The Common School

The Common School

1770-1890

Streaming Video - 2005
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In the aftermath of the Revolution, a newly independent America confronted one of its most daunting challenges: how to build a united nation out of thirteen disparate colonies. This program profiles the passionate crusade launched by Thomas Jefferson and continued by Noah Webster, Horace Mann, and others to create a common system of tax-supported schools that would mix people of different backgrounds and reinforce the bonds of democracy. A wealth of research illustrates how this noble experiment-the foundation of the young republic-was a radical idea opposed from the start by racial prejudice and fears of taxation.

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