing a few things by heart…. The instruction in reading was never anything else but a torture, protracted through years, from saying the alphabet and formation of syllables to the deciphering of complete words, without any real success in the end, while writing was nothing but a wearisome tracing of the letters, the net result of all the toil being the gabbling of the Catechism and a few Bible texts and hymns, learned over and over again.

The imparting of information by the teacher to a class, or a class discussion of a topic, were almost unknown. Hearing lessons, assigning new tasks, setting copies, making quill pens, dictating sums, and imposing order completely absorbed the time and the attention of the teacher.

SCHOOL DISCIPLINE. The discipline everywhere was severe. “A boy has a back; when you hit it he understands,” was a favorite pedagogical maxim of the time. Whipping-posts were sometimes set up in the schoolroom, and practically all pictures of the schoolmasters of the time show a bundle of switches near at hand. Boys in the Latin grammar schools were flogged for petty offenses (R. 245). The ability to impose order on a poorly taught and, in consequence, an unruly school was always an important requisite of the schoolmaster. A Swabian schoolmaster, Haeuberle by name, with characteristic Teutonic attention to details, has left on record [23] that, in the course of his fifty-one years and seven months as a teacher he had, by a moderate computation, given 911,527 blows with a cane, 124,010 blows with a rod, 20,989 blows and raps with a ruler, 136,715 blows with the hand, 10,235 blows over the mouth, 7,905 boxes on the ear, 1,115,800 raps on the head, and 22,763 _notabenes_ with the Bible, Catechism, singing book, and grammar. He had 777 times made boys kneel on peas, 613 times on a triangular piece of wood, had made 3001 wear the jackass, and 1707 hold the rod up, not to mention various more unusual punishments he had contrived on the spur of the occasion. Of the blows with the cane, 800,000 were for Latin words; of the rod 76,000 were for texts from the Bible or verses from the singing book. He also had about 3000 expressions to scold with, two thirds of which were native to the German tongue and the remainder his invention.

[Illustration: FIG. 141. A SCHOOL WHIPPING-POST Drawn from a picture of a five-foot whipping-post which once stood in the floor of a school-house at Sunderland, Massachusetts. Now in the Deerfield Museum.]

[Illustration: FIG. 142. AN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY GERMAN SCHOOL Reproduction of an engraving by J. Mettenleiter, now in the Kupferstichkabinet, Munich, and printed in Joh. Ferd. Schlez’s. _Dorfschulen zu Langenhausen_. Nuremberg, 1795.]

Another illustration of German school discipline, of many that might be cited, was the reform work of Johann Ernest Christian Haun, who was appointed, in 1783, as inspector of schools in the once famous Gotha (p. 317). Due to warfare and neglect the schools there had fallen into disrepute. Haun drove the incapable teachers from the work, and for a time restored the schools to something of their earlier importance. Among other reforms it is recorded that he forbade teachers to put irons around the boys’ necks, to cover them with mud, to make them kneel on peas, or to brutally beat them. Diesterweg (R. 244) describes similar punishments as characteristic of eighteenth-century German schools. The eighteenth- century German schoolmaster shown in Fig. 142 was probably a good sample of his class.

Pedagogical writers of the time uniformly complain of the severe discipline of the schools, and the literature of the period abounds in allusions to the prevailing harshness of the school discipline. A few writers condemn, but most approve heartily of the use of the rod. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” had for long been a well-grounded pedagogical doctrine. Among many literary extracts that might be cited illustrating this belief, the following poem by the English poet Crabbe (1754-1832) is interesting. He puts the following words into the mouth of his early schoolmaster:

Students like horses on the road,
Must be well lashed before they take the load; They may be willing for a time to run,
But you must whip them ere the work be done; To tell a boy, that if he will improve, His friends will praise him, and his parents love, Is doing nothing–he has not a doubt
But they will love him, nay, applaud without; Let no fond sire a boy’s ambition trust, To make him study, let him learn he must.

CONDITIONS SURROUNDING CHILDHOOD. It is difficult for us of today to re- create in imagination the pitiful life-conditions which surrounded children a century and a half ago. Often the lot of the children of the poor, who then constituted the great bulk of all children, was little less than slavery. Wretchedly poor, dirty, unkempt, hard-worked, beaten about, knowing strong drink early, illiterate, often vicious–their lot was a sad one. For the children of the poor there were few, if any, educational opportunities. Writing on the subject David Salmon says: [24]

The imagination of the twentieth century cannot fathom the poverty of the eighteenth. The great development of mines and manufactures, which has brought ease and independence within the reach of industrious labour everywhere, had hardly begun; employment was so scarce and intermittent, and wages were so low, that the working classes lived in hovels, dressed in rags, and were familiar with the pangs of hunger; while those who were forced to look to the rates for hovels, rags, and food sufficient to maintain a miserable life numbered a sixth of the whole population.

In the towns children were apprenticed out early in life, and for long hours of daily labor. Child welfare was almost entirely neglected, children were cuffed about and beaten at their work, juvenile delinquency was a common condition, child mortality was heavy, and ignorance was the rule. Schools generally were pay institutions or a charity, and not a birthright, and usually existed only for the middle and lower-middle classes in the population who were attendants at the churches and could afford to pay a little for the schooling given. Reading and religion were usually the only free subjects. Only in the New England Colonies, where the beginnings of town and colony school systems were evident, and in a few of the German States where state control was beginning to be exercised, was a better condition to be found.

[Illustration: FIG. 143. CHILDREN AS MINIATURE ADULTS Children leaving school, from an eighteenth-century drawing by Saint Aubin.]

Among the middle and upper social classes, particularly on the continent of Europe, a stiff artificiality everywhere prevailed. Children were dressed and treated as miniature adults, the normal activities of childhood were suppressed, and the natural interests and emotions of children found little opportunity for expression. Wearing powdered and braided hair, long gold-braided coats, embroidered waistcoats, cockaded hats, and swords, boys were treated more as adults than as children. Girls, too, with their long dresses, hoops, powdered hair, rouged faces, and demure manner, were trained in a, for children, most unnatural manner. [25]

The dancing master for their manners and graces, and the religious instructor to develop in them the ability to read and to go through a largely meaningless ceremonial, were the chief guides for the period of their childhood.

SCHOOL SUPPORT. No uniform plan, in any country, had as yet been evolved for even the meager support which the schools of the time received. The Latin grammar schools were in nearly all cases supported by the income from old “foundations” and from students’ fees, with here and there some state aid. The new elementary vernacular schools, though, had had assigned to them few old foundations upon which to draw for maintenance, and in consequence support for elementary schools had to be built up from new sources, and this required time.

In England the Act of Conformity of 1662 (R. 166), it will be remembered (p. 324), had laid a heavy hand on the schools by driving all Dissenters from positions in them, and the Five Mile Act of 1665 had borne even more severely on the teachers in the schools of the Dissenters. Fortunately for elementary education in England, however, the English courts, in 1670, had decided in a test case that the teacher in an elementary school could not be deprived of his position by failure of the bishop to license him, if he were a nominee of the founder or the lay patron of the school. The result of this decision was that, between 1660 and 1730, 905 endowed elementary schools were founded in England, and 72 others previously founded had their endowments increased. The number continued to increase throughout the eighteenth century, and by 1842 had reached a total of 2194. These new foundations probably gave the best schooling of the time, and tended to stir the Established Church to action. Accordingly we find that during the eighteenth century the vestries of the different church parishes began the creation of parish elementary schools for the children of the poor of the parish, supporting a teacher for them out of the parish rates, and without specific legal authorization to do so. These new parish schools also contributed somewhat to the provision of elementary education, and mark the beginning of the church “voluntary schools” which were such a characteristic feature of nineteenth-century English education. We thus have, in England, endowed elementary schools, parish schools, dame schools, private-adventure schools of many types, and charity-schools, all existing side by side, and drawing such support as they could from endowment funds, parish rates, church tithes, subscriptions, and tuition fees. The support of schools by subscription lists (R. 240) was a very common proceeding. Education in England, more than in any other Protestant land, early came to be regarded as a benevolence which the State was under no obligation to support. Only workhouse schools were provided for by the general taxation of all property.

In the Netherlands and in German lands church funds, town funds, and tuition fees were the chief means of support, though here and there some prince had provided for something approaching state support for the schools of his little principality. Frederick the Great had ordered schools established generally (1763) and had decreed the compulsory attendance of children (R. 274), but he had depended largely on church funds and tuition fees (sec 7) for maintenance, with a proviso that the tuition of poor and orphaned children should be paid from “any funds of the church or town, that the schoolmaster may get his income” (sec 8). In Scotland the church parish school was the prevailing type. In France the religious societies (p. 345) provided nearly all the elementary vernacular religious education that was obtainable.

In the Dutch Provinces, in the New England Colonies, and in some of the minor German States, we find the clearest examples of the beginnings of state control and maintenance of elementary schools–something destined to grow rapidly and in the nineteenth century take over the school from the Church and maintain it as a function of the State. The Prussian kings early made grants of land and money for endowment funds and support, and state aid was ordered granted by Maria Theresa for Austria (R. 274 a), in 1774. In the New England Colonies the separation of the school from the Church, and the beginnings of state support and control of education, found perhaps their earliest and clearest exemplification. In the other Colonies the lottery was much used (R. 246) to raise funds for schools, while church tithes, subscription lists, and school societies after the English pattern also helped in many places to start and support a school or schools.

Only by some such means was it possible in the eighteenth century that the children of the poor could ever enjoy any opportunities for education. The parents of the poor children, themselves uneducated, could hardly be expected to provide what they had never come to appreciate themselves. On the other hand, few of the well-to-do classes felt under any obligation to provide education for children not their own. There was as yet no realization that the diffusion of education contributed to the welfare of the State, or that the ignorance of the masses might be in any way a public peril. This attitude is well shown for England by the fact that not a single law relating to the education of the people, aside from workhouse schools, was enacted by Parliament during the whole of the eighteenth century. The same was true of France until the coming of the Revolution. It is to a few of the German States and to the American Colonies that we must turn for the beginnings of legislation directing school support. This we shall describe more in detail in later chapters.

THE LATIN SECONDARY SCHOOL. The great progress made in education during the eighteenth century, nevertheless, was in elementary education. Concerning the secondary schools and the universities there is little to add to what has previously been said. During this century the secondary school, outside of German lands, remained largely stationary. Having become formal and lifeless in its teaching (p. 283), and in England and France crushed by religious-uniformity legislation, the Latin grammar school of England and the surviving colleges in France practically ceased to exert any influence on the national life. The Jesuit schools, which once had afforded the best secondary education in Europe, had so declined in usefulness everywhere that they were about to be driven from all lands. The Act of Conformity of 1662 (R. 166) had dealt the grammar schools of England a heavy blow, and the eighteenth century found them in a most wretched condition, with few scholars, and their endowments shamefully abused. The Law of 1662, says Montmorency, “involved such a peering into the lives of schoolmasters, such a course of inquisitorial folly, that the position became intolerable. Men would not become schoolmasters…. Education had no meaning when none but political and religious hypocrites were allowed to teach…. National education was destroyed.” and the grammar schools of England were “practically withdrawn during more than two centuries (1662-1870) from the national life.” [26]

In German lands the old Latin schools continued largely unchanged until near the middle of the eighteenth century, with Latin, taught as it had been for a century or more, as the chief subject of study. Shortly after the coming of Frederick the Great to the throne (1740) the Latin schools of Prussia, and after them the Latin schools in other German States, were reorganized and given a new life. The influence of Francke’s school at Halle (p. 418), and the new types of teaching developed there and by his followers elsewhere, began to be felt. German, French, and mathematics were given recognition, and some science work was here and there introduced. Above all, though, Greek now attained to the place of first importance in the reorganized Latin schools.

It was not until after 1740 that the German people awakened to the possibility of an independent national life. Then, under the new impulse toward nationality, French influence and manners were thrown off, German literature attained its Golden Age, the _Ritterakademieen_ (p. 405) were discarded, and a number of the German Principalities and States revised their school regulations and erected, out of the old Latin schools, a series of humanistic _gymnasia_ in which the study of Greek life and culture occupied the foremost place. New methods in classical study were thought out and applied, and a new pedagogical purpose–culture and discipline–was given to the regenerated Latin schools. A new Renaissance, in a way, took place in German lands, [27] and a knowledge of Greek was proclaimed by German university and gymnasial teachers as indispensable to a liberal education with an earnestness of conviction not exceeded by Battista Guarino (p. 268) four centuries before. To know Greek and to have some familiarity with Greek literature and history now came to be regarded as necessary to the highest culture, [28] and a pedagogical theory for such study was erected, based on the discipline of the mind, [29] which dominated the German classical school throughout the entire nineteenth century. It was in the eighteenth century also that the German States began the development of the scientific secondary school (_Realschule_), see p. 420, as described in a preceding chapter.

[Illustration: FIG. 144. A PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY York Academy, York, Pennsylvania, founded by the Protestant Episcopal Church, in 1787.]

RISE OF THE ACADEMY IN AMERICA. As we have seen (p. 361), the English Latin grammar school was early (1635) carried to New England, and set up there and elsewhere in the Colonies, but after the close of the seventeenth century its continued maintenance was something of a struggle. Particularly in the central and southern colonies, where commercial demands early made themselves felt, the tendency was to teach more practical subjects. This tendency led to the evolution, about the middle of the eighteenth century, of the distinctively American Academy, with a more practical curriculum, and by the close of the century it was rapidly superseding the older Latin grammar school. Franklin’s Academy at Philadelphia, which began instruction in 1751, and which later evolved into the University of Pennsylvania, was probably the first American Academy. The first in Massachusetts was founded in 1761, and by 1800 there were seventeen in Massachusetts alone. The great period of academy development was the first half of the nineteenth century. The Phillips Academy, at Andover, Massachusetts, founded in 1788, reveals clearly the newer purpose of these American secondary schools. The foundation grant of this school gives the purpose to be:

to lay the foundation of a public free school or ACADEMY for the purposes of instructing Youth, not only in English and Latin Grammar, Writing, Arithmetic, and those Sciences wherein they are commonly taught; but more especially to learn them the GREAT END AND REAL BUSINESS OF LIVING … it is again declared that the _first_ and _principle_ object of this Institution is the promotion of TRUE PIETY and VIRTUE; the _second_, instruction in the English, Latin, and Greek Languages, together with Writing, Arithmetic, Music, and the Art of Speaking; the _third_, practical Geometry, Logic, and Geography; and the _fourth_, such other liberal Arts and Sciences or Languages, as opportunity and ability may hereafter admit, and as the TRUSTEES shall direct.

Though still deeply religious, these new schools usually were free from denominationalism. Though retaining the study of Latin, they made most of new subjects of more practical value. A study of real things rather than words about things, and a new emphasis on native English and on science were prominent features of their work. They were also usually open to girls, as well as boys,–an innovation in secondary education before almost wholly unknown. Many were organized later for girls only. These institutions were the precursors of the American public high school, itself a type of the most democratic institution for secondary education the world has ever known.

THE UNIVERSITIES. The condition of the universities by the middle of the eighteenth century we traced in the preceding chapter. They had lost their earlier importance as institutions of learning, but in a few places the sciences were slowly gaining a foothold, and in German lands we noted the appearance of the first two modern universities–institutions destined deeply to influence subsequent university development, as we shall point out in a later chapter.

END OF THE TRANSITION PERIOD. We have now reached, in our study of the history of educational progress, the end of the transition period which marked the change in thinking from mediaeval to modern attitudes. The period was ushered in with the beginnings of the Revival of Learning in Italy in the fourteenth century, and it may fittingly close about the middle of the eighteenth.

We now stand on the threshold of a new era in world history. The same questioning spirit that animated the scholars of the Revival of Learning, now full-grown and become bold and self-confident, is about to be applied to affairs of politics and government, and we are soon to see absolutism and mediaeval attitudes in both Church and State questioned and overthrown. New political theories are to be advanced, and the divine right of the people is to be asserted and established in England, the American Colonies, and in France, and ultimately, early in the twentieth century, we are to witness the final overthrow of the divine-right-of- kings idea and a world-wide sweep of the democratic spirit. A new human and political theory as to education is to be evolved; the school is to be taken over from the Church, vastly expanded in scope, and made a constructive instrument of the State; and the wonderful nineteenth century is to witness a degree of human, scientific, political, and educational progress not seen before in all the days from the time of the Crusades to the opening of the nineteenth century. It is to this wonderful new era in world history that we now turn.


1. Contrast a religious elementary school, with the Catechism as its chief textbook, with a modern public elementary school.

2. Contrast the elementary schools of Mulcaster and Comenius.

3. To what extent did the religious teachings of the time support Locke’s ideas as to the disciplinary conception of education?

4. Do we to-day place as much emphasis on habit formation as did Locke? On character? On good breeding?

5. State some of the reasons for the noticeable weakening of the hold of the old religious theory as to education, in Protestant lands, by the middle of the eighteenth century.

6. How do you explain the slow evolution of the elementary teacher into a position of some importance? Is the evolution still in process? Illustrate.

7. What were the motives behind the organization of the religious charity- schools?

8. Show how tax-supported workhouse schools represented, for England, the first step in public-school maintenance.

9. Show that teaching under the individual method of instruction was school keeping, rather than school teaching.

10. How do you explain the general prevalence of harsh discipline well into the nineteenth century?

11. Did any other country have, in the eighteenth century, so mixed a type of elementary education as did England? Why was it so badly mixed there?

12. Show how the English Act of Conformity, of 1662, stifled the English Latin grammar schools.

13. What reasons were there for the development of the more practical Academy in America, rather than in England?

14. Compare the American Academy with the German _Realschule_.


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

226. Mulcaster: Table of Contents of his _Positions_. 227. Locke: On the Teaching of Latin.
228. Locke: On the Bible as a Reading Book. 229. Coote-Dilworth: Two early “Spelling Books.” 230. Webster: Description of Pre-Revolutionary Schools. 231. Raumer: Teachers in Gotha in 1741. 232. Raumer: An 18th Century Swedish People’s School. 233. Raumer: Schools of Frankfurt-am-Main during the Eighteenth Century. 234. Kruesi: A Swiss Teacher’s Examination in 1793. 235. Crabbe; White; Shenstone: The English Dame School described. 236. Newburgh: A Parochial-School Teacher’s Agreement. 237. Saint Anne: Beginnings of an English Charity School. 238. Regulations: Charity-School Organization and Instruction. (a) Qualifications for the Master.
(b) Purpose and Instruction.
239. Allen and McClure: Textbooks used in English Charity-Schools. 240. England: A Charity-School Subscription Form. 241. Southwark: The Charity-School of Saint John’s Parish. 242. Gorsham: An Eighteenth-Century Indenture of Apprenticeship. 243. Indenture: Learning the Trade of a Schoolmaster. 244. Diesterweg: The Schools of Germany before Pestalozzi. 245. England: Free School Rules, 1734.
246. Murray: A New Jersey School Lottery.


1. State the main points in Mulcaster’s scheme (226) for education.

2. Characterize Locke’s criticism (227) on the teaching of Latin.

3. State Locke’s ideas as to the use of the Bible (228).

4. Characterize the nature and contents of the so-called “Spellers” by Coote and Dilworth (229).

5. Compare the Connecticut common school, as described by Webster (230), with an English charity-school (238 b), or a Swedish popular school (232) of the time.

6. Just what state of vernacular education in Teutonic lands is indicated by the three selections (231, 232, 233)?

7. Compare the proprietary right of the teachers at Frankfort (233) with the right of control claimed over song schools by the Precentor of a mediaeval cathedral (83).

8. Do such conditions as Kruesi describes (234) exist anywhere to day?

9. Characterize the Dame School of England, as to instruction and control, from the descriptions given in the selections (235) reproduced.

10. State the relationship of teacher and minister at Newburgh (236), and indicate the nature and probable extent of his income.

11. State the purpose of the founders of Saint Anne of Soho (237), and characterize the type of school they created.

12. What does the qualification for a charity-school teacher (238 a) indicate as to the nature of the teacher’s calling in such schools? Outline the instruction (238 b) in such a school.

13. What instruction did the textbooks as printed (239) provide for?

14. Show the voluntary and benevolent character of the charity-school by comparing the subscription form (240) with some voluntary subscription form used to day.

15. How did the school in Saint John’s parish (241) differ from apprenticeship training?

16. What changes do you note between the mediaeval Indenture of Apprenticeship (99) and the eighteenth-century English form (242)?

17. Compare Readings 201 and 242 on apprenticeship.

18. Compare conditions described in 244 with 231-233.

19. What do the Free School Rules of 1734 (245) indicate as to duties and discipline?

20. What does the use of the lottery for school support (246) indicate as to the conception and scope of education at the time?


Allen, W. O. B., and McClure, E. _Two Hundred Years; History of the S.P.C.K., 1698-1808_.
Barnard, Henry. _English Pedagogy_, Part II, The Teacher in English Literature.
* Birchenough, C. _History of Elementary Education in England and Wales_.
Brown, E. E. _The Making of our Middle Schools_. Cardwell, J. F. _The Story of a Charity School_. Davidson, Thos. _Rousseau_.
* Earle, Alice M. _Child Life in Colonial Days_. Field, Mrs. E. M. _The Child and his Book_. Ford, Paul L. _The New England Primer_. Godfrey, Elizabeth. _English Children in the Olden Time_. * Johnson, Clifton. _Old Time Schools and School Books_. * Kemp, W. W. _The Support of Schools in Colonial New York by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts_. Kilpatrick, Wm. H. _Dutch Schools of New Netherlands and Colonial New York_.
Locke, John. _Some Thoughts Concerning Education_ (1693). * Montmorency, J. E. G. de. _Progress of Education in England_. Montmorency, J. E. G. de. _State Intervention in English Education_.
Mulcaster, Richard. _Positions_. (London, 1581.) * Paulsen, Friedrich. _German Education, Past and Present_. * Salmon, David. “The Education of the Poor in the Eighteenth Century”; reprinted from the _Educational Record_. (London, 1908.) * Scott, J. F. _Historic Essays on Apprenticeship and Vocational Education_. (Ann Arbor, 1914.)






THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY A TURNING-POINT. The eighteenth century, in human thinking and progress, marks for most western nations the end of mediaevalism and the ushering-in of modern forms of intellectual liberty. The indifference to the old religious problems, which was clearly manifest in all countries at the beginning of the century, steadily grew and culminated in a revolt against ecclesiastical control over human affairs. This change in attitude toward the old problems permitted the rise of new types of intellectual inquiry, a rapid development of scientific thinking and discovery, the growth of a consciousness of national problems and national welfare, and the bringing to the front of secular interests to a degree practically unknown since the days of ancient Rome. In a sense the general rise of these new interests in the eighteenth century was but a culmination of a long series of movements looking toward greater intellectual freedom and needed human progress which had been under way since the days when _studia generalia_ and guilds first arose in western Europe. The rise of the universities in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Revival of Learning in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Protestant Revolts in the sixteenth, the rise of modern scientific inquiry in the sixteenth and seventeenth, and Puritanism in England and Pietism in Germany in the seventeenth, had all been in the nature of protests against the mediaeval tendency to confine and limit and enslave the intellect. In the eighteenth century the culmination of this rising tide of protest came in a general and determined revolt against despotism in either Church or State, which, at the close of the century, swept away ancient privileges, abuses, and barriers, and prepared the way for the marked intellectual and human and political progress which characterized the nineteenth century.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CHANGE IN ATTITUDE. The new spirit and interests and attitudes which came to characterize the eighteenth century in the more progressive western nations meant the ultimate overthrow of the tyranny of mediaeval supernatural theology, the evolution of a new theory as to moral action which should be independent of theology, the freeing of the new scientific spirit from the fetters of church control, the substituting of new philosophical and scientific and economic interests for the old theological problems which had for so long dominated human thinking, the substitution of natural political organization for the older ecclesiastical foundations of the State, the destruction of what remained of the old feudal political system, the freeing of the serf and the evolution of the citizen, and the rise of a modern society interested in problems of national welfare–government in the interest of the governed, commerce, industry, science, economics, education, and social welfare. The evolution of such modern-type governments inevitably meant the creation of entirely new demands for the education of the people and for far-reaching political and social reforms.

This new eighteenth-century spirit, which so characterized the mid- eighteenth century that it is often spoken of as the “Period of the Enlightenment,” [1] expressed itself in many new directions, a few of the more important of which will be considered here as of fundamental concern for the student of the history of educational progress. In a very real sense the development of state educational systems, in both European and American States, has been an outgrowth of the great liberalizing forces which first made themselves felt in a really determined way during this important transition century. In this chapter we shall consider briefly five important phases of this new eighteenth-century liberalism, as follows:

1. The work of the benevolent despots of continental Europe in trying to shape their governments to harmonize them with the new spirit of the century.

2. The unsatisfied demand for reform in France.

3. The rise of democratic government and liberalism in England.

4. The institution of constitutional government and religious freedom in America.

5. The sweeping away of mediaeval abuses in the great Revolution in France.


THE NEW NATIONALISM LEADS TO INTERESTED GOVERNMENT. In England, as we shall trace a little further on, a democratic form of government had for long been developing, but this democratic life had made but little headway on the continent of Europe. There, instead, the democratic tendencies which showed some slight signs of development during the sixteenth century had been stamped out in the period of warfare and the ensuing hatreds of the seventeenth, and in the eighteenth century we find autocratic government at its height. National governments to succeed the earlier government of the Church had developed and grown strong, the kingly power had everywhere been consolidated, Church and State were in close working alliance, and the new spirit of nationality–in government, foreign policy, languages, literature, and culture–was being energetically developed by those responsible for the welfare of the States. Everywhere, almost, on the continent of Europe, the theory of the divine right of kings to rule and the divine duty of subjects to obey seemed to have become fixed, and this theory of government the Church now most assiduously supported. Unlike in England and the American Colonies, the people of the larger countries of continental Europe had not as yet advanced far enough in personal liberty or political thinking to make any demand of consequence for the right to govern themselves. The new spirit of nationality abroad in Europe, though, as well as the new humanitarian ideas beginning to stir thinking men, alike tended to awaken a new interest on the part of many rulers in the welfare of the people they governed. In consequence, during the eighteenth century, we find a number of nations in which the rulers, putting themselves in harmony with the new spirit of the time, made earnest attempts to improve the condition of their peoples as a means of advancing the national welfare. We shall here mention the four nations in which the most conspicuous reform work was attempted.

THE RULERS OF PRUSSIA. Three kings, to whom the nineteenth-century greatness of Prussia was largely due, ruled the country during nearly the whole of the eighteenth century. They were fully as despotic as the kings of France, but, unlike the French kings, they were keenly alive to the needs of the people, anxious to advance the welfare of the State, tolerant in religion, and in sympathy with the new scientific studies. The first, Frederick William I (1713-40), labored earnestly to develop the resources of the country, trained a large army, ordered elementary education made compulsory, and made the beginnings in the royal provinces of the transformation of the schools from the control of the Church to the control of the State. His son, known to history as Frederick the Great, ruled from 1740 to 1786. During his long reign he labored continually to curtail ancient privileges, abolish old abuses, and improve the condition of his people. During the first week of his reign he abolished torture in trials, made the administration of law more equitable, instituted a limited freedom for the press, [2] and extended religious toleration. [3] He also partially abolished serfdom on the royal domains, and tried to uplift the peasantry and citizen classes, but in this he met with bitter opposition from the nobles of his realm. He built roads, canals, and bridges, encouraged skilled artisans to settle in his dominions, developed agriculture and industry, encouraged scientific workers, extended an asylum to thousands of Huguenots fleeing from religious persecution in France, [4] and did more than any previous ruler to provide common schools throughout his kingdom. By the general regulation of education in his kingdom (chapter xxii) he laid the foundations upon which the nineteenth- century Prussian school system was later built.

[Illustration: Fig 145 FREDERICK THE GREAT]

His rule, though, was thoroughly autocratic. “Every thing for the people, but nothing by the people”, was the keynote of his policies. He had no confidence in the ability of the people to rule, and gave them no opportunity to learn the art. He employed the strong army his father built up to wage wars of conquest, seize territory that did not belong to him, and in consequence made himself a great German hero. [5] He may be said to have laid the foundations of modern militarized, socialized, obediently educated, and subject Germany, and also to have begun the “grand-larceny” and “scrap-of-paper” policy which has characterized Prussian international relationships ever since. Frederick William II, who reigned from 1786 to 1797, continued in large measure the enlightened policies of his uncle, reformed the tax system, lightened the burdens of his people, encouraged trade, emphasized the German tongue, quickened the national spirit, actively encouraged schools and universities, and began that centralization of authority over the developing educational system which resulted in the creation in Prussia of the first modern state school system in Europe. The educational work of these three Prussian kings was indeed important, and we shall study it more in detail in a later chapter (Chapter XXII).

THE AUSTRIAN REFORMERS. Two notably benevolent rulers occupied the Austrian throne for half a century, and did much to improve the condition of the Austrian people. A very remarkable woman, Maria Theresa, came to the throne in 1740, and was followed by her son, Joseph II, in 1780. He ruled until 1790. To Maria Theresa the Austria of the nineteenth century owed most of its development and power. She worked with seemingly tireless energy for the advancement of the welfare of her subjects, and toward the close of her reign laid, as we shall see in a later chapter, the beginnings of Austrian school reform.

Joseph II carried still further his mother’s benevolent work, and strove to introduce “enlightenment and reason” into the administration of his realm. A student of the writings of the eighteenth-century reform philosophers, and deeply imbued with the reform spirit of his time, he attempted to abolish ancient privileges, establish a uniform code of justice, encourage education, free the serfs, abolish feudal tenure, grant religious toleration, curb the power of the Pope and the Church, break the power of the local Diets, centralize the State, and “introduce a uniform level of democratic simplicity under his own absolute sway.” He attempted to alter the organization of the Church, abolished six hundred monasteries, [6] and reduced the number of monastic persons in his dominion from 63,000 to 27,000. Attempting too much, he brought down upon his head the wrath of both priest and noble and died a disappointed man. The abolition of feudal tenure and serfdom on the distinctively Austrian lands, of all his attempted reforms, alone was permanent. His work stands as an interesting commentary on the temporary character of the results which follow attempts rapidly to improve the conditions surrounding the lives of people, without at the same time educating the people to improve themselves.

THE SPANISH REFORMERS. A very similar result attended the reform efforts of a succession of benevolent rulers thrust upon Spain, during the eighteenth century, by the complications of foreign politics. Over a period of nearly ninety years, extending from the accession of Philip V (1700) to the death of Charles III (1788), remarkable political progress was imposed by a succession of able ministers and with the consent of the kings. [7] The power of the Church, always the crying evil of Spain, was restricted in many ways; the Inquisition was curbed; the Jesuits were driven from the kingdom; the burning of heretics was stopped; prosecution for heresy was reduced and discouraged; the monastic orders were taught to fear the law and curb their passions; evils in public administration were removed; national grievances were redressed; the civil service was improved; science and literature were encouraged, in place of barren theological speculations; and an earnest effort was made to regenerate the national life and improve the lot of the common people.

All these reforms, though, were imposed from above, and no attempt was made to introduce schools or to educate the people in the arts of self- government. The result was that the reforms never went beneath the surface, and the national life of the people remained largely untouched. Within five years of the death of Charles III all had been lost. Under a native Spanish king, thoroughly orthodox, devout, and lacking in any broad national outlook, the Church easily restored itself to power, the priests resumed their earlier importance, the nobles again began to exact their full toll, free discussion was forbidden, scientific studies were abandoned, the universities were ordered to discontinue the study of moral philosophy, and the political and social reforms which had required three generations to build up were lost in half a decade. Not meeting any well- expressed need of the people, and with no schools provided to show to the people the desirable nature of the reforms introduced, it was easy to sweep them aside. In this relapse to mediaevalism, the chance for Spain– a country rich in possibilities and natural resources–to evolve early into a progressive modern nation was lost. So Spain has remained ever since, and only in the last quarter of a century has reform from within begun to be evident in this until recently priest-ridden and benighted land.

THE INTELLIGENT DESPOTS OF RUSSIA. The greatest of these were Peter the Great, who ruled from 1689 to 1725, and Catherine II, who ruled from 1762 to 1796. Catching something of the new eighteenth-century western spirit, these rulers tried to introduce some western enlightenment into their as yet almost barbarous land. Each tried earnestly to lift their people to a higher level of living, and to start them on the road toward civilization and learning. By a series of edicts, despotically enforced, Peter tried to introduce the civilization of the western world into his country. He brought in numbers of skilled artisans, doctors, merchants, teachers, printers, and soldiers; introduced many western skills and trades; and made the beginnings of western secondary education for the governing classes by the establishment in the cities of a number of German-type _gymnasia_. [8] Later Catherine II had the French philosopher Diderot (p. 482) draw up a plan for her for the organization of a state system of higher schools, but the plan was never put into effect. The beginnings of Russian higher civilization really date from this eighteenth-century work. The power of the formidable Greek or Eastern Church remained, however, untouched, and this continued, until after the Russian revolution of 1917, as one of the most serious obstacles to Russian intellectual and educational progress. The serfs, too, remained serfs–tied to the land, ignorant, superstitious, and obedient.

By the close of the eighteenth century Russia, largely under Prussian training, had become a very formidable military power, and by the close of the nineteenth century was beginning to make some progress of importance in the arts of peace. Just at present Russia is going through a stage of national evolution quite comparable to that which took place in France a century and a quarter ago, and the educational importance of this great people, as we shall point out further on, lies in their future evolution rather than in any contribution they have as yet made to western development.


THE SETTING OF EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY FRANCE. Eighteenth-century France, on the contrary, developed no benevolent despot to mitigate abuses, reform the laws, abolish privileges, temper the rule of the Church, [9] (R. 247), curb the monastic orders, develop the natural resources, begin the establishment of schools, and alleviate the hard lot of the serf and the peasant. There, instead, absolute monarchy in Europe reached its most complete triumph during the long reigns of Louis XIV (1643-1715) and Louis XV (1715-74), and the splendor of the court life of France captivated all Europe and served to hide the misery which made the splendor possible. There the power of the nobles had been completely broken, and the power of the parliaments completely destroyed. “I am the State,” exclaimed Louis XIV, and the almost unlimited despotism of the King and his ministers and favorites fully supported the statement. Local liberties had been suppressed, and the lot of the common people–ignorant, hard-working, downtrodden, but intensely patriotic–was wretched in the extreme. Approximately 140,000 nobles [10] and 130,000 monks, nuns, and clergy owned two fifths of the landed property of France, and controlled the destinies of a nation of approximately 25,000,000 people. Agriculture was the great industry of the time, but this was so taxed by the agents of King and Church that over one half of the net profits from farming were taken for taxation.

CHURCH AND STATE WERE IN CLOSE WORKING ALLIANCE. The higher offices of the Church were commonly held by appointed noblemen, who drew large incomes [11] led worldly lives, and neglected their priestly functions much as the Italian appointees in German lands had done before the Reformation. Between the nobles and upper clergy on the one hand and the peasant-born lower clergy and the masses of the people on the other a great gulf existed. The real brains of France were to be found among a small bourgeois class of bankers, merchants, shopkeepers, minor officials, lawyers, and skilled artisans, who lived in the cities and who, ambitious and discontented, did much to stimulate the increasing unrest and demand for reform which in time pervaded the whole nation. A king, constantly in need of increasing sums of money; an idle, selfish, corrupt, and discredited nobility and upper clergy, incapable of aiding the king, many of whom, too, had been influenced by the new philosophic and scientific thinking and were willing to help destroy their own orders; an aggressive, discontented, and patriotic bourgeoisie, full of new political and social ideas, and patriotically anxious to reform France; and a vast unorganized peasantry and city rabble, suffering much and resisting little, but capable of a terrible fury and senseless destruction, once they were aroused and their suppressed rage let loose;–these were the main elements in the setting of eighteenth-century France.

THE FRENCH REFORM PHILOSOPHERS. During the middle decades of the eighteenth century a small but very influential group of reform philosophers in France attacked with their pens the ancient abuses in Church and State, and did much to pave the way for genuine political and religious reform. In a series of widely read articles and books, characterized for the most part by clear reasoning and telling arguments, these political philosophers attacked the power of the absolute monarchy on the one hand, and the existing privileges of the nobles and clergy on the other, as both unjust and inimical to the welfare of society (R. 248). The leaders in the reform movement were Montesquieu (1689-1755), Turgot (1727-81), Voltaire (1694-1778), Diderot (1713-84), and Rousseau (1712- 78).

[Illustration: FIG. 147. MONTESQUIEU(1689-1755)]

_Montesquieu_. In 1748 appeared Montesquieu’s famous book, the _Spirit of Laws_. In this he pointed out the many excellent features of the constitutional government which the English had developed, and compared English conditions with the many abuses to which the French people were subject. He argued that laws should be expressive of the wishes and needs of the people governed, and that the education of a people “ought to be relative to the principles of good government.” Montesquieu also stands, with Turgot as the founder of the sciences of comparative politics [12] and the philosophy of history–new studies which helped to shape the political thinking of eighteenth-century France.

_Turgot_. Two years after the publication of Montesquieu’s book, Turgot delivered (1750) a series of lectures at the Sorbonne, in Paris, in which he virtually created the science of history. Looking at human history comprehensively, seeing clearly that there had been a hitherto unrecognized regularity of march amid the confusion of the past, and that it was possible to grasp the history of the progress of man as a whole, he saw and stated the possibility of society to improve itself through intelligent government, and the need for wise laws and general education to enable it to do so. [13]

[Illustration: FIG. 148. TURGOT (1727-81)]

[Illustration: FIG. 149. VOLTAIRE (1694-1778)]

In 1774 Turgot was appointed Minister of Finance by the new King, Louis XVI, and during the two years before he was removed from office he attempted to carry out many needed political and social reforms. Duruy [14] has summarized his suggested reforms as follows:

1. Gradual introduction of a complete system of local self-government.

2. Imposition of a land tax on nobility and clergy.

3. Suppression of the greater part of the monasteries.

4. Amelioration of the condition of the minor clergy.

5. Equalization of the burdens of taxation.

6. Liberty of conscience, and the recall of the Protestants to France.

7. A uniform system of weights and measures.

8. Freedom for commerce and industry.

9. A single and uniform code of laws.

10. A vast plan for the organization of a system of public instruction throughout France.

This list is indicative of the reform philosophy in the light of which he worked. Arousing the natural hostility of the nobility and higher clergy, he was soon dismissed, and the reforms he had proposed were abandoned by the King.

_Voltaire._ The keenest and most unsparing critic of the old order was Voltaire. In clear and forceful French he exposed existing conditions in society and government, and particularly the control of affairs exercised by the most ancient and most powerful organization of his day–the Church. For this he was execrated and hated by the clergy, and in return he made it the chief task of his life to destroy the reign of the priest. Having lived for a time in England, he appreciated the vast difference between the English and French forms of government. With a keen and unsparing pen he exposed the scholasticism, despotism, dogmatism, superstition, hypocrisy, servility, and deep injustice of his age, and poured out the vials of his scorn upon the grubbing pedantry of the Academicians who doted upon the past because ignorant of the present. In particular he stood for the abolition of that relic of feudalism–serfdom–which still seriously oppressed the peasantry of France; for liberty in thought and action for the individual; for curbing the powers and privileges of both State and Church; for an equalization of the burdens of taxation between the different classes in French society; and for the organization of a system of public education throughout the nation. He died before the outbreak of the Revolution he had done so much to bring about, but by the time he died the “Ancient Regime” of privilege and corruption and oppression was already tottering to its fall. His conception of the relations that should exist between Church and State are well set forth in a short article from his pen on the subject (R. 248) reprinted from the _Encyclopaedia_ of Diderot.

[Illustration: FIG. 150. DIDEROT (1713-84)]

_Diderot._ Another able thinker and writer was Diderot. Besides other works of importance, he gave twenty years of his life (1751-72) to the editing (with D’Alembert) of an _Encyclopaedia_ of seventeen volumes of text and eleven of plates. Many of the articles were written by himself, and were expressive of his ideas as to reform. Many were frankly critical of existing privileges, abuses, and pretensions. Many interpreted to the French the science of Newton and the discoveries of the age, and awakened a new interest in scientific study. Because of its reform ideas the publication was suppressed, in 1759, after the publication of the seventh volume, and had to be carried on surreptitiously thereafter. Viscount Morley, writing recently on Diderot, summarizes the nature and influence of the _Encyclopaedia_ in the following words:

The ecclesiastical party detested the _Encyclopaedia_, in which they saw a rising stronghold for their philosophical enemies. To any one who turns over the pages of these redoubtable volumes now, it seems surprising that their doctrine should have stirred such portentous alarm. There is no atheism, no overt attack on any of the cardinal mysteries of the faith, no direct denunciation even of the notorious abuses of the Church. Yet we feel that the atmosphere of the book may well have been displeasing to authorities who had not yet learnt to encounter the modern spirit on equal terms. The _Encyclopaedia_ takes for granted the justice of religious toleration and speculative freedom. It asserts in distinct tones the democratic doctrine that it is the common people in a nation whose lot ought to be the chief concern of the nation’s government. From beginning to end it is one unbroken process of exaltation of scientific knowledge on the one hand, and pacific industry on the other. All these things were odious to the old governing classes of France. [15]

_Rousseau._ The fifth reform writer mentioned as exercising a large influence was Rousseau. In 1749 the Academy at Dijon offered a prize for the best essay on the subject: _Has the progress of the sciences and arts contributed to corrupt or to purify morals?_ Rousseau took the negative side and won the prize. His essay attracted widespread attention. In 1753 he competed for a second prize on _The Origin of Inequality among Men_, in which he took the same negative attitude. In 1762 appeared both his _Social Contract_ and _Emile_. In the former he contended that early men had given to selected leaders the right to conduct their government for them, and that these had in time become autocratic and had virtually enslaved the people (R. 249 a). He held that men were not bound to submit to government against their wills, and to remedy existing abuses he advocated the overthrow of the usurping government and the establishment of a republic, with universal suffrage based on “liberty, fraternity, and equality.” The ideal State lay in a society controlled by the people, where artificiality and aristocracy and the tyranny of society over man did not exist. Nor could Rousseau distinguish between political and ecclesiastical tyranny, holding that the former inevitably followed from the latter (R. 249 b).

Crude as were his theories, and impractical as were many of his ideas, to an age tired of absurdities and pretensions and injustice, and suffering deeply from the abuses of both Church and State, his attractively written book seemed almost inspired. The _Social Contract_ virtually became the Bible of the French Revolutionists. In the _Emile_, a book which will be referred to more at length in chapter XXI, Rousseau held that we should revert, in education, to a state of nature to secure the needed educational reforms, and that education to prepare for life in the existing society was both wrong and useless.

A REVOLUTION IN FRENCH THINKING. These five men–Montesquieu, Turgot, Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau–and many other less influential followers, portrayed the abuses of the time in Church and State and pointed out the lines of political and ecclesiastical reform. Those who read their writings understood better why the existing privileges of the nobility and clergy were no longer right, and the need for reform in matters of taxation and government. Their writings added to the spirit of unrest of the century, and were deeply influential, not only in France, but in the American Colonies as well. Though the attack was at first against the evils in Church and State, the new critical philosophy soon led to intellectual developments of importance in many other directions.

At the death of Louis XIV (1715) France was intellectually prostrate. Great as was his long reign from the point of view of the splendor of his court, and large as was the quantity of literature produced, his age was nevertheless an age of misery, religious intolerance, political oppression, and intellectual decline. It was a reign of centralized and highly personal government. Men no longer dared to think for themselves, or to discuss with any freedom questions either of politics or religion. “There was no popular liberty; there were no great men; there was no science; there was no literature; there were no arts. The largest intellects lost their energy; the national spirit died away.” Between the death of Louis XIV and the outbreak of the French Revolution (1789) an intellectual revolution took place in France, and for this revolution English political progress and political and scientific thinking were largely responsible.

GREAT ENGLISH INFLUENCE ON FRANCE. In 1715 the English language was almost unspoken in France, English science and political progress were unknown there, and the English were looked down upon and hated. Half a century later English was spoken everywhere by the scholars of the time; the English were looked upon as the political and scientific leaders of Europe; and the scholars of France visited England to study English political, economic, and scientific progress. Locke, an uncompromising advocate of political and religious liberty; Hobbes, the speculative moral philosopher; and the great scientist Newton were the teachers of Voltaire. More than any other single man, Voltaire moulded and redirected eighteenth-century thought in France. [16] Numerous French writers of importance–Helvetius, Diderot, Morellet, Voltaire, Rousseau, to mention but a few–drew their inspiration from English writers. In the eighteenth century England became the school for political liberty for France. [17]

The effect of the work of Isaac Newton (p. 388), as popularized by the writings of Voltaire, was revolutionary on a people who had been so tyrannized over by the clergy as had the French during the reign of Louis XIV. An interest in scientific studies before unknown in France now flamed up, and a new generation of French scientists arose. Physics, chemistry, zooelogy, and anatomy received a great new impetus, while botany, geology, and mineralogy were raised to the rank of sciences. Popular scientific lectures became very common. The classics were almost abandoned for the new studies.

Economic questions now also began to be discussed, such as questions of money, food, finance, and government expenditure. In 1776 the Englishman, Adam Smith, laid the foundations of the new science of political economy by the publication of his _Wealth of Nations_, and this was at once translated into French and eagerly read. In 1781 a French banker by the name of Necker published his _Compte Rendu_, a statistical report on the finances of France. So feverishly eager were men to study problems of government that six thousand copies were sold the day it was published, and eighty thousand had to be printed before the demand for it was satisfied. A half-century earlier it would have been read scarcely at all.

In the meantime taxes piled up, reforms were refused, the power and arrogance of the clergy and nobility showed no signs of diminution, the nation was burdened with debt, commerce and agriculture declined, the lot of the common people became ever more hard to bear, and the masses grew increasingly resentful and rebellious. As national affairs continued to drift from bad to worse in France, a series of important happenings on the American continent helped to bring matters more rapidly to a crisis. Before describing these events, however, we wish to sketch briefly the rise of government by the people and the extension of liberalism in England–the first great democratic nation of the western world.


EARLY BEGINNINGS OF ENGLISH LIBERTY. The first western nation created from the wreck of the Roman Empire to achieve a measurement of self-government was England. Better civilized than most of the other wandering tribes, at the time of their coming to English shores, the invading Angles, Saxons, and Jutes early accepted Christianity (p. 120) and settled down to an agricultural life. On English shores they soon built up a for-the-time substantial civilization. This was later largely destroyed by the pillaging Danes, but with characteristic energy the English set to work to assimilate the newcomers and build up civilization anew. The work of Alfred (p. 146) in reestablishing law and order, at a time when law and order scarcely existed anywhere in western Europe, will long remain famous. Later on, and at a time when German and Hun and Slav had only recently accepted Christianity in name and had begun to settle down into rude tribal governments, and when the Prussians in their original home along the eastern Baltic were still offering human sacrifices to their heathen gods (p. 120), the English barons were extorting _Magna Charta_ from King John and laying the firm foundations of English constitutional liberty. In the meadow at Runnymede, on that justly celebrated June day, in 1215, government under law and based on the consent of the governed began to shape itself once more in the western world. Of the sixty-three articles of this Charter of Liberties, three possess imperishable value. These provided:

1. That no free man shall be imprisoned or proceeded against except by his peers, or the law of the land, which secured trial by jury.

2. That justice should neither be sold, denied, nor delayed.

3. That dues from the people to the king could be imposed only with the consent of the National Council (after 1246 known as Parliament).

So important was this charter to such a liberty-loving people as the English have always been, and so bitterly did kings resent its hampering provisions, that within the next two centuries kings had been forced to confirm it no less than thirty-seven times.

By 1295 the first complete Parliament, representative of the three orders of society–Lords, Clergy, and Commons–assembled, and in 1333 the Commons gained the right to sit by itself. From that time to the present the Commons, representing the people, has gradually broadened its powers, working, as Tennyson has said, [18] “from precedent to precedent,” until to-day it rules the English nation. In 1376 the Commons gained the right to impeach the King’s ministers, and in 1407 the exclusive right to make grants of money for any governmental purpose. Centuries ahead of other nations, this insured an almost continual meeting of the national assembly and a close scrutiny of the acts of both kings and ministers.

In 1604 King James I, imitating continental European precedents, proclaimed his theory as to the “divine right of kings” to rule, [19] and a struggle at once set in which carried the English into Civil War (1642- 49); led to the beheading of Charles I (1649); the overthrow and banishment of James II (1688); and the ultimate firm establishment, instead, of the “divine right of the common people.” [20] In an age when the autocratic power and the divine right of kings to rule was almost unquestioned elsewhere in Europe, the English people compelled their king to recognize that he could rule over them only when he ruled in their interests and as they wished him to do. Though there was a period of struggle later on with the German Georges (I, II, and III), and especially with the honest but stupid George III, England has, since 1688, been a government of and by the people. [21] France did not rid itself of the “divine-right” conception until the French Revolution (1789), and Germany, Austria, and Russia not until 1918.

GROWTH OF TOLERANCE AMONG THE ENGLISH. The results of the long struggle of the English for liberty under law showed itself in many ways in the growth of tolerance among the people of the English nation. At a time when other nations were bound down in blind obedience to king and priest, and when dissenting minorities were driven from the land, the English people had become accustomed to the idea of individual liberty, regulated by law, and to the toleration of opinions with which they did not agree. These characteristically English conceptions of liberty under law and of the toleration of minorities have found expression in many important ways in the life and government of the people (R. 250), and have been elements of great strength in England’s colonial policy. One of the important ways in which this growth of tolerance among the English showed itself was in the extension of a larger freedom to those unable to subscribe to the state religion.

Though the Reformation movement had stirred up bitter hatreds in England, as on the Continent, the English were among the first of European peoples to show tolerance of opposition in religious matters. The high English State Church, which had succeeded the Roman, had made but small appeal to many Englishmen. The Puritans had early struggled to secure a simplification of the church service and the introduction of more preaching (p. 359), and in the seventeenth century the organization of three additional dissenting sects, which became known as Unitarians, Baptists, and Quakers, took place. These sects divided off rather quietly, and their separation resulted only in the enactment of new laws regarding conformity, prayers, and teaching.

During the latter half of the seventeenth century, after the execution of Charles I (1649), the Puritans had temporarily risen to power, and during their control of affairs had imposed their strict Calvinistic standards as to Sabbath observance and piety on the nation. This was very distasteful to many, and from such strict observances the people in time rebelled. The standards of the English in personal morality, temperance, amusements, and manners at the beginning of the eighteenth century were not especially high, and in the reaction from Puritan control and strict religious observances the great mass of the people degenerated into positive irreligion and gross immorality. Drunkenness, rowdyism, robbery, blasphemy, brutality, lewdness, and prostitution became very common. This moral decline of the people the Church of England seemed powerless to arrest.

[Illustration: FIG. 151. JOHN WESLEY (1707-82) Founder of Methodism.]

About 1730 a reform movement was begun under the able leadership of a young Oxford student by the name of John Wesley, ably seconded by George Whitefield (1714-70), with a view to reaching the classes so completely untouched by the high State Church. By traveling over the country and preaching a gospel of repentance, personal faith, and better living, these two young men made a deep emotional appeal, and soon gained a strong hold on the poorer and more ignorant classes of the people. Forbidden to preach in Anglican churches, and at times threatened with personal violence, these two men were in time forced into open rebellion against the Established Church. Finally they founded a new Church, which became known as the Methodist. [22] This new organization bore the same relation to the Church of England that the Anglican Church two hundred years before had borne to the Church of Rome. Thus was accomplished a second spiritual reformation in England, and one destined in time to spread to the colonies and deeply affect the lives of a large portion of the English people. [23] That such a well-organized sect could arise, such a moral reformation be preached, and the power of the Established Church be challenged so openly and without serious persecution, speaks much for the growth of religious tolerance among the English people since the days of the great Elizabeth. In 1778 the Roman Catholic Relief Act was adopted, and in 1779 dissenting ministers and schoolmasters were relieved from the disabilities under which they had so long remained. These acts indicate a further marked growth in religious tolerance on the part of the English nation. [24]

NEW EMANCIPATING AND EDUCATIVE INFLUENCES. In 1662 the first regular newspaper outside of Italy was established in England, and in 1702 the first daily paper. Small in size, printed on but one side of the sheet, and dealing wholly with local matters, these nevertheless marked the beginnings of that daily expression of popular opinion with which we are now so familiar. [25] After about 1705 the cheap political pamphlet made its appearance, and after 1710, instead of merely communicating news, the papers began the discussion of political questions.

By 1735 a revolution had been effected in England, and papers and presses began to be established in the chief cities and towns outside of London; the freedom of the press was in a large way completed, and newspapers, for the first time in the history of the world, were made the exponents of public opinion. The press in England in consequence became an educative force of great intellectual and political importance, and did much to compensate for the lack of a general system of schools for the people. In 1772 the right to publish the debates in Parliament was finally won, over the strenuous objections [26] of George III. In 1780 the first Sunday newspaper appeared, “on the only day the lower orders had time to read a paper at all,” and, despite the efforts of religious bodies to suppress it, the Sunday paper has continued to the present and has contributed its quota to the education and enlightenment of mankind. In 1785 the famous London _Times_ began to appear. In the middle of the eighteenth century debating societies for the consideration of public questions arose, and in 1769 “the first public meeting ever assembled in England, in which it was attempted to enlighten Englishmen respecting their political rights” was held, and such meetings soon became of almost daily occurrence. All these influences stimulated political thinking to a high degree, and contributed not only to a desire for still larger political freedom but for the more general diffusion of the ability to read as well (R. 250).

Still other important new influences arose during the early part of the eighteenth century, each of which tended to awaken new desires for schools and learning. In 1678 the first modern printed story to appeal to the masses, Bunyan’s _Pilgrim’s Progress_, appeared from the press. Written, as it had been, by a man of the people, its simple narrative form, its passionate religious feeling, its picture of the journey of a pilgrim through a world of sin and temptation and trial, and its Biblical language with which the common people had now become familiar–all these elements combined to make it a book that appealed strongly to all who read or heard it read, and stimulated among the masses a desire to read comparable to that awakened by the chaining of the English Bible in the churches a century before (R. 170). In 1719 the first great English novel, Defoe’s _Robinson Crusoe_, and in 1726 _Gulliver’s Travels_, added new stimulus to the desires awakened by Bunyan’s book. All three were books of the common people, whereas the dramas, plays, essays, and scholarly works previously produced had appealed only to a small educated class. In 1751 what was probably the first circulating library of modern times was opened at Birmingham, and soon thereafter similar institutions were established in other English cities.

SCIENCE AND MANUFACTURING; THE NEW ERA. England, too, from the first, showed an interest in and a tolerance toward the new scientific thinking scarcely found in any other land. This in itself is indicative of the great intellectual progress which the English people had by this time made. [27] At a time when Galileo, in Italy, was fighting, almost alone, for the right to think along the lines of the new scientific method and being imprisoned for his pains, Englishmen were reading with deep interest the epoch-making scientific writings of Lord Francis Bacon, Earlier than in other lands, too, the Newtonian philosophy found a place in the instruction of the national universities, and English scholars began to employ the new scientific method in their search for new truths. The British Royal (Scientific) Society [28] had begun to meet as early as 1645, and ever since has published in its proceedings the best of English scientific thinking. By the reign of George I (1714-27) scientific work began to be popularized, and the first little booklets on scientific subjects began to appear. These popular presentations of what had been worked out were sold at the book stalls and by peddlers and were eagerly read; by the beginning of the reign of George III (1760) they had become very common. In 1704-10 the first “Dictionary of Arts and Sciences” was printed, and in 1768-71 the first edition (three volumes) of the now famous _Encyclopedia Britannica_ appeared. In 1755 the famous British Museum was founded.

As early as 1698 a rude form of steam engine had been patented in England, and by 1712 this had been perfected sufficiently to be used in pumping water from the coal mines. In 1765 James Watt made the real beginning of the application of steam to industry by patenting his steam engine; in 1760 Wedgwood established the pottery industry in England; in 1767 Hargreaves devised the spinning-jenny, which banished the spindle and distaff and the old spinning-wheel; in 1769 Arkwright evolved his spinning-frame; and in 1785 Cartwright completed the process by inventing the power loom for weaving. In 1784 a great improvement in the smelting of iron ores (puddling) was worked out. These inventions, all English, were revolutionary in their effect on manufacturing. They meant the displacement of hand power by machine labor, the breakdown of home industry through the concentration of labor in factories, the rise of great manufacturing cities, [29] and the ultimate collapse of the age-old apprenticeship system of training, where the master workman with a few apprentices in his shop prepared goods for sale. They also meant the ultimate transformation of England from an agricultural into a great manufacturing and exporting nation, whose manufactured products would be sold in every corner of the globe.

By 1750 a change in attitude toward all the old intellectual problems had become marked in England, and by 1775 attention before unknown was being given there to social, political, economic, and educational questions. Religious intolerance was dying out, the harsh laws of earlier days had begun to be modified, new social and political interests [30] were everywhere attracting attention, and the great commercial expansion of England was rapidly taking shape. With England and France leading in the new scientific studies; England in the van in the development of manufacturing and the French to the fore in social influences and polite literature; England and the new American Colonies setting new standards in government by the people; the French theorists and economists giving the world new ideas as to the function of the State; enlightened despots on the thrones of Prussia, Austria, Spain, and Russia; and the hatreds of the hundred years of religious warfare dying out; the world seemed to many, about 1775, as on the verge of some great and far-reaching change in methods of living and in government, and about ready to enter a new era and make rapid advances in nearly all lines of human activity. The change came, but not in quite the manner expected.



ENGLISHMEN IN AMERICA ESTABLISH A REPUBLIC. Though the early settlement of America, as was pointed out in chapter xv, was made from among those people and from those lands which had embraced some form of the Protestant faith, and represented a number of nationalities and several religious sects, the thirteen colonies, nevertheless, were essentially English in origin, speech, habits, observances, and political and religious conceptions. This is well shown for the white population by the results of the first Federal census, taken in 1790, as given in the adjoining figure. This shows that of all the people in the thirteen original States, 83.5 per cent possessed names indicating pure English origin, and that 91.8 per cent had names which pointed to their having come from the British Isles. The largest non-British name nationality was the German, with 5.6 per cent of the whole, and these were found chiefly in Pennsylvania where they constituted 26.1 per cent of the State’s population. Next were those having Dutch names, who constituted but 2 per cent of the total population, and but 16.1 per cent of the population of New York. No other name-nationality constituted over one half of one per cent of the total. The New England States were almost as English as England itself, 93 to 96 per cent of the names being pure English, and 98.5 to 99.8 per cent being from the British Isles.

We thus see that it was from England, the nation which had done most in the development of individual and religious liberty, that the great bulk of the early settlers of America came, and in the New World the English traditions as to constitutional government and liberty under law were early and firmly established. The centuries of struggle for representative government in England at once bore fruit here. Colony charters, charters of rights and liberties, public discussion, legislative assemblies, and liberty under law were from the first made the foundation stones upon which self-government in America was built up.

From an early date the American Colonies showed an independence to which even Englishmen were scarcely accustomed, and when the home government attempted to make the colonists pay some of the expenses of the Seven Years’ War, and a larger share of the expenses of colonial administration, there was determined opposition. Having no representation in Parliament and no voice in levying the tax, the colonists declared that taxation without representation was tyranny, and refused to pay the taxes assessed. Standing squarely on their rights as Englishmen, the colonists were gradually forced into open rebellion. In 1765, and again in 1774, Declarations of Rights were drawn up and adopted by representatives from the Colonies, and were forwarded to the King. In 1774 the first Continental Congress met and formed a union of the Colonies; in 1776 the Colonies declared their independence. This was confirmed, in 1783, by the Treaty of Paris; in 1787, the Constitution of the United States was drafted; and in 1789, the American government began. In the preamble to the twenty-seven charges of tyranny and oppression made against the King in the Declaration of Independence, we find a statement of political philosophy [31] which is a combination of the results of the long English struggle for liberty and the French eighteenth-century reform philosophy and revolutionary demands. [32] This preamble declared:

We hold these truths to be self-evident–that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

AMERICAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO WORLD HISTORY. The American Revolution and its results were fraught with great importance for the future political and educational progress of mankind. Before the close of the eighteenth century the new American government had made at least four important contributions to world liberty and progress which were certain to be of large political and educational value for the future.

In the first place, the people of the Colonies had erected independent governments and had shown the possibility of the self-government of peoples on a large scale, and not merely in little city-states or communities, as had previously been the case where self-government had been tried. Democratic government was here worked out and applied to large areas, and to peoples of diverse nationalities and embracing different religious faiths. The possibility of States selecting their rulers and successfully governing themselves was demonstrated.

In the second place, the new American government which was formed did something new in world history when it united thirteen independent and autonomous States into a single federated Nation, and without destroying the independence of the States. What was formed was not a league, or confederacy, as had existed at different times among differing groups of the Greek City-States, and from time to time in the case of later Swiss and temporary European national groupings, but the union into a substantial and permanent Federal State of a number of separate States which still retained their independence, and with provision for the expansion of this national Union by the addition of new States. This federal principle in government is probably the greatest political contribution of the American Union to world development. In the twentieth- century conception of a League of Nations it has borne still further fruit.

In the third place, the different American States changed their old Colonial Charters into definite written Constitutions, each of which contained a Preamble or Bill of Rights which affirmed the fundamental principles of democratic liberty (R. 251). These now became the fundamental law for each of the separate States, and the same idea was later worked out in the Constitution of the United States. These were the first written constitutions of history, and have since served as a type for the creation of constitutional government throughout the world. In such documents to-day free peoples everywhere define the rights and duties and obligations which they regard as necessary to their safety and happiness and welfare.

Finally, the Federal Constitution provided for the inestimable boon of religious liberty, and in a way that was both revolutionary and wholesome. At the beginning of the War for Independence the Anglican (Episcopal) faith had been declared “the established religion” in seven of the Colonies, and the Congregational was the established religion in three of the New England Colonies, while but three Colonies had declared for religious freedom and refused to give a preference to any special creed. This religious problem had to be met by the Constitutional Convention, and this body handled it in the only way it could have been intelligently handled in a nation composed of so many different religious sects as was ours. It simply incorporated into the Federal Constitution provisions which guaranteed the free exercise of their religious faith to all, and forbade the establishment by Congress of any state religion, or the requirement of any religious test as a prerequisite to holding any office under the control of the Federal Government. The American people thus took a stand for religious liberty at a time when the hatreds of the Reformation still burned fiercely, and when tolerance in religious matters was as yet but little known.

IMPORTANCE OF THE RELIGIOUS-LIBERTY CONTRIBUTION. The solution of the religious question arrived at was only second in importance for us to the establishment of the Federal Union, and the far-reaching significance to our future national life of the sane and for-the-time extraordinary provisions incorporated into our National Constitution can hardly be overestimated. This action led to the early abandonment of state religions, religious tests, and public taxation for religion in the old States, and to the prohibition of these in the new. The importance of this solution of the religious question for the future of popular education in the United States was great, for it laid the foundations upon which our systems of free, common, public, tax-supported, non-sectarian schools have since been built up. How we could have erected a common public-school system on a religious basis, with the many religious sects among us, it is impossible to conceive. Instead, we should have had a series of feeble, jealous, antagonistic, and utterly inefficient church-school systems, chiefly confined to elementary education, and each largely intent on teaching its peculiar church doctrines and struggling for an increasing share of public funds.

How much the American people owe to the Fathers of the Republic for this most enlightened and intelligent provision, few who have not thought carefully on the matter can appreciate. To it we must trace not only the great blessing of religious liberty, which we have so long enjoyed, but also the final establishment of our common, free, public-school systems. The beginning of the new state motive for education, which was soon to supersede the religious motive, dates from the establishment with us of republican governments; and the beginning of the emancipation of education from church domination goes back to this wise provision inserted in our National Constitution.

This national attitude was later copied in the state constitutions, and as a preamble to practically all we find a Bill of Rights, which in almost every case included a provision for freedom of religious worship (Rs. 251, 260). After the middle of the nineteenth century a further provision prohibiting sectarian teaching or state aid to sectarian schools was everywhere added.


NEW DEMANDS FOR REFORM THAT COULD NOT BE RESISTED. More than in any other continental European country France had, by 1783, become a united nation, conscious of a modern national feeling. Yet in France mediaeval abuses in both State and Church had survived, as we have seen, to as great an extent almost as in any European nation. So determined were the clergy and nobility to retain their old powers, not only in France but throughout the continent of Europe as well, that progressive reform seemed well-nigh