Religious and republican Enlightenment influences in Early American education, 1740-1819.
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Tacoma, Thomas J.
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Histories of education covering the time period of 1740-1820 frequently overlook the importance of religion to educational endeavors. Colleges and academies founded in the 18th century grew out of religious motivations, though a comparison of the educational thought of Benjamin Franklin (a founder of the College of Philadelphia) and John Witherspoon (president of the College of New Jersey) reveal that both were indebted to Enlightenment ideals. After the Revolution, most proposals for education in the young nation built more on those Enlightenment republican ideals than on religious motivations, though they failed to come to fruition. By the early decades of the 19th century, a full synthesis of Enlightenment, republican education and religious education had emerged.