Voluntary Society - Action - Education - History

Public education was established in 1834 by Protestants concerned that the large number of Irish immigrants would corrupt their culture with Catholicism. The Protestants hoped to use "free" schools to attract the Irish away from their Catholic schools, and thereby dilute the Catholic influence.

A school system based on compulsion resulted from this religious rivalry. Everyone was compelled to pay for the system with taxes. All students were compelled to attend. Those attempting to educate their children by other means forfeited their tax dollars. It served its purpose, but the curriculum had to be secularized to comply with the first amendment and to be politically palatable.

Such a powerful tool for indoctrinating generations of Americans attracted the worst of America. Authoritarians of all kinds wrestled for control of the system. Consequently, the public school system praises public property, groups and government, but despises private property, individuals and their achievements. Is it no wonder that most Americans think government is good and big government is better?

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