Ep. 13: Education in Early America

Yale in 1700sIn this month’s episode, Michael Hattem, Roy Rogers, and Mark Boonshoft discuss education in early America, including its role in the colonial period, the American Revolution, and the early republic.

TOPIC

From its earliest roots as an outgrowth of the church to its more secular origins in the early republic, education in early America was multi-faceted and interconnected with important cultural, social, political, and religious developments ideas. Following a boom in growth during the 1740s and 1750s, institutional education became disrupted by the outbreak of war. When the dust had settled, education in America had changed significantly, becoming more accessible and even more integral to the political landscape of a new republic.

QUESTIONS

  • What did the educational landscape look like in the first half of the eighteenth century?
  • Of what did an eighteenth-century education consist?
  • Why was there a boom in college building in the middle of the century?
  • What effect did it have on society more broadly?
  • What happened to the colleges and their students during the war?
  • How did the goals and demographics of education change after the Revolution?

GUEST PANELIST

Mark Boonshoft is a PhD candidate at The Ohio State University. He focuses primarily on early American political and social history. His dissertation examines the development of educational and cultural institutions in the mid-Atlantic and upper South from the First Great Awakening to the early nineteenth century. He is a member of The Junto and a repeat guest on “The JuntoCast.”

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FURTHER READING

Bailyn, Bernard. Education in the Forming of American Society: Needs and Opportunities for Study. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1960.

Boonshoft, Mark. “The Litchfield Network: Education, Social Capital, and the Rise and Fall of a Political Dynasty, 1784-1833.” Journal of the Early Republic 34 (Winter 2014): 561–95.

Brown, Richard D. The Strength of a People: The Idea of an Informed Citizenry in America, 1650-1870. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

Cremin, Lawrence A. American Education: The Colonial Experience, 1607-1783. New York: Harper & Row, 1970.

––––––. American Education: The National Experience, 1783-1876. New York: Harper and Row, 1980.

Hoeveler, J. David. Creating the American Mind: Intellect and Politics in the Colonial Colleges. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007.

Justice, Benjamin, ed. The Founding Fathers, Education, and “The Great Contest”: The American Philosophical Society Prize of 1797. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Kaestle, Carl. Pillars of the Republic: Common Schools and American Society, 1780-1860. New York: Hill and Wang, 1983.

Kelley, Mary. Learning to Stand & Speak: Women, Education, and Public Life in America’s Republic. Chapel Hill: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia, by the University of North Carolina Press, 2006.

Klein, Milton M. “Church, State, and Education: Testing the Issue in Colonial New York.” New York History 45 (1964): 291–303.

McMahon, Lucia. Mere Equals: The Paradox of Educated Women in the Early American Republic. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012.

Middlekauf, Robert. Ancients and Axioms: Secondary Education in Eighteenth-Century New England. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963.

Moroney, Siobhan. “Birth of a Canon: The Historiography of Early Republican Educational Thought.” History of Education Quarterly 39, no. 4 (December 1999): 476–491.

Nash, Margaret A. “Rethinking Republican Motherhood: Benjamin Rush and the Young Ladies’ Academy of Philadelphia.” Journal of the Early Republic 17, no. 2 (1997): 171–91.

––––––. Women’s Education in the United States, 1780-1840. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Opal, J. M. “Exciting Emulation: Academies and the Transformation of the Rural North, 1780s-1820s.” The Journal of American History 91, no. 2 (2004): 445–470.

Sloan, Douglas. The Scottish Enlightenment and the American College Ideal. New York: Teachers College Press, 1971.

Sumner, Margaret. Collegiate Republic: Cultivating an Ideal Society in Early America. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2014.   

Zagarri, Rosemarie. “Politics and Civil Society: A Discussion of Mary Kelley’s Learning to Stand and Speak.” Journal of the Early Republic 28, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 61–73.

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