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Pillars of the Republic

Common Schools and American Society, 1780-1860

Carl F. Kaestle

Hill and Wang

Pillars of the Republic is a pioneering study of common-school development in the years before the Civil War. Public acceptance of state school systems, Kaestle argues, was encouraged by the people's commitment to republican government, by their trust in Protestant values, and by the development of capitalism. The author also examines the opposition to the Founding Fathers' educational ideas and shows what effects these had on our school system.

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Praise for Pillars of the Republic

"An eloquent and thoughtful essay, one of those glances back in time which shows us where we are. Kaestle leads us to understand why uniform, centralized public-school systems evolved out of haphazard educational alternatives, yet he also reflects on what has been lost, in variety, responsivenes, individual choice, and local control, as this nation has pressed on with an educational 'modernity' ever more centralized and vapid. A very wise and compassionate book."--Kenneth A. Lockridge, University of Michigan

"Extremely valuable and insightful."--Joseph F. Kett, University of Virginia

"A splendid achievement. In assessing traditional and new interpretations of pre-Civil War common schools Kaestle has given us a fresh understanding of troublesome controversies. Especially notable is the precision he brings to our awareness of the interrelationships between ideology, social and cultural change, and leadership. This exposition, often enlivened by vivid illustrations, is always readable."--Merle Curti, University of Wisconsin

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Carl F. Kaestle

  • Carl F. Kaestle is University Professor of Education, History, and Public Policy at Brown University. He is the author of numerous books on the history of education, including, Literacy in the United States: Readers and Reading Since 1880.
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Pillars of the Republic

Common Schools and American Society, 1780-1860

Carl F. Kaestle

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