The War That Wasn't

The War That Wasn't : Religious Conflict and Compromise in the Common Schools of New York State, 1865-1900

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Historians of religion and public schooling often focus on conflict and Bible Wars, pitting Catholics and Protestants against one another in palpitating narratives of the embattled development of American public schooling. The War That Wasn't tells a different story, arguing that in nineteenth-century New York State a civil system of democratic, local control led to adjustments and compromises far more than discord and bitter conflict. In the decades after the Civil War, New Yorkers from rural, one-room schools to big city districts hammered out a variety of ways to reconcile public education and religious diversity. This book recounts their stories in delightful and compelling detail. The common school system of New York State managed to keep the peace during a time of religious and ethnic pluralism, before sweeping educational reforms ended many of these compromises by the turn of the twentieth century.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 299 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 22.86mm | 430.91g
  • Albany, NY, United States
  • English
  • Total Illustrations: 0
  • 0791462129
  • 9780791462126

Review quote

"Justice provides a nuanced and sophisticated revision of the warfare thesis that has governed writing about religion and public education in nineteenth-century America. In doing so, he avoids the trap of consensus theory by arguing instead that common schools succeeded in mediating religious conflict."
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About Benjamin Justice

Benjamin Justice is Assistant Professor of Education and History at Rutgers University.
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