Harvard College Is Established (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: The birth of higher education and the foundation for public education.
Summary of Event
In New England’s First Fruits, the famous tract extolling the virtues of New England to possible supporters in the old country, the Puritans proclaimed that one of their first concerns had been “to advance Learning and perpetuate it to Posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate Ministry to the Churches, when our present Ministers shall be in the Dust.” Because the Puritan church’s tenets emphasized interpretation and discussion of the Scriptures rather than mere ritual or emotion, it required a learned clergy. Therefore, on October 28, 1636, the Massachusetts General Court passed a legislative act to found “a schoale or colledge” and voted four hundred pounds sterling for its support. The Antinomian crisis revolving around Anne Hutchinson delayed action on the matter until November 15, 1637, when, after debating whether the college should be built in Salem, the Massachusetts General Court passed an order that the college be built at Newetowne. A few days later, the building of the college was committed to the first Board of Overseers, consisting of six magistrates and six church elders. The location for the school was chosen partly because of its resemblance to Oxford and Cambridge in England; hence, Newetowne was renamed Cambridge on May 2, 1638.
By June, 1638, Nathaniel...
(The entire section is 1341 words.)
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