Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Hiroshi Kitamura

Committee Member

Simon Middleton

Committee Member

Fabricio Prado


Education Reform in the New American Republic: Bancroft, Cogswell, and the German Model in 1815, the first American students to seek advanced degrees at Europe's famed University of Göttingen arrived in Germany. This trickle of American intellectuals into German universities continued through the 1840s, and included some of the foremost American minds – George Ticknor, Edward Everett, William Emerson, Joseph Cogswell, and George Bancroft. Through networks of correspondence with family and friends at home and abroad, and above all, with one another, Bancroft and Cogswell developed ideas about the importance of American education. Upon their return home, they chose to found the Round Hill School in 1823. Employing principles of the German gymnasium and the experimental educational institutions they visited on their travels through Europe, Bancroft and Cogswell sought to marry American values with European ideas in an attempt to educate the next generation of intellectuals. While wide-reaching reform attempts did not begin until the 1840s with Horace Mann, the correspondence and writings of these two men indicate that Americans were formulating ideas about education, democracy, and identity long before education reform became mainstream in America. Education and The Charity of Edward Hopkins: The Institutionalization of Charity in Pre-Revolutionary New England When former Connecticut Governor and merchant Edward Hopkins died in 1657, his estate devolved not upon his children, for he had none, but largely upon the charitable causes he had supported so well in his lifetime. Hopkins' legacy for the purpose of education at the grammar and university levels in New England came to support multiple grammar schools as well as Harvard College. Although previous scholars have argued that charity in pre-Revolutionary New England was a largely individualized, often unrealized ideal, the creation of a strong administrative body to administer the Hopkins bequest in the early eighteenth century is indicative of an existing tradition of institutionalization of charity in pre-Revolutionary New England, if not voluntary association. The increasing involvement of Massachusetts' most prominent citizens in interlocking charitable and public service responsibilities, including the Hopkins Trust, in the early eighteenth century, reveals a societal expectation of civic service that paralleled larger cultural and religious trends, including ministerial rhetoric about wealth and the responsibilities of well-to-do individuals.



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