When did free public education begin?

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,283
#1
My understanding is that it began in the independent republic of Vermont in 1777, in the early 19th century in New England, but generally not in the US south until after the Civil War. Did it begin anywhere in Europe or elsewhere earlier?
 
Dec 2011
4,864
Iowa USA
#2
My understanding is that it began in the independent republic of Vermont in 1777, in the early 19th century in New England, but generally not in the US south until after the Civil War. Did it begin anywhere in Europe or elsewhere earlier?
Male literacy in the antebellum South (for the free population) was amazingly low.

It was equivalent, or just a bit better than, to levels in the "backwater" regions of Europe.
 
Likes: Futurist
Nov 2013
705
Texas
#3
Male literacy in the antebellum South (for the free population) was amazingly low.

It was equivalent, or just a bit better than, to levels in the "backwater" regions of Europe.
I have a hard time believing that because the antebellum south plenty of fine statesman ( like James K. Polk) and a reasonable per capita income, plenty of notable warriors (like Winfield Scott)

It may not be sensble to corelate that with literacy; but the south demonstrated reasonable efficiency (even it often fell just short of western efficiency or northern efficiecny), so I suspect the same is true of literacy rates as well.

AS rhetorical as it is to point out; southern backwardness has been overstated before. It's possible this is being done even WRT to literacy rates.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,283
#4
The antebellum southern statesmen and generals were almost all educated at private schools or by tutors. The south was relatively wealthy before the Civil War. It was very high a net worth per person, due to the value of slaves.
 
Likes: Futurist
Oct 2016
1,137
Merryland
#5
the 'Old Deluder Satan Act' from the 1640s established free public education in the Massachusetts Bay Colony

some smaller communities did not comply

as name implies there were religious motivations; education was seen as a tool to defeat the 'old deluder satan' who would deceive too many in ignorance.
 
Dec 2011
1,335
Belgium
#6
My understanding is that it began in the independent republic of Vermont in 1777, in the early 19th century in New England, but generally not in the US south until after the Civil War. Did it begin anywhere in Europe or elsewhere earlier?
Betgo, has the title then to be: When did free public education begin in he US?

Kind regards, Paul.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,655
#8
There were public schools long before the 19th century but only for the upper class of society and no expectation of universal education.

Is the OP question about 'universal' free public education or just free public education in that any education where pupils were not required to pay and operated on a large scale for at least some class or classes of society?
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,283
#9
There were public schools long before the 19th century but only for the upper class of society and no expectation of universal education.

Is the OP question about 'universal' free public education or just free public education in that any education where pupils were not required to pay and operated on a large scale for at least some class or classes of society?
Public school in Britain means private school, is still pretty much class based and expensive, and was originally in contrast to private tutors.

I mean government supported free schools for everyone, or at least all boys up to a certain age. In the US, these were available in some parts of New England in colonial times, but in the southern US not until the late 1860s. I assume Germany had good ones in the late 19th century. My question is when they first appeared in Europe. I would guess first in protestant countries.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,655
#10
Duchy of Wurttemburg from what I read in the 16th century but the first nation state was either Scotland or Prussia depending how you define that by size with most northern U.S. colonies following shortly after.