Declaration of Independence - American Education
The document that, on July 4, 1776, proclaimed the independence of the 13 British colonies in America from England. After its signing by the Continental Congress, the document lost all legal significance, although its high moral tone would echo throughout the “Age of Revolution” that swept across Europe during the next century. Ironically, the lofty ideals expressed in the declaration had somewhat less impact in the United States, where education was expressly omitted from the “inalienable rights” with which the signers declared their Creator to have endowed all men. Although Thomas Jefferson
, Benjamin Franklin
, BENJAMIN RUSH, John Adams and others favored the inclusion of universal education as a basic right for all Americans, southern delegates and their northern supporters feared universal education would represent a first step toward women’s rights and the MANUMISSION of slaves, and all mention of it was omitted from the Declaration of Independence and, subsequently, from the Constitution.