Primary Sources:

Resources in 18th Century, Colonial Life

Benjamin Franklin--Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania (1749)
This site includes a proposal by Benjamin Franklin in which he wrestles with the topic of education and, generation before the outbreak of the American Revolution, includes a detailed outline of the components he wished to incorporate within a successful school. The famed American included a broad range of topics for study, which became the foundation of the Academy of Philadelphia (eventually the University of Pennsylvania in 1791).

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Regulations at Yale College (1745)
By the end of the 17th century, education in the colonies, though becoming more modern, was still influenced heavily by religious impulses. Founded at the turn of the 18th century primarily to combat the growing liberalism and movement towards secularism at Harvard, Yale College became the third institution of higher learning in the colonies. As evidenced below, Yale promoted a classical education with a very strong religious flavor--a combination that would still retain some appeal in the United States in the years immediately following the American Revolution.

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Top 10 Resources

Horace Mann--Twelfth Annual Report of the Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education (1848)
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Smoking Gun Conversation (1972)
Higher Education for American Democracy (1947)
Horace Mann--The Tenth Annual Report of the Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education (1846)
President Thomas Jefferson--Letter to the Danbury Baptists (1802)
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Thomas Shephard--Letter to His Son at Harvard College (1637)
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William Jennings Bryan Speech Against Imperialism (1898)