THE AMERICAN BACKGROUND
The pattern of eighteenth-century English education harmonized with the social, economic, and political fabric of the time and place. Both the warp and woof of American education in the same period exhibited many of the same aristocratic and exclusive fibres, but woven into the piece were other threads, strong, if sometimes coarse, manufactured of environment, and dyed with the vivid color of the American spirit. To change the metaphor, American education in the eighteenth century reflected the struggle in American life between aristocratic and democratic tendencies. We shall try to account for these tendencies and to note their influence in the various departments of American life, with particular reference to education; to take cognizance of the social aspects of the American Revolution; and to see where the Loyalists stood in relation to aristocracy and democracy.
Politically, all the American colonies in the seventeenth century, except during the upheaval of the English Civil War, centred in England and maintained with her close relations in every field of life.1
From her they inherited a strong sense of class distinctions. “Although the icing may be said to have been left off the American social cake owing to the fact that none of the titled members of the aristocracy came as permanent residents,” 2
the gentry and the merchants, those members of the middle orders next to the English aristocracy in the hierarchy of rank and wealth, became the colonial aristocracy and claimed deference and privilege. Even the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony had been “fashioned by a caste society” and brought over “an abundant heritage of class prejudice . . . They honored rank, were sticklers for precedent, respected class distinctions, demanded the hereditary rights of the gentry.” 3
“Habit is more potent than doctrine.” The early settlers preached the doctrine of equality, “but in their feelings and in their relations they recognized a caste as objectionable as that which they had been accustomed to in England.” 4
“Every colony had this class heritage developed into a well-articulated scheme of social subordination,” 5
with varying economic, political, religious, and social privileges forming the lines of demarcation. For example, in the seventeenth century in New England, even seating in church was regulated by an elaborate system based on social standing, and as late as the middle of the eighteenth century the names of students at Yale and Harvard were arranged according to the wealth and social prestige of their families. In the Middle Colonies, where agricultural possibilities were greater than in stony New Eng-
land, the manorial lords of the Hudson valley created a landed aristocracy, and in the south, partiality to large estates worked by indentured servants and negro slaves stimulated the theory of social superiority and inferiority.
Class distinctions were inevitably accompanied, as in Europe, by the idea of minority rule. When John Winthrop accounted democracy to be the meanest and worst government, and John Cotton declared he could not imagine that God had ordained it as a 'fitt government eyther for church or commonwealth',6
they expressed the view of contemporary and subsequent leaders in church and state. By restricting the franchise, by denying equal representation to the back counties, by exerting influence and control through the colonial councils, the landed gentlemen and merchants of the tidewater area maintained minority rule against “a numerous democracy” .
One of the most interesting examples of oligarchic rule in America was the Massachusetts theocracy of the seventeenth century. Political and economic motives, as well as moral and religious, had prompted the emigration, but the leaders, John Winthrop, John Cotton and others, aimed at the creation of a self-governing Bible commonwealth, “a bulwark against the forces of Antichrist” .7
Civil and religious authorities cooperated in protecting the new state against error from without and schism from within, but the clergy were “the final depository of power in the colony” .8
For the sake of unity and strength the ideals of religious freedom and democracy were sacrificed.9
Gradually, however, the supremacy of the theocracy was undermined by a number of forces, and when the royal absolutism which Charles II and James II had attempted to substitute was itself demolished in 1689, theocratic rule was not fully restored in Massachusetts, and in the new charter of 1691 the basis of the franchise was no longer church membership, but property. However, taxpayers still had to contribute to the Established Congregational Church.
In education, colonial ideas and practices were very similar to those already described in connection with English education; Provincial culture is inevitably derivative in its origins. “The colonial conception of schools as instruments for the preservation of religious faith and existing economic and social arrangements was rooted in old-world tradition and practice.” 10
“From top to bottom the English educational system served as a guide to the immigrants who founded colonies in America.” 11
In New England, the religious purpose of education received particular emphasis. Only Rhode Island, organized as it was on a basis of religious freedom for all, lacked the sectarian stimulus to the founding of schools.l2
In the central colonies the heterogeneous population and the wide variety of religious groups made for that denominational control of schools which has always proved to be an obstacle in the way
of state organization and control.13
In the south, as represented by Virginia, reliance on private agencies was natural because of the existence of pronounced class distinctions. The apprenticeship system and charity and pauper schools offered only a limited means of education for the poor. The children of the gentry were educated under private tutors or were sent to England. Thus those who proudly carried on the tradition of the Cavalier “staved off the growth of popular education in the South and the restive democracy connected with it.” 14
Although certain provisions for education in Massachusetts were unique, motives and purposes were in harmony with tradition. In the Calvinistic conception of a religious state the main function of education was to insure an educated ministry, and to enable serious folk to read the Bible “in order to learn the tests by which each might be certain of his own election and that of his neighbor” .15
English precedents were followed in the instruction given at Harvard and in the grammar schools. As for the primary schools of Massachusetts, and of New England generally, “one learned to read chiefly that one might be able to read the Catechism and the Bible, and to know the will of the Heavenly Father. There was scarcely any other purpose in the maintenance of elementary schools” .16
Massachusetts legislation of 1642 and 1647 has been identified as an assertion of the right of the state to require the establishment and maintenance of schools. “The laws of Massachusetts on this point,” says Beard, “have been so glossed over with uncritical comment that they have been hailed as marking the dawn of public education in the modern and secular form. In reality, seen in their historical setting, they do no such thing.” The fact that education was ordered by the state was not of special significance, “for the state and church were one in Massachusetts at the time” .17
To the clergy it seemed expedient to impose on all children the creed of the Puritan sect. Naturally, the gentlemen who shared authority with the clergy in theocratic government saw much in the argument that “to insure the obedience of good men, good wives, and servants, these must be able to read the capital laws on which rested the rule of clergy and gentlemen” .l8
By the Act of 1642, therefore, parents and masters had to see to it that their children could read and understand the Bible and the laws, and by the Act of 1647 towns of fifty families were to provide a teacher for elementary instruction. In order that a supply of educated ministers might be available towns of a hundred families were to set up grammar schools to train youths for the University. Towns neglecting for a year or more to comply with these regulations were penalized, but no specific way of supporting these schools was insisted on.19
In the fact that the plan of taxation was used by a number of towns there is considerable significance. but apparently until well into the eighteenth century people were, to quite an extent, opposed to spending public money for school purposes. “The old picture of
every village with its free school and a population athirst for learning is a pure figment of the imagination. Such schools as were operated under the laws and were called free, required the payment of tuition from all but those pupils whose parents were too poor to afford it, and consequently were quite different from our modern public schools. There was nothing democratic about them and it was not intended that there should be.” 20
In fact, until Horace Mann's time, the term “common” as applied to schools often carried the connotation “inferior” , and well-to-do people tended to regard the public schools as places for the poor.21
Moreover, attendance at the town or village schools was not compulsory. The only theoretical requirement was that children should receive a certain amount of education from some source—the parents, the common schools, “dame” schools, or other schools of their parents' choice. The town schools and grammar schools were maintained merely to facilitate the process.22
Moreover, the regulations were not always complied with. In 1718 the general court of Massachusetts complained that many towns chose to pay the fine rather than maintain a school.23
In one feature of New England education, the “district” school, there may be seen some relationship to the parish schools established over a hundred years later in rural New Brunswick. After 1689, when the population began to expand toward the outer sections of the towns, children living on the outskirts found difficulty in attending the school at the village centre, especially in winter. If the school happened to be supported by taxation, families complained of paying taxes from which they received little or no benefit, and petitioned for a division of the town into districts. This was a democratic move, in a sense, but the small school unit often necessitated a very short school term, because of the inability of the small districts to raise adequate funds.24
In some cases difficulty in agreeing on the location of a school resulted in the “moving” school, held for part of the year in one section of the town and then moved to another part.25
A somewhat similar procedure was authorized in New Brunswick in 1805 in connection with grammar schools, only the moving was done from one parish to another, until all the parishes of a county had had the benefit of the county grammar school. It is not unlikely that this expedient in New Brunswick was derived from the New England experience.
The curriculum of colonial schools in the Pre-Revolutionary period was derivative in nature. In the colleges and secondary schools the narrow classical instruction of English educational institutions was carried out, and in the elementary schools the instruction was of the same limited nature as in England. The method of learning, as well as the curriculum, might be described as that of the three R's. “The pupils were expected to receive, retain, return what they were taught and that was all that was expected of them.” The memory
was aided by rhyme and metre and also by “physical appliances cut from the branches of trees and applied vigorously and almost daily.” 26
The teachers, as in New Brunswick later, ranged from clergymen to itinerants who “boarded around,” for part of their salary, the rest being usually paid in subscription fees.
In the colonial scheme of education “girls met with the traditional discriminations” . They were, of course, shut out from colleges and grammar schools, but were generally admitted to the elementary schools. Under private patronage schools were opened in some regions where girls of the middle classes might learn reading, writing, arithmetic, sewing, music, and dancing, but in general women were expected to stick to household matters.27
While inheritance and tradition influenced colonial institutions and ideals, a variety of other influences weaned the American colonies from their Old World heritage and created an independence of spirit characteristically American and favorable to the growth of democracy.
Among these influences were geographical conditions. “The separateness of Britain and her colonies was based upon conditions beyond the power of man to change, upon the broad expanse of the Atlantic, upon soil, climate and geography.” Slowly, but inevitably, these conditions changed the Englishmen of the colonies into Americans.28
While settlers were transforming America, America was transforming the settlers.29
Secondly, in spirit many of the original settlers were sympathetic toward the principles underlying the Puritan Revolution. In the little colony at Plymouth there were the germs of American democracy. Before leaving the Mayflower the male adults compacted to enact and observe laws for the general good.30
That a group of people should take upon themselves the responsibility for self-government was unprecedented. Rhode Island, founded as a simple democracy by Roger Williams “tolerated from the first . . . a personal liberty that violated accepted traditions” .31
The original charter of Massachusetts, in granting freemen the right to decide taxation and to choose officials, contained the seeds of democracy. An oligarchy may have been set up and democratic tendencies discouraged, yet democratic possibilities were never entirely absent, especially in the minds of enlightened men like John Wise, who declared early in the eighteenth century that all power was originally in the people, that the only end of government was to promote the good of all, and that it was as plain as daylight there was no species of government like a democracy to attain that end.32
The New England democracy of labour, the township form of community, the town meeting, all fostered an independent spirit. So did the New England method of land holding. Land was granted in fee simple, that is, outright, without feudal dues or primogeniture and entail. In this independ
ent ownership of land and in the development of many small farms can be seen a cause for the rise of a democratic society.33
Moreover, partly as a result of the Civil War in England, the New England colonies, especially Massachusetts, were able to act almost as independent states. During the period of the Whig oligarchy, interest and effort in England were concentrated on the furtherance of landed and commercial interests in the mother country, and for a time all the colonies were more or less neglected. Thus the colonists grew accustomed to managing their own affairs, and aversion to outside control took deep root.
Diversity of national origins was another factor in the development of an independent American spirit. Thousands of people entered the country without any previous allegiance to England, as in the case of French Huguenots and Germans, or with active hostility against her, as in the case of Irish and Scotch-Irish. These felt no love for the British government or for her colonial officials who might hamper them in their grim struggle to acquire property rights in the new land of promise.34
The jumble of religious faiths represented by these immigrants tended to break down belief in the necessity or desirability of a state church and to promote the cause of true religious liberty. In essence, a number of these sectaries were tolerant and democratic. “Quakerism tended to reduce all ranks of society to a spiritual level—a spiritual democracy.” 35
The Great Awakening, initiated by the tours which the Methodist evangelist, Whitefield, began in the colonies in 1739, gave an impetus to the principle of self-determination and democratic church government.36
There was a strong undercurrent of democracy in Whitefield's doctrine that those having the “new birth” , whether rich or poor, wise or ignorant, were equal before God. In stimulating the emotions of the people the Great Awakening “helped prepare the way for the emotional aspects of the American Revolution” . In contrast to the political conservatism of the Anglican Church, the “Popular Churches” , especially the Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist, tended to be liberal in politics. “This became important when the Revolution took on a religious aspect by attacks on the Anglican Church, particularly in opposition to the threatened appointment of an Anglican bishop.” 37
By the opening of the eighteenth century the pioneer phase of life was over in the coastal area, but beyond and behind, stretching from New England to the Carolinas, was the frontier, “at the hither edge of free land.” 38
This frontier bred democratic and leveling tendencies. Under the harsh solvent of frontier conditions, lines of social cleavage fade and are obliterated. “Even the power of money goes under a partial eclipse where money no longer can buy service and where everyone works for himself.” ,39
Men who bear the brunt of frontier raids, fight hunger, cold and wild beasts, and hack out homes in the wilderness, develop hardihood, initiative and self-sufficiency, are impatient under
restraint, and fearless in demanding their rights. “From the first the frontier districts have been prompt to raise a strident voice against privilege, injustice and the creation of artificial distinctions in government.” 40
To the frontier gravitated those who resented religious and political intolerance in the older more closely settled areas, especially those who objected to quit rents and feudal tenure, or had been cheated of their holdings by land speculations or colonial governments. The frontier, “inspired by a belief in political equality, free land, and religious liberty” , represented democratic tendencies, while the coastal area represented minority rule, religious intolerance, and monopolistic control of natural resources. In nearly every colony there was a struggle between these two forces.41
Intellectually, the new spirit of independence, initiative, and alertness expressed itself in the comparatively early achievement of a free press, in the growth of subscription libraries, and in an interest on the part of young intellectuals in the writings of the political theorists of the old world. By the time the Revolution broke out, American colonists were familiar with Locke's theory that the consent of the people is the only true foundation of government, and with the views of French radical thinkers. The American colonies began to feel the impact of those forces in Europe which attacked theological monopoly, exalted science, and gave increasing significance to secular affairs42
. A new, more utilitarian, conception of schools began to grow up. “After 1750, it was increasingly evident that the old religious enthusiasm for schools had largely died out; that European traditions and ways and types of schools no longer completely satisfied; and that the period of the transplanting of European educational ideas and schools and types of instruction was coming to an end. Instead, the evolution of a public or state school out of the original religious school, and the beginnings of the evolution of distinctly American types of schools, better adapted to American needs, became increasingly evident in the Colonies as the eighteenth century progressed.” 43
The call of Bacon, Milton, and Locke for a less traditional and more useful type of education had gone almost unheeded in England, in practice at any rate. In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin, “a true child of the Enlightenment” , proposed a secular and practical programme for the Academy which he helped to found. Having little use for the frivolous arts and graces, the dead tongues, and all the other empty badges of the aristocratic past, his purpose was to train youth for successful careers in business and for useful service to the public.44
Franklin, like Milton and Locke, was thinking in terms of education for the rising middle class, but Jefferson, a firm believer in universal education as a necessary instrument of republicanism, advocated in 1770 a scheme which went farther than Franklin's toward breaking down class barriers in education. He intended “to rake from the rubbish such geniuses as would otherwise, for lack of nourishment, be unable to develop
their capacities and serve society as trained leaders.” 45
His plan failed of immediate and complete realization for a number of reasons, but one must keep in mind the fact that such ideas were at least placed before the Republic in its troubled early years, while nothing so democratic was dreamed of in England at that time, or in New Brunswick, that colonial child whose paternity was reaffirmed by the Loyalists as forever British.
It becomes necessary at this point to reexamine the Massachusetts laws of 1642 and 1647. The spirit back of these laws may have been mediaeval but in effect this legislation fixed a new tradition. “Not only was a school system ordered established, . . . but, for the first time among English-speaking people, there was an assertion of the right of the State to require communities to establish and maintain schools, under penalty if they refused to do so.” 46
The lead which Massachusetts gave all North America in educational progress may be partly attributed to this tradition of public education. That the state ordered provision to be made for education but left the actual provision, whether by subscription or taxation, to the individual community, is a fact of some significance. Long afterwards, in New Brunswick, when public apathy was proving a great hindrance to educational advance, two governors of that province attributed progress in the neighboring American states to the fact that education was a local responsibility in those states. Sir William Colebrooke wrote in 1842: “The practice in the neighboring states of laying out the wilderness land in townships and of imposing on the purchaser a moderate rate to provide for schools and roads has induced a habit with the settlers of providing for these essential objects which the practice in this Province of contributing to them so largely from the Public Revenue has discouraged.” 47
Later, Sir Edmund Head, speaking of the township organization as one of the causes of prosperity m Maine, wrote: “They look after their own roads and their own schools and exercise those municipal rights which fit a man for sound and prudent action on a large scale by developing his political intelligence in matters which he readily understands and appreciates. The people of this province on the other hand are shrewd and sharp enough but they have habitually relied upon the government for the management of their roads and schools and have looked to the Executive Council or the Legislature for help in every emergency.” 48
The changing political, economic, and social conditions in the colonies during the eighteenth century were particularly reflected in secondary education. The grammar school of the traditional English type began to decline, and we note the evolution of the American Academy, possibly connected through the Non-Conformist schools established in England after the Act of Conformity in 1662 with the institution which Milton described in his Tract on Education.
The idea of offering instruction in a wide variety of subjects proved more acceptable in America than in England, because of the growing demand in America for a type of education related to the economic life of the place and time. While
the ancient languages continued to be taught in Academies as the mark of culture and social standing, a new emphasis was placed on native English and mathematical subjects, science, book-keeping, mensuration, surveying and navigation.49
(Incidentally, the inclusion of the last four subjects in the curriculum of New Brunswick schools in the nineteenth century may have been partly a legacy from American Academies and only partly a result of the importance in New Brunswick of shipping, lumbering, and mercantile operations.) Another significant feature of colonial academies besides their practical curriculum was the fact that they were usually open to girls as well as to boys—an innovation in secondary education almost unknown before.50
The struggle between the two forces in American life, one democratic, the other jealous of exclusive privilege, expressed itself politically in the royal colonies in conflict between the executive and legislative branches of the government, for “the royal governor represented a principle hostile to colonial interests and desires; the principle of external control.” 51
Not infrequently also, at one time or another, in all the colonies there was friction within the legislature, between the council and assembly, for the interests of the council, which was composed of the wealthy and aristocratic sections of the population, were often at variance with those of the common people. The assemblies, themselves, were not completely representative, for property requirements for the suffrage tended to disfranchise owners of small holdings or those with incomplete title to land. The legislatures were all too often on the side of the capitalists.52
To the frontier, therefore, the cries from 1763 onward of “no taxation without representation” and “all men are created free and equal” had a double meaning. They were battle slogans against England, and at the same time they often represented frontier grievances against colonial governments.53
The American Revolution, therefore, was a social struggle as well as a political conflict.
When one endeavors, however, to isolate the social aspects of the American bid for independence, one is confronted by contradictions in the alignments of various social classes. Democratic frontiersmen were allied with merchants and gentry who had no wish to share political rights with the “rag, tag and bobtail” ; gentlemen divided on the question; for instance, one gentleman, Jonathan Odell, attacked another, George Washington, in vitriolic lines beginning “Thou hast supported an atrocious cause” ; both the Sons of Liberty and the Loyalists included artisans, mechanics and small farmers. In other words, all the Revolutionaries were not land-hungry frontiersmen and unprivileged apprentices, and all the so-called Tories were not aristocrats and wealthy officials. But when we note the effect of the Revolution on those traditionary institutions and practices which, through the years, had helped to prop up aristocracy and minority rule, we perceive that the upheaval did indeed have some of the earmarks of a social revolution.
With the “dislocation of authority” which the Revolution started “shifts and cracks in the social structure” began to appear. That they did not at once cause the downfall of the superstructure is true. “Half a century passed before the levelling democracy proclaimed in Jefferson's Declaration of Independence came flooding into power” , but in many cases the qualifications for office holding and for voting were lowered at once, thus seriously undermining the old social system. The abolition of quit rents and the sweeping away of royal limitations on the acquisition and use of vacant lands transformed the land system. Tory estates, some of which embraced hundreds of square miles, were confiscated, broken into small lots, and distributed to farmers on easy terms. The system of entails and primogeniture was abolished in every state within fifteen years. This destruction of landed privilege was accompanied by an attack on ecclesiastical establishments. Within a few years the special privileges enjoyed by the established churches in the nine colonies which had featured tax-supported religion were relinquished. At the very time when the British government was increasing the severities of its penal code, in America a campaign was being waged, with eventual success, against barbarities in the criminal code. It is true that populism still had many a battle to fight against reaction, and that slavery, “a glaring contrast to the grand doctrines of the Revolution” , remained until the second cataclysm in American history, nevertheless the American Revolution appears to have been “an economic, social and intellectual transformation of prime significance.” 54
All this means, in effect, that the Revolutionaries welcomed “the process of change, for which Progress is but the optimistic name,” 55
while the Tories did not. In fact, Jefferson said afterwards to John Adams that he was convinced one of the matters on which the parties took opposite sides was the question of the improvability of the human mind. 'Those who advocated a reform of institutions . . . maintained that no definite limits could be assigned to progress. The enemies of reform on the other hand denied improvement and advocated steady adherence to the principles, practices and institutions of our fathers which they represented as the consummation of wisdom and the acme of excellence beyond which the human mind could never advance.'56
Naturally, those for whom a break in the British connection meant a loss of prestige, wealth, and power, supported the royal cause. “ 'The aristocracy of culture, of dignified professions and callings, of official rank and hereditary wealth' was, in large measure, found among the Tories.” 57
It has been said that, compressed into a sentence, the current Tory philosophy was “the expression of the will-to-power of the wealthy. Its motive was economic class interest, and its object the exploitation of society through the instrumentality of the state . . . Embroidered with patriotism, loyalty, law and order, it made a very respectable appearance; and when it put on the stately robe of the British
Constitution, it was enormously impressive.” 58
Although it would be a mistake to think that all the Tories were aristocrats, they did represent those elements in the revolting states that feared innovation and were “tenacious of the customary” .59
Belonging to the more conservative and moderate classes, they might admit that grievances did exist, but they balked at rebellion, believing that difficulties could be adjusted without strife and disruption.60
Whether bloodshed could have been avoided or not is an interesting question, but violence was resorted to, and the Tories either had to flee “home” , to England, fit into the new scheme of things, if they could make their peace, or migrate to the remaining British colonies in America. Officials and many men of wealth did the first, some of those who had been least conspicuous in the war managed to effect a reconciliation, and those whom we call Loyalists followed the last course.
The view that the Loyalists in 1783 deliberately chose expatriation rather than renounce their allegiance to the King and to the British flag is popular, but not entirely in accordance with the facts. It would seem that in reality the choice was made much earlier, and before all that it involved was realized. “After July, 1776, each man who admitted a political opinion had to be either a 'Patriot' or a 'Loyalist'; he had to be for the new Republic or for the old Empire.” 61
As MacFarlane puts it, the Loyalists bet on the wrong horse and “it is well to remember that most of the bets were placed before the race began, and some of them even while the losing horse was enjoying a temporary lead.” 62
Doubtless the decision to support the royal cause originated in some cases in simple loyalty. In other cases, the excesses of Revolutionary mobs helped to drive undecided people to the British side. Other factors, such as traditional conservatism and dependence on the government for a livelihood, have been already mentioned. Whatever the motive, “the decision to support the Crown . . . invariably forced the Tory along a road on which there was no turning back, and which frequently terminated in exile.” 63
It could scarcely be expected that the Americans would forgive those whose British partisanship had contributed to the ferocity of the war and to its prolongation.64
When the British representatives at the peace negotiations failed to obtain terms safeguarding the Loyalists against the discriminations and persecutions to which many of them had been subjected there was no course for them but that of emigration.
To join social and economic forces with the political and sentimental in accounting for the exodus of the Loyalists may seem to cast doubt upon their loyalty. To suggest that they were reactionaries may seem to disparage that loyalty. However, if analysis reveals other motives besides simple loyalty on the part of the Loyalists, and other characteristics besides those admirable ones for which they have been honored, one cannot disregard the facts, even at the risk of offending traditional sensibilities. That many of the Loyalists were
able and cultured is indicated by the fact that among those who came to Nova Scotia (including New Brunswick) were two hundred graduates of Harvard, and many from younger institutions.65
That they possessed courage, endurance, and energy is revealed by their achievements and by their correspondence. The point we must note, however, is this: under the circumstances the choice which the Loyalists made meant that they embraced “the ideal of a static society.” 66
It has been said that the Maritime Provinces reaped the benefits and paid the penalty of receiving the aristocracy of the Loyalists.67
The latter, having turned their backs on Republican principles, also repudiated democracy and committed themselves to aristocratic government. Did not Edward Winslow, in writing of the likelihood that New Brunswick would become a separate government, say “and if it does, it shall be the most gentlemanlike one on earth” ?68
In the newly established province the views of the leading Loyalists seem to have been in harmony with those of Governor Carleton who regarded with alarm the participation of the people in the administration of affairs, and attributed the troubles with the old colonies to the undue influence of the popular Assembly.69
“The Royal Prerogative was exalted at the expense of liberty, and any man who ventured to set limits to it was looked upon as a traitor.” 70
That is precisely the view which the Governor and Council entertained of James Glenie, New Brunswick's first radical, a native of Scotland and a resident of Sunbury County in the late eighteenth century. It has been said that if Glenie's ideas had been carried into effect, New Brunswick might have had responsible government more than half a century before it did, but to the Governor and Governor's coterie he was “that vagabond Glenie” . Captain Lyman's regret that there was not sufficient good sense and loyalty in the country to keep out such a “violent Democrat and Jacobin” was the official view of Glenie, the agitator for popular government.71
Of Jonathan Odell, the first secretary of the Province of New Brunswick, it has been said: “When we examine the work of Odell to discover the deeper springs of his thought, we come upon naked class prejudice, undiluted Toryism” .72
These are severe words, perhaps too severe, but one cannot deny that the leading Loyalists of New Brunswick brought with them notions of class distinctions and class privileges. That some of them contemplated the perpetuation of a privileged society based on huge estates is shown by the memorial signed by fifty-five prominent Loyalists in New York before the exodus, asking Sir Guy Carleton for grants along the Saint John River of five thousand acres each. Elias Hardy, who antedated Glenie as a champion of the people, was active against this application, which was not complied with, but
Hardy's controversies, during the first year of settlement, with the Board of Directors in charge of the distribution of land would indicate that an effort was made by a number of Loyalists to obtain lots in excess of their deserts.73
That they resented Hardy's interference is clear from bitter remarks made about “the illiberal insinuations of that man Hardy” .74
Further evidences of class prejudice on the part of the leading Loyalists may be seen in the political manoeuvres which figured in the contest between the Upper Cove and the Lower Cove during Saint John's first election and in the derogatory nature of sundry remarks concerning the Acadians and pre-Loyalist settlers. Closely allied with these feelings of political and social superiority was the premium placed on connection with the Anglican communion. For many years the Church of England enjoyed pre-eminence and assumed special privileges,75
although only a minority of the people of the province belonged to that church.
The same narrow and exclusive spirit predominated in education. Men of education and culture, such as the leading Loyalists were, could not fail to recognize the importance of education, but their chief concern was for institutions in which gentlemen's sons should be educated. That they should think first of their own children was only natural; that progress in providing for educational facilities should be slow might be expected, considering the many pressing problems incidental to the founding of a province. The fact remains, however, that education in New Brunswick began with the old inherited ideas that education was a voluntary affair, that the first provision must be for secondary education along classical lines for the benefit of boys in the upper stratum of society, that the supervision of education was the prerogative of the clergy, and that the masses must go untutored or look to the efforts of religious, charitable and philanthropic agencies, such as “The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel” . We have seen that these views were current in England at the time and also in the American colonies to quite an extent. Lacking the impetus toward democratic education which the American Revolution furnished in the United States, founded by men one of whose reasons for being where they were was the perpetuation of their own society, hampered by the apathy of the bulk of the population, New Brunswick, as we shall see, moved forward but slowly from these eighteenth-century conceptions of education.
Considering the circumstances under which the Loyalists left the Thirteen Colonies it is not surprising that they-launched the new province on a note of conservatism, nor is it strange that they brought with them a decided aversion to anything American. “A proper hatred of the United States and an equally proper love of England became social decencies to be expressed in tra
ditional terms.” 76
This is quite understandable but also regrettable, for the intensity of the feeling directed against the United States and the lack of discrimination which characterized it were hindrances to progress, especially when educational developments in the United States during the nineteenth century might have proved a source of inspiration to New Brunswick. As late as 1839 Governor Harvey reported that “the tide of prejudice . . . still runs very strong in this Province against anything American” .77
The development of any colony cannot be explained wholly in terms of the character of its principal contingent of settlers. The location of the country, its natural resources, its natives, its neighbours, and its past history are all factors of importance. In order to appreciate the development of New Brunswick it is necessary to know something of the state of the country when the Loyalists came, and why it was what it was. Were the Loyalists likely to have a clear field for their energies, ideas and institutions? With what difficulties would the new environment confront them? Particularly, what economic forces arising out of the physical environment were bound to be at work in Loyalist society, for “economic forces . . . condition what people can do and how they may develop more than do other forces” ?78
In what may be termed the Nova Scotian background of New Brunswick we may find answers, or partial answers at any rate, to the questions we have just raised.
^1. Adams, pp. 23, 24.
^2. Ibid., p. 56.
^3. Parrington (1), p. 18.
^4. Messenger, p. 261.
^5. Beard, Vol 1, p. 126.
^6. Jernegan, p. 178.
^7. Wertenbaker, p. 87.
^8. Ibid., p. 93.
^9. Jernegan, p. 134.
^10. Curti. p. 4.
^11. Beard, Vol. 1, pp. 166, 167.
^12. Cubberley, p. 197.
^13. Ibid., pp. 197-200.
^14. Beard, Vol. 1, p. 127.
^15. Wertenbaker, p. 245.
^16. Cubberley, p. 202.
^17. Beard, Vol. 1, pp. 179-180.
^18. Curti. p. 6.
^19. Jernegan, pp. 190, 191.
^20. Adams, p. 132.
^21. Messenger, p. 304.
^22. Adams, p. 133.
^23. Jernegan, p. 417.
^24. Ibid., p. 417.
^25. Messenger, pp. 274, 275.
^26. Ibid., pp. 269, 270.
^27. Beard, Vol. 1, p. 181, 182.
^28. Wertenbaker, pp. 2, 3.
^29. Ibid., p. 304.
^30. Jernegan, pp. 120-122.
^31. Beard, Vol. 1, p. 140.
^32. Adams, p. 121.
^33. Jernegan, p. 169.
^34. Adams, pp. 170-178.
^35. Jernegan, p. 209.
^36. Ibid., p. 410.
^37. Ibid., p. 411.
^38. Turner, p. 3.
^39. Adams, p. 57.
^40. Wertenbaker, p. 307.
^41. Jernegan, p. 313.
^42. Beard, Vol. 1, pp. 155, 156.
^43. Cubberley, p. 286.
^44. Curti, pp. 35, 36.
^45. Ibid., pp. 40, 41.
^46. Cubberley, p. 196.
^47. P. A. of Canada, C0188, Colebrooke to Stanley, Vol. IX, Oct. 14, 1842, Dispatch 97.
^48. P. A. of Canada, C0188, Head to Grey, Vol. XI, June 27, 1849, Dispatch 61.
^49. Jernegan, p. 419.
^50. Cubberley, p. 248.
^51. Jernegan, pp. 275, 276.
^52. Adams, p. 249.
^53. Jernegan, p. 348.
^54. Beard, Vol. 1, pp. 291-296.
^55. Bury, p. 352.
^56. Beard, Vol. 1, p. 456.
^57. Baker, p. 18.
^58. Parrington (1), p. 197.
^59. Parrington (2), Introduction p. iv.
^60. Baker, p. 180.
^61. MacFarlane, p. 109.
^62. Ibid., p. 115.
^63. Ibid., p. 107.
^64. Morison & Commager, p. 149.
^65. Baker, p. 21.
^66. Parrington, (2), Introduction p. 5.
^67. McArthur (1), p. 193.
^68. Winslow Papers, p. 100.
^69. McArthur (2), p. 214.
^70. Hannay (1), Vol. 1, p. 162.
^71. Ibid., p. 213.
^72. Parrington (1) p. 257.
^73. Raymond (1), pp. 91-101.
^74. Winslow Papers, p. 186.
^75.For the first sixty years of New Brunswick history all the high government officials were members of the Anglican Church and every member of the Council until 1817; previous to the appointment of L. A. Wilmot in 1851 every Judge of the Supreme Court belonged to the favored church; missionaries of the Church of England were paid out of the civil list, and the College at Fredericton, although endowed with public money, was essentially an Anglican institution. (Hannay (1), Vol. 1, pp. 169, 170.)
^76. Baker, p. 32.
^77. P. A. of Canada, C0188, Harvey to Normanby, Vol. VII, May 15, 1839, Dispatch 40.
^78. Kilpatrick, p. 326 (Quoting Dewey & Childs, The Educational Frontier, p. 296).