The Popular Education of France: With Notices of That of Holland and Switzerland

The Popular Education of France: With Notices of That of Holland and Switzerland

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The Popular Education of France: With Notices of That of Holland and Switzerland

The Popular Education of France: With Notices of That of Holland and Switzerland

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In the following account of popular education in certain countries of the Continent, the State and its action are occasionally spoken of in a way which, if quite unexplained, is likely, I know, to offend some of my readers, and to surprise others. With many Englishmen, perhaps with the majority, it is a maxim that the State, the executive power, ought to be entrusted with no more means of action than those which it is impossible to withhold from it; that it neither would nor could make a safe use of any more extended liberty; would not, because it has in itself a natural instinct of despotism, which, if not jealously checked, would become outrageous; could not, because it is, in truth, not at all more enlightened, or fit to assume a lead, than the mass of this enlightened community. According to the long-cherished convictions of a great many, it is for the public interest that Government should be confined, as far as possible, to the bare and indispensable functions of a police officer and a revenue collector. It is to be always the mere delegated hand of the nation, never its originating head.

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