Public Education In Horace Mann's Leaves Of Grass

1954 Words 8 Pages
In the mid 1800s, the desire for public education began to strive, as many American children were not given the oppurtunity to attend public school and learn vital information that would be crucial to their adulthood. Horace Mann, also known as “the father of American public schools,” led this movement for public education. Mann was born in 1796 and grew up with his poor family in Franklin, Massachusettes. Throughout his childhood, Mann would go to the Franklin public library, with the few resources it had, to educated himself as he did not attend public school.Eventually, Mann was able to attend college and then pursue his successful career in law. Following his successes, Mann was given the oppurtunity to serve as the Senate of Massachusettes …show more content…
He does this by writing “furnishing good libraries to the people at large,” which only reffers to the white people at large, not any other minorities. In addition, Mann also writes of his distaste towards novels of a simpler sort, and do not have much educational values to them. The novel “Leaves of Grass,” written by Walter Witman, is a prime example of a text Mann believed to not have educational value, as it was too “sensual” and “shocking,” rather than giving students a learning oppurtunity. Mann compared the lack of a quality education a “disease,” in which this poor and incosistent factors of education are only “contaminated” and …show more content…
A few years before this speech was given, Indian removal and the Trail of Tears was initiated by Martin Van Buren in 1838 and 1839, in which millions of Cherokee Indians died from the cold weather, as well as from small-pox infested blankets given to the Native Americans. Therefore, the word-choice utilized by Mann is interesting in this excerpt, as the actuality of the word “disease” destroyed the lives of many Native Americans during this time period. Later in the passage Mann also discussed the fact that readers would have been able to formulate their own opinions with a quality education, in which he wrote, “No power of persuasion can ever induce whose who have acquired a love of reading them.” Once again, the ideology of Universal White Suffarage being approved by Jackson plays another major role in need for education, as many would have been persuaded by politicians if it weren’t for education reform. Towards the end of his speech, Mann adresses the advantages of a public education system that favors the state of Massachussetes, as well as providing implied federal government influineces in order to convince those of the desperate need for education, in which he

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