- Nov 2017
as the legislature may from time to time think proper to enact for their government; and the said University should in all things, & at all times be subject to the controul of the legislature.
This passage highlights the relevance the new country and government had on the formation of the school. Jefferson had spent most of his life working on creating and then perfecting (to his ideal) our current democratic system. The fact that he requires his school to answer not just to one person, but a body is reminiscent the radical new form of governing America has adopted.
English grammar, the higher branches of numerical Arithmetic, the geometry of straight lines and of the circle, the elements of navigation and Geography to a sufficient degree, and thus afford to greater numbers the means of being qualified for the Various Vocations of life, needing more instruction than merely menial or praedial1 labor;
Here we see that Jefferson preferred education to expand not only towards the higher education of university, but also towards primary education. The subjects he wishes to be taught at these primary schools are very similar to the liberal arts education he favored at the university level, in which he sought to create a well-rounded citizen who is knowledgeable in most disciplines. To educate a young man then, past the subjects his preferred vocation requires, was likely a foreign concept, but Jefferson sought to not only do this, but to begin the process young. On my part, I agree with him in this belief. People, especially when young, as they are still developing set beliefs and thoughts, should be exposed to a broad range of topics. I believe what is learned in ones youth is critical in forming the person that comes later.
- Maddie S.