By Noah W. Sobe (eds.)
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Extra info for American Post-Conflict Educational Reform: From the Spanish-American War to Iraq
Lawrence Cremin, American Education: The National Experience 1783–1876 (New York: Harper and Row, 1980), 9–10; Onuf, Statehood and Union, 38; David Tyack, Thomas James, and Aaron Benevot, Law and the Shaping of Public Education, 1785–1954 (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1987), chapter 1; Ruth H. Bloch argues that this form of education was vague and weak, leaving a vacuum to be filled, in the coming decades, by organized religion. See “Battling Infidelity, Heathenism and Licentiousness: New England Missions on the Post-Revolutionary Frontier, 1792–1805,” in The Northwest Ordinance: Essays on its Formulation, Provisions, and Legacy, ed.
76 These later outcomes might have been predicted in 1901—not by looking forward to uncertain trajectory of future American policy, but by looking back to the ways in which the architects of American policy conformed to the traditional understanding of education within the American empire. 77 The 46 Benjamin Justice paltry, if relatively prolific, schools set up by the Americans must have seemed small comfort to people who had endured such a catastrophic occupation. Self-interest (and compulsory education laws) led increasing numbers of families to send their children to these schools, though not with results matching the millennial promises of imperial promoters to bring political stability, economic prosperity, insider status, and a fair share of the fruits of the empire.
It has been said that the child of an American citizen, in a favorable locality, between the years of 1 and 20 passes through all the stages of culture between savage and the highest civilization,” he explained. “However this may be, the school in the course of eight years of elementary studies and four years of secondary or higher study fits the youth for understanding and using the instruments of civilization . . ” In short, an aggressive imperial education policy would, in itself, mark the United States as the most evolved nation on Earth.