Tuesday, September 6

Scottish Political Economy, Education and the Management of Poverty in Industrializing Britain: Patrick Colquhoun and the Westminster Free School Model

I was speaking to a friend of mine and I mentioned that the UK is actually doing very well. Most other countries would love to have our problems. Yes, there are issues in the UK, but broadly we are doing very well. The economy is good, unemployment is under control, people are educated, there is sufficient food, we are good in technology, there's manufacturing and loads of inventions, etc. etc. We have many problems but broadly, we are good, that's why most of our debates frankly are about relatively smaller things, everybody clusters around the centre and life is broadly good.

this article was quite interesting as it showed how Scottish Enlightenment lead the way to mass education first in Scotland and then spread to England and that helped England prosper for many decades and centuries ahead.

This article examines how public education began to be seen as crucial to addressing the management of poverty in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain. Public education was central to the shaping of eighteenth-century Scottish socio-economic development and the concerns of the Scottish enlightenment intellectual project. In the generation after Adam Smith, scholars and administrators were confronted with the enormous challenges of burgeoning poverty created by urban growth and the industrial revolution, which were further exacerbated by the pressures of global warfare. Employing and adapting the methods and insights of Scottish political economy, as well as the lessons of Britain's colonial experience, the influential author and magistrate Patrick Colquhoun advocated mass education to tackle the problems that Britain faced in the era of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.


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