Essay About Voters Education

Essay About Voters Education-66
That pervasive distrust, rather than any common sense of nationalism, led the founders to craft the federal union as a “peace pact” meant to avert wars between the states.American leaders worried that their imperial neighbors—French, Spanish, and especially British—would exploit the new nation’s internal tensions to break up the tenuous union of the states.“We have changed our forms of government,” Benjamin Rush declared, “but it remains yet to effect a revolution in our principles, opinions, and manners so as to accommodate them to the forms of government that we have adopted.” Having grown up in colonies ruled by an empire committed to monarchy, the founders wanted the next generation of Americans to master a new culture of republicanism.

That pervasive distrust, rather than any common sense of nationalism, led the founders to craft the federal union as a “peace pact” meant to avert wars between the states.American leaders worried that their imperial neighbors—French, Spanish, and especially British—would exploit the new nation’s internal tensions to break up the tenuous union of the states.“We have changed our forms of government,” Benjamin Rush declared, “but it remains yet to effect a revolution in our principles, opinions, and manners so as to accommodate them to the forms of government that we have adopted.” Having grown up in colonies ruled by an empire committed to monarchy, the founders wanted the next generation of Americans to master a new culture of republicanism.

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John Adams warned the people, “When a favourable conjuncture has presented, some of the most intrigueing and powerful citizens have conceived the design of enslaving their country, and building their own greatness on its ruins.

Philip and Alexander are examples of this in Greece—Caesar in Rome …

Almost everyone praises education, but consensus dissolves over who should pay for it.

This dilemma runs deep in our history, back to the founders who led the American Revolution and designed a more participatory form of government, known as a republic.

Elsewhere in the new nation, the grammar schools were few and reliant on private tuition. Collectively, just 1,200 students attended college: fewer than one percent of adolescent males in the country.

Throughout the states, the children of wealthy families could learn Latin, advanced mathematics, and some science by going on to private academies. Neither women nor African Americans were permitted to attend, and few young white men could afford to. Although home to many great revolutionary leaders, Virginia lacked any public schools and had but one small college—William & Mary, founded in 1693—and it was in financial decline. Wealthy planters dominated the counties that constituted the new state.They declared that Americans needed more and better education to preserve their state and national republics from relapsing into tyranny. Cabell, asserted in 1808 that education “constitutes one of the great pillars on which the civil liberties of a nation depend.” More than a mere boon for individuals, education was a collective, social benefit essential for free government to endure.Those founders worried that their 13 state republics, loosely tied in a new union, were vulnerable to internal divisions and external manipulation.As Jefferson put it, “Ignorance and despotism seem made for each other.” Reformers wanted more and better schools to endow young Americans with the cultural resources needed to protect the common good.During the colonial era, only New England’s towns had sustained public grammar schools, and those towns mandated just a few weeks of schooling in the winter, when family farms needed less labor.Through education, people could learn to think as active democrats, forsaking the passive deference that had elected old-style aristocrats to govern.“Worth and genius” should be, Jefferson preached, “sought out from every condition of life and compleately prepared by education for defeating the competition of wealth & birth for public trusts.” Jefferson wanted to weaken the old Virginia elite by broadening educational access for ordinary folk.They lived in a dangerous world dominated by empires and kingdoms run by monarchs and aristocrats who inherited and guarded their wealth and power.In European history, previous republics had been short-lived and usually small: cantons or city-states such as Pisa and Florence.“If the common people are ignorant and vicious,” Rush concluded, “a republican nation can never be long free.” A physician and reformer from Philadelphia, he sought to use education “to convert men into republican machines” in order to “fit them more easily for uniform and peaceable government.” Putting revolutionary turmoil behind them, citizens had to become orderly supporters of the new state and federal governments.They also needed enough education to distinguish worthy from treacherous candidates for office—lest the republics succumb to those reckless demagogues or would-be aristocrats.

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