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Education In The 1800s

.. ake us love and esteem them, to educate us when young, and to take care of us when grown up, to advise, to counsel us, to render our lives easy and agreeable; these are the duties of women at all times.(Hunt 77) During the Civil War, schooling was disrupted for many whites, and many schools, especially in the south, were destroyed. (Cremin 316) During the first half of the nineteenth century, the percentage of while children enrolled in school increased dramatically. The practice spread throughout the Midwest, and public schooling existed in the south, but only until the end of the nineteenth century. Aggregate national school enrollment rates for whites between the age of five and nineteen had increased from 35 percent in 1830 to 50.4 percent in 1850 and 61.1 percent in 1870. Whites received a much higher amount of education than African Americans. Blacks didnt have opportunities such as whites, since most blacks were poor.

During the time of the Civil War schooling for blacks was inspired. After the Civil War, Northern philanthropists joined with federal agencies to open additional schools, and blacks in local communities across the farmer slave states banded together to organize and operate their own Sabbath schools or Native Schools. (Cremin 316). Almost all the half million African Americans in the colonies at the same time of the revolution were slaves. In a few instances, religious groups established schools for them. One of the earliest schools were sponsored by the Church of England.

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A minister named Elias Neau taught school Three times a week for Indians, poor whites, and blacks. Since the Quakers were against slavery, they were outspoken on the freedom and education for African Americans. At the same time not many schools were integrated, especially schools for blacks. The schools that were established include The Boston Latin Schools, which were the first schools, and the Philadelphia African School. (Cremin 316). Although most blacks were generally denied an education, some African-Americans managed to learn to read and write on their own. Despite some harsher slave codes, which made it illegal to teach blacks reading and writing, whites sometimes helped the blacks by teaching them.

In addition to this, slaves taught themselves to read from primers, Bibles, and books stolen or borrowed from white owners, and literacy skills acquired earlier through the teaching of Quaker and Anglican missionaries continued to be transmitted covertly with slave quarter communities from one generation to another. Thus, roughly five percent of the slave population was literate at the time of the Civil War. (Cremin 316) Although the initial institutional infrastructure of American education was in evidence by the time of the revolution, the establishment of the new nation had a significant impact on the purposes of education. The teaching of Republican virtues became a goal. This new purpose was evident in the texts used in the common schools, which described George Washington and others of the nations statesmen in heroic terms.

It was also evident in the new emphasis on teaching American pronunciation and spelling. Finally, it was evident in the new importance assigned to the education of young women, who were now recognized as republican mothers who would form instructions to the next generation in the civic virtues that seemed essential to national welfare. (Cremin 314-315). The welfare of the New Republic depended on the loyalty, visions, and skill of citizens. (Cremin 314). Loyalty to the country, the amount of skill that you had, and the vision that was acquired, was the basis of a strong republic.

These particular institutions were taught in order to install a sense of duty, responsibility, and faithfulness in a nation. Horace Mann was one of the greatest influences of American education. Horace Mann was an American school reformer who was involved in the common school movement. The common school movement involved shifting coalitions of men and women, most of them Congregationalists or Presbyterians, Whig by political persuasion and professional by occupation. (Cremin 315-316). Mann argued for the creation of a school system operated by individual states that would provide an equal education for all American children.

(Education In the Nineteenth century History of Education 3) He believed that sending all children to state-regulated schools could both control and perfect society. Because of his determination of providing this type of school, he was appointed as the first superintendent of the state board of education in Massachusetts, where he built the nations first statewide common school system. (Newman 381) Horace Mann along with other school reformers such as Catherine Beecher and Henry Bernard favored the extension of public schooling to all white children. In order to achieve this goal, they lobbied for public control over schools, with state authorities assuming increasing responsibility for the support and oversight of local Common schools and they advocated the improvement of teaching through the establishment of normal schools and other institutions of teachers training. They argued that schooling was necessary for the economic development of the nation, thereby inaugurating the new traditional argument that school reform and economic prosperity were related. In addition, they claimed that common schooling would foster equality between social classes and prevent intemperance, avarice, war, slavery, and bigotry. These arguments formulated to make the extension of schooling become a popular cause.

(Cremin 316). Mann believed the answer to the school movement lay in removing specific religious doctrines from the schools, retaining a common, nonsectarian creed as the basis for moral education. Actually he believed it was the Precepts and the doctrines of the Christian religion. (Newman 380-381) As common schools became established in Massachusetts and other states, the question became more then historical. Catholics registered the strongest protests, pointing out that Manns non-denominational Christianity really amounted to non-denominational Protestantism. Catholic students who attended common schools had to endure text books filled with slurs against their faith, ridicule from protestant teachers and students, and daily readings from bible translations that were different in many ways from their own version.(Newman 380-381) As a result, Catholics created their own schools.

Mann regretted the loss of Catholic students, for many of them were immigrants or children of immigrants the kind of people he felt needed the most character training. (Newman 380-381) Mann, finally lost patience with the gradual process of perfecting society by reforming schools. While saying goodbye to Massachusetts teachers in his common school journal written in 1848, he made a significant admission: Before people could be educated, they had to be free. In 1852 Massachusetts passed the first laws calling for free public education, and by 1918 all U.S. states had passed compulsory school attendance laws. (Education in the 19th Century History of Education 3).

Every child born in the United States today can expect a free education provided by the taxpayers, and parents have come to regard as a natural right the education of their children at public expense. Every state in the union now provides free education through high school, and some states provide free tuition at state supported colleges and universities. (Wright 131). Bibliography Work Cited Cremin, Lawrence A. Education to 1887. Philosophy of Education. An Encyclopedia.

New York & London : Garland Publishing, 1996. Encarta 2000. CD-ROM for IBM. Microsoft Corp., 1999. Windows 95/98, 16 MB-RAM Hunt, Gallard. Life in America One Hundred Years Ago.

Massachusetts: Corner House Publishers, 1976. Newman, Joseph W. Horace Mann. Philosophy Of Education. An Encyclopedia. New York & London: Garland Publishing, 1996.

Wright, Louis B. Everyday Life In Colonial America. New York: G.P. Putnams Sons, 1965. Wright, Louis B.

Everyday Life In Colonial America. New York: G.P. Putnams Sons, 1972. History Essays.


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