Educating American Citizens

Part of the The Bedford Series in History and Culture book series (BSHC)


When Benjamin Rush called in 1786 for an American education that would transform young men into “republican machines,” he articulated both a Utopian vision and an actual intellectual project.1 A 1760 graduate of the College of New Jersey, Rush was a statesman, physician, and professor of medicine in Philadelphia until his death in 1813. He also served as a friend, mentor, correspondent, and conscience to many of his former classmates, colleagues, and students. Few issues of his day escaped his attention. Yet none engaged him more thoroughly and consistently than the need to create a unified system of republican education in America.2


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Selected Bibliography

  1. Cremin, Lawrence A. American Education: The National Experience, 1783–1876. New York, 1980.Google Scholar
  2. Hart, Sidney, and David C. Ward. “The Waning of an Enlightenment Ideal: Charles Willson Peale’s Philadelphia Museum, 1790–1820.” Journal of the Early Republic, 8 (1988): 389–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kaestle, Carl F. Pillars of the Republic: Common Schools and American Society, 1780–1860. New York, 1983.Google Scholar
  4. Kornfeld, Eve. “‘Republican Machines’ or Pestalozzian Bildung? Two Visions of Moral Education in the Early Republic.” Canadian Review of American Studies, 20, no. 2 (Fall 1989): 157–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Yazawa, Melvin. From Colonies to Commonwealth: Familial Ideology and the Beginnings of the American Republic. Baltimore, 1985.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Bedford/St. Martin’s 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.San Diego State UniversityUSA

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