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United States History

Education

2015

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Beyond The Schoolhouse Door: Educating The Political Animal In Jefferson’S Little Republics, Brian W. Dotts Apr 2015

Beyond The Schoolhouse Door: Educating The Political Animal In Jefferson’S Little Republics, Brian W. Dotts

Democracy and Education

Jefferson believed that citizenship must exhibit republican virtue. While education was necessary in a republican polity, it alone was insufficient in sustaining a revolutionary civic spirit. This paper examines Jefferson's expectations for citizen virtue, specifically related to militia and jury service in his 'little republics.' Citizens required not only knowledge of history and republican principles, but also public spaces where they could personify what they learned. Jefferson often analogized the nation as a ship at sea, and while navigational instruments are necessary in charting an accurate course, i.e., republican theories, they become inconsequential without the decisive action required ...