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Public Schools In The Northeast US

Decent Essays
The public schools in the Northeast US received more funding than schools in the Northwest or in the South. This contrast was due to the differing amount of urbanization in the three regions, the Northeast being the most urban and the Northwest and South being more rural. The varying levels of city versus rural living created different political, economic, and social climates which contributed to the amount of public school funding. The distribution of support for different political parties partially explains the inequality in magnitude and source of funding. The Whigs were popular with merchants and manufacturers in the Northeast, migrants from the Northeast to the West, and wealthy Southern planters. The Democrats held power with the rest…show more content…
A new belief in the capacity of the individual developed during this period, and education became widely championed as the method to utilise this potential. In the urban centers of the Northeast, a new and more prosperous middle class appeared, with a desire to send their children to school to get a good education. In areas like Massachusetts, public schools generally had highly trained and capable teachers. The good quality of those schools meant an increased involvement by the new middle class, which in turn meant more funding from the public. In areas that lacked this new middle class, there was no positive feedback loop to bring funding to public schools. The cities of the Northeast and Northwest also experienced a population boom during the 1850s. Farmers in New England moved into cities, as they were unable to compete with the new western market. Between 1840 and 1860, the population of New York increased from 312,000 to 805,000. In the expanding northwest, the economic boom produced large urban trade centers like St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati. This urban growth accounted for the fact that the South tended to have lower public school incomes. Without any dense urban centers, most southern states had less incentive to pursue public education policies. However, while all of the north experienced urban growth, which led to increased public school income, most of the Northwest was still rural, and isolated from urban society. In those rural areas, tightly knit communities were in charge of most aspects of life, including schools. The role of education fell to the local community rather than the state, decreasing the need for a public school infrastructure. Similarly in the South, local churches and religious groups ran most school, decreasing the involvement of the state in education. In the more
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