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English branches” — algebra, plane geometry, English literature, history of the United States and either the French or German language. About two to three years' study of the latter would be required, and to this list will often be added solid geometry, plane trigonometry, the elements of physics or chemistry, and sometimes a year or two of Latin. There seems to be a growing tendency towards the introduction of a large number of electives among the subjects required for admission.

It is hoped that a sufficient number of institutions have been considered and that enough has been said of them to exhibit in some degree the enormous educational advance which has taken place during the past fifteen or twenty years throughout the whole country, and especially in what is known as the “middle west.” At no previous period in the history of the world has there been so rapid and productive an evolution of educational forces as this period has witnessed, and it will not escape notice that it has largely been a development of methods and appliances for the study of science, pure and applied. No sketch of the origin, growth and present condition of the schools of science and engineering in the United States would be complete without reference to the Johns Hopkins university, an institution which, although giving little attention to applied science and technology, has been a very large factor in determining the character and methods of instruction to which these schools owe their success. Although not yet twenty-five years old, it is impossible to overestimate its influence upon higher education in this country, and especially is this true in all things relating to science. There is scarcely a college faculty that has not been enriched by the presence of one or more of its graduates, bringing with them at least something of the spirit of that institution, its respect for exact scholarship and regard for scientific truth. For the schools of engineering and technology in the United States are, and are intended to be, something more than a mere avenue leading to increased money-making

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power. They are intended to fit for the responsibilities of citizenship, and, if worthy of the name, their methods of instruction are such as to cultivate independence of thinking and personal responsibility in judgment. Nor are they deficient in that intellectual discipline and culture which constitute a liberal education. Although not specifically organized for original research, their methods of work naturally lead to and encourage it, and during the past quarter of a century they have contributed generously to the advancement of pure science, to which, however, they must always be in debt. As a whole, they represent one of the most important achievements of an age whose chief glory is found in the increase and diffusion of science and its applications.

FOR THE UNITED STATES COMMISSION TO THE PARIS EXPOSITION OF 1900

MONOGRAPHS ON EDUCATION

IN THE

UNITED STATES

EDITED BY

NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER Professor of Philosophy and Education in Columbia University, New York

12

AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION

BY

CHARLES W. DABNEY

President of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee

THIS MONOGRAPH IS CONTRIBUTED TO THE UNITED STATES EDUCATIONAL EXHIBIT BY THE

STATE OF NEW YORK

AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION

The earliest farmers in America had to contend with innumerable and great obstacles; with the wildness of nature, the attacks of Indians and wild beasts upon their stock, the difficulty of obtaining farming implements and seeds, and with conditions of climate and soil, very different from those of the old countries whence they derived all their methods. The colonial farmer was compelled to use the crudest methods. He cut down, heaped and burned the small trees and undergrowth, and belted the large ones. He scratched the surface a little with a home-made plow, and cultivated his corn and tobacco with a wooden hoe. He harvested the crop that nature gave him in a careless manner and used it wastefully. He cultivated the same field until it was worn out, when he cleared another and moved his family near to it. So long as land was so abundant, no attention was paid to the conservation of fertility of the soil. America was such a vast and fertile country that it took the people over a century to find out that there was any limit to its productiveness. These conditions were quite sufficient to explain the slow progress made in agriculture during the first century or more after the settlement of America.

It was not until the close of the eighteenth century that the attention of practical men commenced to be directed to the discoveries of science, and hopes were excited that immediate benefits would accrue from them to agriculture as they had to the other arts. Lavoisier's discoveries and teachings had aroused the hope that chemistry could do a great deal to promote the advancement of farming. Americans commenced to appreciate their disadvantages as compared with British and continental farmers, and to seek better implements and methods for their work. The newly

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