Expansion of Public Education in America in the Late Eighteen Hundreds



  • Was set up by Americas increasing need on specialized skills and scientific knowledge
  • The single most profound intellectual development was the acceptance of evolution, also to be associated with Social Darwinism, but was not a major school teaching until the 1960's.
  • In 1860 their were 100 High Schools in America, by 1900 their were 6,000, and finally in 1914 it surpassed 12,000. (which included HHS which was founded in 1911)
  • Compulsory school attendance laws were in effect by 1900 in 31 states and territories.
  • The Freedmans Beareau attempted to educate freed slaves
  • In the 1870's reformers tried to civilize Native Americans by having them attend Hampton Institute.
  • In 1879 Richard Henry Pratt founded Carlisle Indian industrial school in the hopes that Indians would assimilate into white culture to save their own lives.
  • The reform efforts to assimilate the Indians failed because of Indian resistance, inadequate funding, and bad teachers.



Mankato High School, Mankato, Kansas early 1900s
Mankato High School, Mankato, Kansas early 1900s


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Effects of the Morrill Land Grant Act


  • Professor Jonathan Baldwin Turner of Illinois College led a reform movement to get the legislature of Illinois to pass a bill that would help the creation of agrarian colleges.
  • On February 8, 1853, the Illinois legislature adopted a resolution, drafted by Turner, calling for the Illinois congressional delegation to work to enact a land-grant bill to fund a system of industrial colleges, one in each state.
  • Eventually a similar bill was put into play by Justin Smith Morrill, a representative of Vermont.
  • The original Morrill act was vetoed by President James Buchanan.
  • After states-that-did-not-favor-the-bill seceded, Morrill sent a new Land Grant Act Bill that did pass
  • Under the act, each eligible state (not including territories that were not yet states and also not including confederate states) received a total of 30,000 Acres of Federal Land to be used toward establishing and funding the educational institutions.
  • Eventually every state got to take some federal land after the civil war was over.
  • In the final four decades of the nineteenth century 69 land grant institutions were established.;
  • Overall, the 1862 Morrill Act allocated 17,400,000 acres (70,000 km2) of land, which when sold yielded a collective endowment of $7.55 million.


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The Morrill Land Grant Act
The Morrill Land Grant Act








Education for Women

  • High Schools accepted women; however colleges and universities did not often allow women into their colleges.
  • Several land grant institutions became coeducational for both women and men.
  • The Major driving force for Women education was "The Female College".

Mount Holyoke College
Mount Holyoke College