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The Dilemmas of Americanism: Civic Education in the United States

  • Campbell F. ScribnerEmail author
Living reference work entry

Abstract

The following chapter chronicles the history of civic education at the primary and secondary levels in the United States. While educators advanced broad notions of what it meant to be an American – embodied by notions of republican citizenship in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and democratic citizenship in the twentieth – in both eras the quest for broad political consensus rendered “Americanism” vapid, incoherent, or reactionary. Thus, the chapter argues the nation’s educators faced the dilemma of encouraging vital membership in a political body that eschewed their efforts. While the same dynamics continue today, the chapter concludes with lessons drawn from these earlier paradigms of civic education.

Keywords

Civics Citizenship Social studies History Culture wars 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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