Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 1977 Issue »

    "College Enthusiasm!" As Public Response, 1800-1860

    David P. Potts
    Historians studying American colleges in the early nineteenth century have traditionally viewed them as lacking popular support. New studies indicate, however, that local citizens were enthusiastic about locally established colleges, backed them financially, and in several cases fought to prevent their removal. In this article, David B. Potts also reviews evidence that suggests that institutions of higher learning were increasingly accessible to students from less wealthy backgrounds between 1800 and 1860, that their curricula became more flexible, and that enrollments grew increasingly rapidly during this period. Professor Potts then describes several major questions that future research in this field must address.

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