Why The Bill Failed For The Democratic Ideals Of Learning And Citizenship

1339 Words Feb 18th, 2016 null Page
In 1779, Thomas Jefferson, a Founding Father and later President of the United States, saw a need for a new educational system in Virginia. Jefferson saw education as a necessary component to the young United States and believed that a change from the then-present system needed to happen. To do this, he created “A Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge” and presented it to the Virginia Assembly on June 18th, 1779. Jefferson’s bill advanced learning and republican ideals by creating free schools for all youth which gave people the education necessary to be self-governed. Although, the ability to self-govern and the promotion of a strong state government were both feared at that time, which are why the Bill failed to advance the republican ideals of learning and citizenship. In the late 18th century, America was a young country who was in the midst of fighting the War of Independence. The war was taking place because the original thirteen colonies had just declared independence from England on July 4th, 1776 because they believed taxation was unconstitutional and sought unity of the states. During this transitionary period of becoming its own nation, schools were part of Colonial life in America. Oftentimes seen, and why Jefferson believed change was necessary, was no consistency between the schools’ curriculum, what types of children attended, who instructed the students, or how long children would attend each year (Kaestle). Many students did not attend…

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