The Educational System Of Michigan -- By: James R. Boise

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 011:41 (Jan 1854)
Article: The Educational System Of Michigan
Author: James R. Boise

The Educational System Of Michigan1

James R. Boise

Michigan was admitted to the Union as a State in the year 1835. Since that period, its career has been rapid and brilliant in many respects. The increase of its population, the development of its agricultural and mineral wealth, and the decided steps which it has taken in many of the leading reforms of the day, give it a rank and position seldom attained in the brief period of eighteen years. Should an intelligent man from the heart of New England be suddenly and unconsciously transported to one of the towns of Michigan, though he might not at first be able to define his position, he would not, at all events, be conscious of any change of longitude. Pleasant mansions, cultivated gardens, an active and intelligent looking people, would still surround him. Such a civilization could not have grown up on the spot in so brief a period. It has been transplanted, and retains essentially the same characteristics with the more easterly region from which it came. But as the new land to be occupied was better than the old which had been left, it was natural that men of enterprise and experience should make attempts at improvements in some things. The system which our New England fathers adopted for extending the advantages of education to all classes of the people, has been long and justly praised; but, excellent as that system unquestionably is, the founders of the State of Michigan, in adopting its leading provisions, ventured

to introduce into it some changes which are claimed to be improvements. To examine some of these points, with a view to determine whether any improvements of this kind have already been made, or, more especially, can still be made, is our present object.

Before, however, proceeding to this examination, it may be well to refer, for a moment, to the publications named at the head of our Article. These may be considered the offspring, as well as the representatives, of the educational movement in Michigan; and from them we draw a considerable portion of our information on this subject.

The work of Mr. Superintendent Mayhew contains a series of well-written essays on a variety of topics relating to practical and general education. It is a book for the people, and cannot fail to exert a healthful and elevating influence. That feature of it which appears to us the most striking of all, is the decidedly religious tone which everywhere pervades it. The following paragraph is of so much importance in itself, and presents, also, so clearly the general character and scope of the whole work, that we cannot refrain from giving it entire.

“In the next place,...

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