NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ818495
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-1535-0584
The New Departure Debate Surrounding Congressional Efforts to Create a National System of Education, 1871-1889
Groen, Mark
American Educational History Journal, v34 n1 p161-172 2007
Congressman George Frisbie Hoar of Massachusetts introduced a bill "to establish a system of national education" on February 25, 1870. This bill, and others that followed, opened an acrimonious political debate that lasted for twenty years. The opening salvos of that debate, and the regional issues of ethnicity and religion that framed the debate, emphasized America's increasing diversity and pointed the way toward a more inclusive notion of what constituted American culture. From its inception in 1856, the Republican Party had devoted itself to the single issue of antislavery. With the abolition of slavery, the end of the Civil War, and with Reconstruction of the southern states winding down by 1870, the Republican Party faced a decisive choice; either redefine its mission or face extinction. Senator Henry Wilson, of Massachusetts, writing in "Atlantic Monthly," in January 1871, charted what he called "The New Departure" for the Republican Party. The creation of a federally funded system of free schools replaced anti-slavery as the party's "raison d'etre." This article examines the ideas presented by Wilson. The education issue he espoused remained at the forefront of the Republican national agenda for nearly twenty years as advocates of a New England centered social and moral vision waged a quixotic battle to defend a common school ideal that, like so many other ante-bellum institutions, had already largely passed into history.
IAP - Information Age Publishing, Inc. PO Box 79049, Charlotte, NC 28271-7047. Tel: 704-752-9125; Fax: 704-752-9113; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A