I can’t find a suitable confirmation, but apparently Prussian King Frederick Wilhelm I on this day in 1717 decreed compulsory education for all those aged 5 to 12. The system’s purpose was to instill loyalty to the Crown and train men for the military & bureaucracy. In the 1840s New England Transcendentalists imported the totalitarian Prussian system into the US, and with it the idea of compulsory education. Y’all have heard that praised so much in your lives you’ve likely never taken a second to think what it really means: snatching children away from their parents’ care & nuture to indoctrinate them the way the state wants them indoctrinated. Nothing has damaged the American character worse than compulsory public education.
Don’t y’all forget I have a delete key and know how to use it, so don’t send me any of those “No poor kids would know how to read without compulsory public education” emails because it’s simply not true. About 1802 a DuPont wrote home of his experience in the US that literacy was almost universal. It doesn’t matter, though– teaching people to read at the price of rupturing the holy bond between parent and child is simply too high a price for a free people to pay.