Religion: The Catholics Do Better

Protestantism, which holds that each individual must seek direct comprehension of God's word, necessarily insisted on the increase of education to that end. Protestantism powered the drive for schools and colleges of the American colonies and the young American republic.

Protestant clergymen took the lead in founding the ivy-league colleges: Harvard (1636), Yale (1701), Princeton (1746), Dartmouth (1769). Between 1830 and 1860 U.S. Methodists founded 34 colleges, U.S. Baptists 21. Clergymen dominated the faculties, often the boards of trustees. By the mid-19th Century, many of these same clergymen were teaching the Sunday school that became as American as the little red schoolhouse.

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