Benjamin Rush	

	Benjamin Rush lived from 1746-1813, and was one of the leaders in
the Revolutionary movement. He was a 1760 graduate of Princeton and also
graduated from Edinburgh in 1768.  He was a professor at the College of
Philadelphia when the Revolution broke out.  He was one of the founders of
Dickenson college, and he spoke and wrote about education topics
frequently.  He was interested in many social reforms, with one of his top
priorities being reform of American education.  He wanted American
education to be in line with American needs, and work along with the
principles of democracy. 

	In 1786, Benjamin Rush produced a plan of education that he hoped
would meet the needs of democracy.  He believed, along with Adams,
Madison, and others, that the only security of a republic lay in a proper
education.  Hence Rush wrote the monumental essay entitled "Thoughts Upon
the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic.".  This essay consisted of 20
main points, each of which will be briefly summarized here. 

*Education must take place in the United States.  	
	A general, uniform system of education needs to be established
that would be adequate for all of the essential purposes of citizenship.
He believed that the United States should establish a system that would
make education in the United States preferred to an education in any other
country.  Rush believed that when this was accomplished, "Our schools of
learning, by producing a general, and more uniform system of education,
will render the mass of the people more homogeneous."

*Supreme regard for country.
	Rush believed that above all else, a supreme regard for the United
States must be established in all citizens.  In referring to students,
Rush said "I wish to see a supreme regard to their country inculcated upon
them."  Rush felt this to be a reasonable request because "Our country
includes family, friends and property, and should be preferred to them
all."  For this reason the United States would need to establish a public
system of education that would, by its character, reinforce this regard,
rather than the motives that dominated the private schools. 

*Duty must be coupled with "republican principles"; with progressive
	 One of the basic beliefs of the new nation was that it was
established for the progress of mankind..  It would be a mistake to train
the youth of the nation in such a way that they would simply continue the
institutions that had been established.  These institutions were meant to
function progressively, and so must be modified constantly.  For these
reasons the pupil "must be taught that there can be no durable liberty in
a republic and that government, like all other sciences, is of a
progressive nature."

*Amusements may educate for democracy. 
	 The reconstruction of education should not stop simply with a
reformation of the formal school procedure.  It should also extend into
the amusements of youth, for there are "amusements that are proper for
young people in a republic."  All activities that had the potential to
work against the spirit of democracy should be discouraged, and all others
should be encouraged. 

* A new type of education required for new type of duties and new social
	 There was an assumption after the revolution that the form of
government that had been assumed had "created a new class of duties to
every American."  Another assumption was that the force of former controls
had largely disappeared.  Rush then concluded:  "It becomes us, therefore,
to examine our former habits upon this subject, and in laying the
foundations for nurseries of wise and good men, to adapt our modes of
teaching to the peculiar form of our government." 

*Latin and Greek not suited to American education.
	The traditional school curriculum that had previously stressed
Latin and Greek needed to be replaced by one that would function

*Education and the development of national resources
	Since the people were occupying a new country, "Their principle
business should be to explore and apply its resources" and education
should be modified as to carry forward these explorations and developments
with "enterprise and haste." 

*Effect of devoting to science the time then spent upon the study of Greek
and Latin.
	The prosperity and future development of the United States
depended on the advancement of science.  There was not enough time to gain
both a mastery of languages and science. 

* Elimination of prejudices in higher education
	In the traditional college, prejudices were established against
activities that had to do with everyday life.  A change in the curriculum
would have to take place that would establish a direct link between the
higher schools and life.  Rush believed that if such a change were brought
about, "It would greatly increase the number of students in our colleges,
and thereby extend the benefits of education throughout every part of our

*Curriculum suitable for American democracy
	Rush outlined the following curriculum: "Let the first 8 years be
employed in learning to speak, spell, read, and write the English
language.  Arithmetic and some of the more simple branches of the
mathematics should be acquired between the twelfth and fourteenth years of
his life. Natural history should find a prominent place early in the
education, geography should be understood and mastered by age 12, and in
place of the ancient languages should come French and German.  Between the
fourteenth and eighteenth years, the pupil should be instructed in
grammar, oratory, criticism, the higher branches of mathematics,
philosophy, chemistry, logic, metaphysics, chronology, history,
government, the principles of agriculture, manufactures, and in everything
else that is necessary to qualify him for public usefulness and private
happiness." Rush also believed that a course of lectures should be given
to teach about the evidences, doctrines, and precepts of the Christian
religion. An interesting thing about this curriculum is that it was set up
for boys alone.

* Special emphasis upon history for nationalistic culture.
	For constructive citizenship, men must know the laws that govern
human progress; they must know those factors that tend to repress and
those that tend to liberate.  Rush believed that instruction must be given
not only in the theory of government, but also in the way in which history
could be brought to function practically in human affairs. 

* Young men made by education into "republican machines"
	An education should be present that would give a thorough
grounding in democratic principles, and at the same time would make for
modification of instruments of society that would be necessary for
progress toward greater freedom. 
* Education of women in citizenship; their particular duties in a
	"Any system of education that would render the laws of democracy
effective, must provide adequate training for women and must give them a
grasp of the principles involved in a democracy, for they must concur in
all our plans of education for young men." 

* Utilitarian character of female education/ peculiar duties of American
	Women had the responsibility of instructing their children, and
Rush felt that they should be prepared "by a suitable education, for the
discharge of this most important duty as mothers."  The woman had to be,
along with other economic and political duties, the manager of her home. 

*Kind of education required
	In order to carry out these various obligations, the main part of
a woman's education should consist of a mastery of the English language,
and the ability to read and write well.  For women, Rush set forth this
idea of the curriculum, " knowledge of figures and bookkeeping, and
acquaintance with geography and some instruction in chronology, vocal
music, dancing, the reading of history, travels,poetry, and moral essays,
and to these were to be added "regular instruction in the Christian
religion."  However, the purpose of a woman's education was for her to
prepare the youth of her time to be guardians of was  not
for her personal betterment. 

*Indigenous manners and institutions
	Rush felt that "there had been developing for a considerable time
a keen sense of the incongruities of the transplanted manners, customs,
and institutions, with American life.  These must become indigenous in
character in order to assist rather than retard American progress.

*Schools to teach forgetting.
	Rush was so convinced of the problems of copying European
institutions that he suggested the need for the establishment of special
schools to develop the skill of forgetting. 

*Liberation of thought and life; Society for Promoting Political
	This organization labored for the freeing of American thought and
for the creation of institutions that would tend to free the thought and
life of mankind.

*Liberal national support for educated teachers.
	For any such system of education to go into effect, the nation
should provide  schools and colleges adequately equipped for national
purposes and should provide in these schools and colleges teachers well
qualified for their task.  The schools and teachers should be so liberally
supported that all of the best talent would be attracted into the teaching

	The system of education that Benjamin Rush advocated demanded
training for both men and women for the understanding of the basic
principles of democracy, for the understanding of the ways that democracy
might be made effective, and for creating an atmosphere and attitude for
the maintenance of democratic institutions.   Rush's address delivered in
1787 entitled Thoughts Upon Female Education, marks an important turning
point in women's education.  Rush makes explicit the changes that have
gradually transformed American attitudes toward the education of women. 
The schools were to educate so that the youth would have the experimental
attitude and see that the science of government demanded constant
improvement and readjustment according to any situation that might arise.
The schools were to be supported liberally, and staffed with well trained

Sources used: Liberalism and American Education in the Eighteenth Century,
History of the Education of Women, and Benjamin Rush: An Intellectual

Prepared by Emily Wassenhove