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Population. 120,000 70,000 20,000 50,000
If I am correct, it appears then that we have,Highly educated .........
This census is an estimate of 1836, sufficiently near for the purpose. It is supposed that the population of the United States has since increased about two millions, and of that increase the great majority is in the Western States, where the people are wholly uneducated. Taking, therefore, the first three classes, in which there is education in various degrees, we find that they amount to 12,193,000; against which we may
fairly put the 5,000,000 uneducated, adding to it, the 2,000,000 increased population, and 3,000,000 of slaves.
I believe the above to be a fair estimate, although nothing positive can be collected from it. In making a comparison of the degree of education in the United States and in England, one point should not be overlooked. In England, children may be sent to school, but they
away as soon as they are useful, and have little time to follow up their education afterwards. Worked like machines, every hour is devoted to labour, and a large portion forget, from disuse, what they have learnt when young. In America, they have the advantage not only of being educated, but of having plenty of time, if they choose, to profit by their education in after life. The mass in America ought, therefore, to be better educated than the mass in England, where circumstances are against it. I must now examine the nature of education given in the United States.
It is admitted as an axiom in the United States, that the only chance they have of upholding their present institutions is by the education of the mass; that is to say, a people who would govern themselves must be enlightened. Convinced of this necessity, every pains has been taken by the Federal and State governments to provide the necessary means of education.* This is granted; but now we have to inquire into the nature of the education, and the advantages derived from such education as is received in the United States.
In the first place, what is education ? Is teaching a boy to read and write education? If so, a large proportion of the American community may be said to be educated; but, if you supply a man with a chest of tools, does he therefore become a carpenter? You certainly give him the means of working at the trade, but
* Miss Martineau says: “Though, as a whole, the nation is probably better informed than any other entire nation, it cannot be denied, that their knowledge is far inferior to what their safety and their virtue require."
instead of learning it, he may only cut his fingers. Reading and writing without the further assistance necessary to guide people aright, is nothing more than the chest of tools.
Then, what is education? I consider that education commences before a child can walk : the first principle of education, the most important, and without which all subsequent attempts at it are but as leather and prunella, is the lesson of obedience-of submitting to parental control--" Honour thy father and thy mother!"
Now, any one who has been in the United States must have perceived that there is little or no parental control. This has been remarked by most of the writers who have visited the country ; indeed, to an Englishman it is a most remarkable feature. How is it possible for a child to be brought up in the way that it should go when he is not obedient to the will of his parents ? I have often fallen into a melancholy sort of musing after witnessing such remarkable specimens of uncontrolled will in children; and
as the father and mother both smiled at it, I have thought that they little knew what sorrow and vexation were probably in store for them, in consequence of their own injudicious treatment of their offspring. Imagine a child of three
years old in England behaving thus: “Johnny, my dear, come here,” says his
" I won't,” cries Johnny.
“ You must, my love, you are all wet, and you'll catch cold.”
“ I won't,” replies Johnny. “ Come, my sweet, and I've something for
“ I won't.” - Oh! Mr.
do, pray make Johnny come in."
“ Come in, Johnny,” says the father.
“I tell you, come in directly, sir--do you hear ?"
“I won't,” replies the urchin, taking to his heels.