- Dec 2017
and what chains them to their present state of barbarism & wretchedness, but a besotted veneration for the supposed supe[r]lative wisdom of their fathers and the preposterous idea that they are to look backward for better things and not forward, longing, as it should seem, to return to the days of eating acorns and roots rather than indulge in the degeneracies of civilization.
This can be considered to be quite an insulting progression of thoughts. The founders classify the indigenous populations as barbaric and wretched, deeming their conservative methods and practices preposterous. This leads me to question how much the founders valued respecting others' cultures and traditions; it seems as if they jump to conclusions without properly understanding or appreciating the indigenous population as a collective society.
It's also quite ironic that the founders ridicule the indigenous populations for respecting and looking to their fathers for advice and knowledge, yet, expect future members of the University of Virginia community to consult this document for guidance.
We have proposed no formal provision for the gymnastics of the school, altho a proper object of attention for every institution of youth. These exercises with antient nations, constituted the principal part of the education of their youth. Their arms and mode of warfare rendered them severe in the extreme. Ours on the same correct principle, should be adapted to our arms & warfare; and the manual exercise, military maneuvres, and tactics generally, should be the frequent exercises of the students, in their hours of recreation.
I found this clause intriguing. The founders affirm their belief that physical education is of utmost importance and should be addressed by "every institution of youth." However, the founders chose not to include a formal provision of "gymnastics." More interesting are the reasons behind why the founders deemed physical education necessary; they attribute it to the importance physical health and strength play in warfare. Ironically, the University offers physical education centered classes now, when the likelihood of students being drafted into a war is extremely low.