The American Science of Politics: Its Origins and Conditions

By Bernard Crick | Go to book overview
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II
CITIZENSHIP AND NATIONAL
EXPANSION

We ought to teach history in such a way that it can be applied to the immediate needs of our time. The period has hardly arrived for elegant and learned investigation on points of mere scholarly interest.

ANDREW D. WHITE, President of Cornell

The disregard of special fitness, combined with an unwillingness to acknowledge that there can be anything special about any man, which is born of equality, constitutes the great defect of modern democracy.

EDWIN L. GODKIN, Unforeseen Tendencies of Democracy

Shakspere was all right in his way, but he didn't know anything about Fifteenth District politics.

ALDERMAN GEORGE WASHINGTON PLUNKETT,

Sachem of the Society of Tammany


1. The Expansive Setting

THERE WAS a rapid and eager expansion of Higher Education in the United States from about the time of the ending of the Civil War. It was part of a national expansion and energy in all fields, not alone in business enterprise. The leading sections of the country came out of the carnage of the Civil War stronger than before, having found their strength and regained their confidence. The Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862 was the Homestead Act of education; its provisions were eagerly made use of in the new post-War atmosphere; from it sprung at least sixty-nine land-grant colleges. The American passion for education was given material capabilities. There was a great generation of German-trained educational leaders, notably Charles W. Eliot, Daniel Coit Gilman and Andrew D. White, to guide this expansion, which was not only of the new State universities but also of new and old private foundations. Colleges and universities were becoming as much the monumental posterity of the Hopkins, the

-19-

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