"It is observed by the great Montesquieu, that the laws of education ought to be relative to the principles of the government."
In despotic governments, the people should have little or no education, except what tends to inspire them with a servile fear. Information is fatal to despotism.
In monarchies, education should be partial, and adapted to the rank of each class of citizens. But “in a republican government,” says the same writer, “the whole power of education is required.” Here every class of people should know and love the laws. This knowlege should be diffused by means of schools and newspapers; and an attachment to the laws may be formed by early impressions upon the mind.
Two regulations are essential to the continuance of republican goverments: 1. Such a distribution of lands and such principles of descent and alienation, as shall give every citizen a power of acquiring what his industry merits.1 2. Such a system of education as gives every citizen an opportunity of acquiring knowlege and fitting himself for places of trust. These are fundamental articles; the sine qua non of the existence of the American republics.
Hence the absurdity of our copying the manners and adopting the institutions of Monarchies.”