Western education in the 19th century The social and historical setting From the midth century to the closing years of the 18th century, new social, economic, and intellectual forces steadily quickened—forces that in the late 18th and the 19th centuries would weaken and, in many cases, end the old aristocratic absolutism. The European expansion to new worlds overseas had stimulated commercial rivalry.
As George Washington ended his term as the first president of the United States, he left with a few parting words.
Amongst these suggestions was a public education system. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
Washington never lived to see the formation of such an education system, as he died a few years after leaving office in The nineteenth century witnessed a drastic transformation in attitudes towards public education in the United States. Public Education in the American Colonies Education in the American colonies began as a religious endeavor.
Puritan leaders began enforcing this through the Massachusetts Bay School Law of This directive removed education responsibilities from the hands of the clergy and required that parents teach their children how to read and write.
In reality, though, many New England towns failed to establish such schools. Moreover, the schools that were founded tended to focus on producing an educated elite class and not on educating the entire public. Education for commoners was largely left to families and churches.
Memorial Press Unequal Public Education This is not to say that education in all the colonies was equal. In ethnically and religiously homogeneous colonies, public education was far more widespread than it was in colonies with greater social diversity.
Colonies like Massachusetts, whose citizens were largely British-born or descended Puritans, were more apt to have state-run public schools. Other colonies, such as New York or Pennsylvania, where there was an assortment of religious groups with Quakers, Lutherans, Catholics, ancestral diversity with large German populations, and greater physical distances between communities bred a greater focus on localized education.
Local entities, such as churches and parent groups, seized control of education because in a territory with a wide variety of cultures and religions it was important that each sect of society was able to educate its own in a way it saw fit.
Since most middle American colonies were similar to Pennsylvania and New York, the foundations of American public education were strongly rooted in locally run schools and not statewide education programs by the time America gained independence.
Education remained a responsibility of individual families and local communities, not a duty of state or federal governments. Congress issued the Land Ordinance ofordering each township established in the new western territories to have space set aside for a public school: One of the loudest voices was Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson argued that democracy required all the citizens of a populace to have sufficient education so that they could be well informed and vote accordingly. Jefferson did not, however, want to infringe on the rights of parents or local communities to educate their children.
Instead, he proposed that everyone could be educated in the way they saw fit as long as they passed certain national examinations. Arguing that a better-educated populace would result in a freer and happier American public, the bill called for a widespread system of public education. He asserted that the American government had the responsibility to foster the education of a meritocracy in which all citizens could compete.
During the late eighteenth century, however, resistance to government-funded education was strong.The reform impulse brought other changes in higher education. At the beginning of the 19th century, most colleges offered their students, who usually enrolled between the ages of 12 and 15, only a narrow training in the classics designed to prepare them for the ministry.
Education - Western education in the 19th century: From the midth century to the closing years of the 18th century, new social, economic, and intellectual forces steadily quickened—forces that in the late 18th and the 19th centuries would weaken and, in many cases, end the old aristocratic absolutism.
Despite Congress’ failure to institute meaningful education reform following the Revolutionary War, a few American leaders began voicing support for a more extensive and structured public education .
Education reform mended the issues of crime and poverty. Children who lacked education could now make a decent living with their skills. Schools gave children and teachers many opportunities. Education reform is the name given to the goal of changing public education.
Historically, reforms have taken different forms because the motivations of reformers have differed.
Historically, reforms have taken different forms because the motivations of reformers have differed. The 18th century was a period of massive growth for the United States, and education was swept along with the tide.
To really understand the development of American schooling, you need to know about the way it stretched and shifted after its conception over the course of the ’s.