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secure which does not educate the mass of its subjects into a recognition of the principles upon which the State is founded, and respect for the governing powers. A Government may thus be termed, in one sort, a huge machine, whose office it is to manufacture opinions, to perpetuate rulerships, and so to strengthen the power and influence of the State. Luther applied this principle in religion, and seems to have regarded the school as a necessity in a Protestant community. It cannot be otherwise, as a protest without a reason is senseless. The idea at the base of the reformation was the assertion of the right of every man to do his own thinking in affairs of religion, and it implied far more than this. The duty to educate the child, that he might be able to think. “ Send your children to school,” said the great refomer, “ and if they have to beg for a living, you have nevertheless given to God a noble piece of timber, out of which he will carve something."
Thus, all Governments tend to become mere conservators of the idea upon which they are based. What are our histories but the record of the attempts of Governments and rulers to maintain ideas made visible in institutions, from hostile forces within or without the State. Thus, in Persia, Crete, and Lacedemon, public institutions were formed to regulate and promote the education of children in things calculated to render them useful citizens, and to adapt their minds and manners to the genius of the Government.
The Empire of Rome was founded on military supremacy; hence the education of the people became a military education. It served its use ; lacking the
moral element, — lacking those spiritual forces which form a national conscience, — what wonder that the northern Goth and Vandal, and the more terrible scourges of wealth and luxury, finally triumphed !
England, whose common people are in born democrats, with a native dislike of political or social inequalities, perpetuates, through the force of ancient law, custom and education, her nobility and her aristocracy. Her great Colleges of Oxford and Cambridge graduate England's chivalry, and are practically shut against the unprivileged classes. Said the observant author of “ English Traits,” “ These seminaries are finishing schools for the upper classes, and not for the poor. Oxford, which equals in wealth several of the smaller European States, shuts up the lectureships which were made (by the old charter) public for all men thereunto to have concourse, and misspends the revenues bestowed for such youths as should be most meet for towardness, poverty and painfulness.'”.
You will pardon one other illustration of this truth, drawn from our early colonial history, showing that the Colonists from Great Britain brought with them fixed ideas, both of government and religion, which they attempted to organize into a State and to preserve by educational forces. At Jamestown and at Plymouth two English colonies were planted, differing in purpose, and widely differing in both civil and religious ideas. The English Cavalier at Jamestown was a Monarchist. The Puritan was a Democrat. The Cavalier was a conformist; the Puritan a nonconformist in religion. The former represented the visible court and church of England. The latter was
IN A FREE STATE
A FREE state.
inspired with a vision of a new State without a king, and a new church without a bishop. Now, history relates, that sixty-four years after the settlement of Virginia, Sir William Berkeley, then Governor of the Province, in an official communication to the Lords of the Colony, said, “I thank God, that there are no free schools, nor printing presses here, and I hope we shall not have them for these hundred years, — for learning hath brought disobedience and heresy and sects into the world, and printing hath divulged them in libels against the best of governments.”
How was it with the colony at Plymouth ? Turning to the records, we find Roger Ludlow, in 1642, inciting the colonial legislature to give attention to domestic education, and defining the “ Barbarism of Ignorance with as much caustic severity as a Massachusetts Senator of to-day would the “ Barbarism of Slavery!” The Legislature, among other laws, enacted — “Forasmuch as the good education of children is of singular behoof and benefit to any Commonwealth, and whereas many parents and masters are too negligent of their duty in that kind — the Selectmen of every town, in the several precincts and quarters where they dwell, shall have a vigilant eye over their brethren and neighbors, to see, first, that none of them shall suffer so much barbarism in any of their families, as not to endeavor to teach, by themselves or others, their children or apprentices, so much learning as may enable them perfectly to read the English tongue, upon penalty of 20 shillings for each neglect therein.”
A further enactment provided for the support of the teacher, “ that the colony might never be without a sufficient schoolmaster.' ”.
Now I insist that Sir Wm. Berkeley was as true an educator, for a purpose, (the purpose to strengthen the idea upon which the colony was founded,) as was Puritan Roger Ludlow.
Look at the circumstances! A new country gave ample opportunity to ultimate the representative ideas of the two classes in England, to wit, the aristocratic and the democratic. And each used the means best adapted to the end to be produced. The operative principle was the same in either case, viz. : Educating the people into loyalty to the State.
Here, then, in America, by these two colonists was a statement of two ideas, antagonistic in their nature and operation, one or the other of which has been at the foundation of every State, so modified, however, by circumstances, that no government has wholly and purely illustrated either.
They may be stated briefly, as 1st — The Absolutist idea, that man was made for the State and to serve it. 20,- The Democratic idea, that the State should be made by man and to serve him.
The thirteen colonies, through their representatives, in the old Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, although some contrariety of opinion existed, with singular unanimity, declared for the Democratic idea. That the individual is superior to the State, that the office of the State is to secure to him the right to himself and to the results of his employed faculties. That man (to quote Bancroft) is superior to his accidents, or, as an eloquent German in the West, who I believe
comprehends, from his Saxon composition, the genius of our institutions, has stated it, paraphrasing Jeffer. son's immortal declaration of the inalienable right of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,
To man, his birth-right. To labor — freedom.
To him who works — his dues. The argument of the necessity of an active and thorough system of education, to give permanency and life to a State founded upon such ideas, is so direct and plain as to seem almost axiomatic. It is stating a conclusion, the premises for which are already obvious. The plainest statement is, therefore, the best. Our government is founded, in exact words, “ in the consent of the governed.” The people are sovereign in fact, as well as in theory, hence the great conservative power must be popular intelligence, acting through the medium of public opinion, and the great destructive power, popular ignorance, acting
significance have our popular elections ! What an engine of conservation or destruction is the ballot-box. The ballot of the citizen becomes the supreme power in the State.
Said Robert Rantoul, — “ Every man among us is called upon to pass his judgment upon the most complicated problems of political science. Ought he not to understand that which he must decide ? And how can he understand these often abstruse and really difficult questions, without a knowledge of the particular facts in the case before him, and correct