Why Were both upper- and lower-class Americans willing to support public education with their tax dollars?
The authors claim that in early-nineteenth-century America, public schools "existed chiefly to educate the children of the poor."
This is a good question. In all generations of American history, people were willing to support public education. There are several reasons for this. First, people believe that for there to be a functioning and thriving society, children need to be educated socially and intellectually. In fact, this is the only why society can work well. If they did not do this, the alternative can be disastrous. For example, if they did not educate the poor kids, then what would these children do? They would most likely be a menace to society. Second, for America to be competitive with the world, children needed to be educated as well. Third, in the nineteenth century, there was a religious reason as well. We need to keep in mind that may schools were started as Christian missions.