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ment only with reference to a limited number of State activities-education, health, labor, and welfare-which are taken to typify the principal ways in which the State governments have, in the period before 1933, assayed their paramount task of conservating human resources. This list of State activities does not pretend to be inclusive nor is the treatment exhaustive, for both requirements or either would easily turn the chapter into volumes.

The chapter is divided into four sections. The first section discusses the rise of standards in the field of education from compulsory attendance to a com prehensive system of public schools, ranging from the common schools through the high schools to the apex of the State university and including special facilities for the education of the handicapped and the provision of State aid for under privileged areas. The section on health relates the growth of State sanitation as the defense of organized society against the terrible scourges of disease and the concerted efforts at improving the people's health among all classes and in all areas of the State. The labor section outlines the growth of State inter vention to regulate for persons of certain ages and sex, the number of working hours, safety conditions, the provision of industrial compensation and rehabilita tion, the concurrence of employment and employees, and the setting of minimum wages. The chapter closes with a welfare section which traces the growth of State institutional care of certain classes of the population, the establishment of State welfare systems, and the provision of grants-in-aid to localities for the care of dependent children, old-age pensions, and unemployment relief.

It is significant that none of the States appears to have made any sustained attempts at comprehensive conservation of human resources. The States have been interested in education, health, labor, and welfare as separate and largely unrelated activities, frequently undertaken as "stopgaps." Such activity as has existed has been particularistic, not comprehensive, although the emerging concept of "social security" may indicate a new departure.

Education.-One of the most distinctive features of American democratic theory was the early insistence upon equality of educational opportunity, to be guaranteed by the establishment of a permanent system of public education "ascending in regular gradation from township schools to a State university." This policy obtained expression in America during the first days of settlement, and it is still in the process of achievement.

Public education in America derives from an act passed by the Colony of Massachusetts Bay in 1642, barely two decades after the original settlement. This famous act required that all the children of the Colony should be taught to "read and understand the principles of religion and the capital laws of the country." Town officials were empowered to impose fines on parents and masters who were remiss in training their wards "in learning and labor and other employments profitable to the Commonwealth." In its essence, the Massachusetts law of 1642 contemplated a scheme of compulsory education, although the instruction was private (i. e., by the parents and masters) and heavily tinged with Calvinism.

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The next step-education at public expense-was taken 5 years later, in 1647, when the General Court of Massachusetts expressed such concern over the devious working of Satan, "that old deluder," in preventing "men from a knowl edge of the Scriptures by keeping them in an unknown tongue," that the statute has gone down in American educational history as the “old deluder law." The learning of the Commonwealth, said the General Court, was threat ened with burial "in the graves of our fathers" by the widespread success of Satan in "persuading from the use of tongues." To combat the devil and also promote the cause of education, the General Court provided that (a) every town of 50 householders or more should appoint a teacher of reading and writing

Indiana Constitution (1816), IX, 2.

(his wages to be provided as the particular town should itself determine) and (b) every town of 100 householders should establish a grammar (Latin) school to fit youths for the university."

Unfortunately these laws soon fell into disuse. The realization of the policy of free public education of all children hardly came before the middle of the nineteenth century and then, largely in the urban areas of the Northern States. Tax-supported public schools did not become mandatory upon all communities within any State till the passage of a Massachusetts law in 1827, and the adjective "free" was added to the school system by the New York referendum of 1850.8 The idea of public education as a "first duty" of the State, and, as Governor DeWitt Clinton added, "the surest evidence of good government, "9 did not, however, dissipate in the interim. Both during and immediately following the Revolution much attention was given to education as an emergent function of democratic government. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 declared that "schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged” and similar pronouncements are to be found in many of the State constitutions of the period.10 There were also current numerous plans for State educational systems. One of the best known of these plans is perhaps that of Dr. Benjamin Rush who, in his Thoughts Upon the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic (1798), argued for a general and uniform system of public education as necessary to the preservation of republican ideals and democratic equality. Other ambitious plans were also prepared by James Sullivan (1788), Noah Webster and Robert Coram (1791), Nathaniel Chapman (1793), Samuel Knox (1797), and Samuel Smith (1798). The plans of Knox and Smith had been prepared for submission for the prize offered by the American Philosophical Society for "the best system of liberal education and literary instruction adapted to the genius of the Government of the United States; comprehending also a plan for instituting and conducting public schools in this country, on principles of the most extensive utility." James Sullivan's plan recommended that men of superior talents should be "scattered through the States, whose whole attention should be paid to that science, which among moderns has obtained the name of political arithmetick." Du Pont de Nemour, close friend of Thomas Jefferson, implemented the Virginian's plan for the common schools (based on the "hundred") by an elaborate system of selection and education of geniuses on the principle that "a single day of an educated man of genius is of more value to the world than the labor of 100,000 average men for a period," provided, du Pont carefully noted, they "were trained to use them rightly.


Secondary and higher education were also recognized as part of the educational responsibilities of democratic society, although naturally following upon the establishment of the common schools. As early as 1797 Massachusetts adopted the policy of aiding "academies," designed to open "the way, for all people, to a higher order of instruction than the common schools can supply;" but the academies were largely private in management and suspect in many communities for their tendencies toward exclusiveness, reaching their "highest development in the country as a whole in 1850" when there were more than 6,000 such insti

1 General Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts in 1648 (Huntington Library Collection), p. 11. Professor Knight cites complaints that the laws of 1642 and 1647 were "shamefully neglected by divers towns.' History of Public Education in the United States (1929), p. 106. In 1636, the General Court of the Colony had provided a grant for the establishment of Harvard College.

E. P. Cubberly, Public Education in the United States (1934), pp. 163, 177; Mass. Laws 1827, c. 143.
Quoted by Cubberly, op. cit., p. 155.

10 The constitutional arguments in favor of State support of education have been summarized as follows: "(1) In a democ racy the safety and existence of the State depends upon the education of the people; (2) education is essential to the economic well-being of the State; (3) a system of public schools is the most effective agency at the disposal of the State for the elimination of such social evils as crime and pauperism; (4) the education of the child is a natural right of the individual and it is the duty of the State to educate children for their own welfare as well as the welfare of the State." L. O. Garber, Legal Implications of the Concept of Education as a State Function (University of Chicago dissertation, 1932), p. 33. Cf. U. S. Bureau of Education, Expressions on Education by American Statesmen and Publicists (Bul. No. 28, 1913).

11 A. O. Hansen, Liberalism and American Education in the Eighteenth Century (1926), pp. 48, 85, 110, 191. Cf. Educa tional Policies Commission, The Unique Function of Education in American Democracy (1936), c. II.

tutions. In 1853 the State of New York permitted localities to take over acade mies and manage them as part of the educational system of the State, and in 1859 Massachusetts required the larger towns of the State to maintain secondary schools. All doubt as to the legitimacy of high schools as an essential part of the public school system was removed by the decision of the Michigan Supreme Court in the celebrated Kalamazoo case in 1874.12

-Higher education was added to the public-school system by the establishment of State universities and colleges. The State institutions of higher learning appeared first in the Southern States, as North Carolina (1795), Georgia (1800), Virginia (1825), and Alabama (1831), and also in the Middle West, as Indiana (1820), Michigan (1841), Wisconsin (1850), and Minnesota (1851). These tendencies were mightily reenforced by the Morrill Act of 1862 which, by the grant of public lands, led to "the creation of a Nation-wide system of colleges maintained by public taxation and designed to democratize higher education and provide scientific and practical knowledge to the great mass of the people." The subsequent growth of State higher education has also been strongly aided by the Federal Government under the Hatch Act of 1887 which provided funds for agricultural experiment stations and the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 which provided grants for extension services. In all these instances the provision of Federal aid served to universalize existing patterns of State educational activities. At the time of the Morrill Act there were State institutions of higher learning in at least 10 States, as there were agricultural experiment stations organized in 19 States at the time of the Hatch Act, and extension activities in more than half the States at the time of the Smith-Lever Act.1 13

The State cannot rest content with merely providing educational facilities; it must also insist that the facilities be used. In a very crude way the colonial law of 1642 had recognized this problem. Compulsory education in its modern form, however, dates from a Massachusetts act of 1852 which provided that all children of the ages 8 to 14 should attend school for 12 weeks during the year, at least 6 weeks of which must run consecutively. But the growth of a minimum standard of education which all must attain was very slow. By 1870 only one other State (Vermont) had even passed a law; and in 1889 when compulsory education legislation had been enacted in 25 States, only 2 States (Massachusetts and Connecticut) were reported to be enforcing the law. By 1900 nearly all Northern and Western States had at least passed laws, and by 1918 the legis lative pattern was completed. The early laws usually left the matter subject to local option, but gradually the laws assumed mandatory form applicable to all areas of the State, increased the period of attendance, extended the age limits upward and downward, provided administrative mechanisms of enforcement, and eventually (Wisconsin, 1911) connected compulsory education with childlabor legislation, to which it was obviously complementary. There is still little uniformity among the States. The period of minimum attandance varies from no stated period in Alabama to the full school year of 9%1⁄2 months in Connecticut, while the age limits range from 6 to 18 years in Ohio to 9 to 15 years in Oregon. Nor is enforcement of the laws effective in some areas.14

The American State seems to have become first concerned with education as an administrative function, in contrast to the enactment of legislation, when the State of New York in 1812 established the office of superintendent of public schools. The function of this first State administrator of education was to pre

12 Mass. Resolves 1796, cc. 44-45 (approved in 1797); I. L. Kandel, Comparative Education (1933), p. 791; N. Y. Laws 1853, c. 354; Stuart v. School District No. 1 of Village of Kalamazoo, 30 Mich. 69 (1874).

13 U. S. Office of Education, Survey of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities (1930), pp. 5-35; A. C. True, A History of Agricultural Education in the United States, 1785-1925 (1929), pp. 45-91; and U. S. Office of Education, Federal Relations to Education (1930), pp. 30-34, 41, 224-29.

14 Mass. Laws 1852, c. 240; Knight, op. cit., pp. 563-564; and Kandel, op. cit., pp. 490-491. The Social Work Yearbook 1937, p. 136, reports that the enforcement of compulsory school attendance laws is directed by State authorities in 10 States, while in 8 others the State authorities have power to prescribe the qualifications of local enforcement officials.

pare plans for the improvement and management of the common school fund, furnish educational information, and digest the educational experiences of localities and other States. 15 In 1821 partisan politics led to the abolition of the office and the transfer of its functions to the secretary of State ex officio. In 1826 Maryland established a State educational office, only to abolish it in 1828; but in 1829 the State of Michigan created a State office of education which has remained permanent..

The State educational office thus appeared relatively early in the history of American State administration and, once established, spread quite rapidly among the States, as appears from the accompanying map. By 1840 13 States (princi pally in the middle Atlantic and Ohio Valley) had established an educational agency. By 1860 the number had doubled to 26, and within the next decade 15 other States acted. By 1890 there were central educational offices in all the States except two, and in 1913 the last State (Delaware) acted to make the administrative pattern complete. (See fig. 6.)

The function of State educational offices was largely confined in the early period to the promotion and encouragement of local educational activities by compiling statistics, making special studies and reports, especially on the scope and method of European education (as in Horace Mann's celebrated seventh report to the Massachusetts Board of Education in 1843).16 With the maturity of the educa tional system, some of the State departments have come to play very significant roles in shaping educational policies and in carrying them into execution, particularly in those States which derive educational revenues largely from State funds rather than local taxation.


It is somewhat curious to note that State aid for educational purposes was considerably higher in the period 1890-1900 than it is at the present time, although the downward trend appears to have been arrested in 1925, and the proportion of State aid is on the increase. State aid became necessary "as we emerged * * from an agrarian civilization" into one in which wealth was concentrated in particular areas, raising problems of "inequalities both in edu cational opportunities offered and in tax burdens of the local school districts." In 1874 Massachusetts was prompted to provide State funds for educational purposes in the rural areas, and by 1905 eight States (chiefly in the East) had adopted educational equalization laws, designed to safeguard a minimum edu cational program below which no locality would be allowed to go, but above which any locality could go by means of ioral support. Paul Mort states in his State Support for Education:

A century ago the battle for free State schools was the battle to attain the objective of community responsibility rather than family responsibility for education. Today, the objective of the same battle, not entirely won, is the acceptance of responsibility by the State to the degree necessary offset unjustified educational inequalities among districts.

Some State aid is available in all the States, but there are very great variations in amounts and types of aid, ranging from 92.9 percent of total school revenues in Delaware to less than one percent in Colorado and Wyoming. Special aid for the transportation of pupils is available in 31 States.17

Along with raising the educational level of the general population and of cer tain areas by means of the grant-in-aid device have also gone eforts to provide

18 N. Y. Laws 1812, c. 247. In 1784 (c. 15) the State had established a board of regents of the University of New York, and in 1795 (c. 75) the State began to make annual grants-in-aid to localities for educational purposes, discontinued in 1800. Abolished in 1821, the office of superintendent of public instruction was reestablished in 1854 (c. 97).

16 The Massachusetts law of 1837 (c. 241) provided that the educational office should "collect information of the actual condition and efficiency of the common schools and other means of popular education; and diffuse as widely as possible throughout every part of the Commonwealth information of the most approved and successful methods of arranging the studies and conducting the education of the young, to the end that all children in this Commonwealth, who depend upon common schools for instruction, may have the best education which those schools can be made to impart."

17 Paul R. Mort, State Support for Education (1933), p. 4 et seq. The quotations in the text are from pp. 23, 33, 75. U.S. Office of Education, Biennial Survey of Education, 1933-34, p. 21. Cf. E. P. Cubberley, School Funds and Their Apportionment (1905), and S. H. McGuire, Trends in Prnciples and Practices of Equalization of Educational Opportunity (1937).

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to the American Printing House for the Blind at Louisville, Ky., and the post office directed to carry books free for the blind. Crippled children were first provided with special educational facilities in 1907 when Massachusetts opened à State institution. The trend has been for other States to provide similar

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educational facilities for special classes of children. In 1823 the State of Kentucky established a school for the deaf, in 1853 Massachusetts opened a State school for idiotic and feeble-minded youth, and in 1873 national aid was made available

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