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Look Inside Education and the Creation of Capital in the Early American Republic

Education and the Creation of Capital in the Early American Republic

$57.99 (C)

  • Date Published: January 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107617001

$ 57.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book argues that schools were a driving force in the formation of social, political, and financial capital during the market revolution and capitalist transition of the early republican era. Grounded in an intensive study of schooling in the Genesee Valley region of upstate New York, it traces early sources of funding and support for education (including common schools and various forms of higher schooling) to their roots in different social and economic networks and trade and credit relations. It then interprets that story in the context of other major developments in early American social, political, and economic history, such as the shift from agricultural to non-agricultural production, the integration of rural economies into translocal capitalist markets, the organization of the Second Great Awakening, the transformation of patriarchy, the expansion of white male suffrage, the emergence of the Secondary American Party System, and the formation of the modern liberal state.

    • Puts schooling at the center of early American history, combining historical narrative with social science analysis
    • Uses social capital theory to analyze historical relationships between education and social, economic, and political change
    • Uses stories of ordinary people to frame issues of larger historical significance
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “In this exciting, readable study, Nancy Beadie demonstrates that the development of public schools in the early national period of the US was tightly connected to the ‘market revolution’ prior to 1840. In a case study of schooling and the economy in the Genesee River region of New York, Beadie shows how civic, economic, and religious factors generated community, trust, and human capital at the same time that they created conflict and competition. Her book belongs to the tradition of fine community and regional studies by scholars such as Merle Curti and William Cronon. It will invigorate discussions about American education in the early nineteenth century.” —Carl F. Kaestle, Brown University

    “In this extraordinary book, Nancy Beadie upends the historical literature by showing that the growth of American schooling in the early national period was about producing social capital more than human capital, that it was a creation of communities with only modest support from the state, that its roots were more rural than urban, and that these complex elements have come to shape our present school system.” —David F. Labaree, Stanford University School of Education

    “Nancy Beadie's path-breaking book reveals the central role of schools and academies in creating social and political capital, as well as human capital, in the early republic. The struggle to establish common schools and academies forged alliances between banking, parental, religious, and political-party constituencies. Her careful and readable account is vital to our understanding of how rural education evolved in an era of community-building and religious fervor, when private venture schools and religious institutions both still received taxpayer support.” —Peter Lindert, University of California, Davis

    “Why did Americans establish public schools? In a narrow case study with enormous implications, Nancy Beadie has sketched bold new answers to this age-old question. Schooling reflected as well as reinforced burgeoning social networks, which lay at the heart of America's broader economic and political transformation in the first half of the 19th century. Drawing deftly upon contemporary social theory as well as original archival research, Beadie’s book represents our first major reinterpretation of American educational history in the past two decades. A stunning achievement.” —Jonathan Zimmerman, New York University

    "Recommended." -Choice

    "...this work is educational history at its best..." -Dan R. Frost, American Historical Review

    "Schooling, as Nancy Beadie shows, was decisive in the formation of economic, social, and cultural capital in the early republic. Education was equally important for individuals who achieved and made use of all three forms of capital." -Mary Kelley, The Journal of American History

    "Nancy Beadie has written a truly remarkable monograph of broad significance." -Daniel Walker Howe, Oxford University and UCLA, History of Education Quarterly

    "Beadie frames her book at the intersection of two historiographies – the transition to capitalism and education in the early republic – and makes an important contribution to each." -Johann Neem, Western Washington University, Social History:

    ...a nuanced analysis of the role that church and school played in the economic, social, and political development of western New York in the first half of the nineteenth century. The breadth of its research and the depth of its scholarship justifies the many years its author devoted to it.....this book will reward those read it closely from beginning to end." -William W. Cutler, I I I , Temple University, Journal of the Early Republic:

    "This fine book is, at first glance, an extremely readable account of school creation in upstate New York." -John E. Murray, Rhodes College, Journal of Economic History:

    "This is the history of education as it has seldom been practiced and the result is exciting and bracing. It rewards multiple readings." Ron Butchart, University of Georgia, Teachers College Record

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107617001
    • length: 368 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 156 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 5 maps 8 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Education and Social Capital Formation:
    1. Introduction - the place of schooling in a transforming political economy
    2. Creating social capital - norms of school and community building
    3. A matter of trust - neighbors and strangers
    4. Discipline - evangelicalism as an educational movement
    5. Bonding and bridging - the Methodist economy
    6. Development - evangelicalism and capital formation
    Part II. Schools as Agencies of Politicization:
    7. Between markets and the state - venture schools and academies
    8. Political economies of schooling - academies and common schools
    9. Education and civic engagement - schools and politics
    10. Diffusing intelligence - education and formation of the liberal state
    11. Denominational politics and institution-building
    12. Education and coalition building
    Part III. Education and Economic Transformation:
    13. Education as an object of capital investment
    14. Varieties of trust - education and economic competition
    15. Controlling capital - education and the politics of economic change
    16. Success - education and the culture of the market
    17. Panic - education and the discipline of the market
    18. Friends - learning the value of trust
    Conclusion: education and the creation of capital

  • Author

    Nancy Beadie, University of Washington
    Nancy Beadie is a professor and historian of education in the area of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is a co-editor of Chartered Schools: Two Hundred Years of Independent Academies, 1727–1925 (2002). She has twice received the History of Education Society's prize for best article published in a refereed journal, and her articles have appeared in numerous journals, including Social Science History, History of Education Quarterly, History of Education, and Paedagogica Historica.

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