The American Public Education System was directly imported from Prussia (modern day Germany). This model of “free and compulsory” education was designed by the Prussian Emperor, in order to generate obedient workers and soldiers who would not question his authority.

In the 1830’s, American Lawmaker Horace Mann visited Prussia and researched its education methodology. He was infatuated with the emperor’s method of eliminating free thought from his subjects and designed an education system for Massachusetts directly based on these concepts. The movement then quickly spread nationally.

Horace Mann said, “The State is the father of children.” Do you want your children growing up in total submission to the State?

Credit goes to Brendan Conway-Smith and Eve Zarifa

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4 Responses to “The Origins of the American Public Education System”

  1. monk says:

    More important, this benefited a capitalist system that needed standardization, etc., in the work place.

  2. Eric Hall says:

    Thanks, Barb. Very informative.

  3. common law private attorney general Chris says:

    Take personal private and or assimilated with like minded people RESPONSIBILITY for actually teaching substance based facts law evidence and Truth in lieu to Pro-pAH-G-AN-Duh?
    HOseAH 4: 6 “MY people are DIS-troyed for Lack of Knowledge” Pray!

  4. R Andrew Ohge says:

    Horace Mann and American Education Reform

    Continuing along the timeline of education in America from Colonial Education, the early and mid 19th century brought a completely new face to the education system. The early reforms laid the groundwork for the future reform efforts of John Dewey, progressives, and corporate elites. As America diversified in so many other areas, so too did the nation’s collective philosophy regarding the critical institution of education.

    Reformers, some influenced by the Prussian education reforms of the early 1800s, emerged at an incredible rate hoping to change the general form and ideals of American education to keep up with the evolving country. No longer would small rural schoolhouses, untrained teachers, or limitations in education opportunities suffice. A more defined system, which, as Mann and others had hoped, would also be free and universal, slowly garnered both grassroots and governmental support. The goal was to mold individuals from all socio-economic backgrounds into good people and good citizens through education. It was believed that in doing so everyone would be able to achieve to their fullest potential.

    Horace Mann, a man most consider to be one of the greatest figures in America’s development in the educational realm, surfaced in the 1820s as a strong reformer, playing a critical role in the process until his death in 1859. Calling for the radical transformations of education which would quickly take the shape of our current system, the investigation and study of Mann remains an immensely important one. Without him, for better or for worse, the education that we take for granted today would be far different.

    Quotes on Horace Mann and American Education Reform

    “Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men – the balance – wheel of the social machinery. I do not here mean that it so elevates the moral nature as to make men disdain and abhor the oppression of their fellow men. This idea pertains to another of its attributes. But I mean that it gives each man the independence and the means, by which he can resist the selfishness of other men.

    It does better than to disarm the poor of their hostility towards the rich; it prevents being poor. Agrarianism is the revenge of poverty against wealth. The wanton destruction of the property of others – the burning of hay-ricks and corn-ricks, the demolition of machinery, because it supersedes hand-labor, the sprinkling of vitriol on rich dresses – is only agrarianism run mad. Education prevents both the revenge and the madness. On the other hand, a fellow feeling for one’s class or caste is the common instinct of hearts not wholly sunk in selfish regards for person, or for family. The spread of education, by enlarging the cultivated class or caste, will open a wider area over which the social feelings will expand.”

    “Now, how are mortals to discover truth? I answer, that to seek for it in the right spirit is the only guaranty of a successful search. And the most important elements in this spirit are, a supreme love of truth and the power of impartial thought. To be capable of impartiality of thought opens all the avenues to truth. Incapability of it closes them all. Yet all the Christian sects, and almost all Colleges and private schools, at this day, are training the children and youth under their care to be incapable of impartial thought. They are divesting them of their intellectual impartiality, not only as between different denominations compared with each other, but also as between different denominations on the one side and truth on the other. This they do by stamping the peculiarities of their own faith as early and as deeply as possible upon the unformed mind, as though that faith were infallibly true, and by stigmatizing all conflicting ones as certainly false.”

    Horace Mann
    Educational Writings of Horace Mann
    Lee and Shepard Publishers