Civilization Week 16 The Congress of Vienna and Compulsory State Education

Question 1: What were the major principles guiding the diplomats at the Congress of Vienna?

The major principles guiding the Congress of Vienna were balance of power, exchange of land, and an equivalent compensation for all. Tsar Alexander I of Russia wanted to rule over an extended portion of Poland, but Prussia (who by 1975 had taken control of Warsaw) wouldn’t hand it over without getting a piece of Saxony. Austria was unwilling to give up Saxony without receiving an equal trade, and after great debate they eventually ended up with a small section of northern Italy for their trouble. The powers were determined to not have another European war over territory, and decided the best thing to do to maintain peace would be to create a small self governing Polish state. This state they would allow Tsar Alexander to rule. This cooperation between the European powers is an example of what happens when people use logic and council to exchange land peacefully. Instead of losing countless citizens in a war for the territory, the different governments worked together to create an outcome which was beneficial to all.

Question 2: According to Rothbard, did compulsory state education emerge because governments simply wanted their people to become more knowledgeable, or were there other motivations at work?

The compulsory state education was originally started during the protestant revolution by people like Martin Luther and John Calvin. Their idea was for children to have the ideas and values of religion implemented into their minds from a young age. Once governments got ahold of the idea they decided to change it to their benefit. Now instead of being taught religion children would be taught governmental and political practice. They would learn the details of their country, from the barter system to the process of hierarchy. As compulsory state education grew territories that held elections began to catch on to the importance of early learning, and the ways they could use it to their advantage. Countries like the USA started teaching their children about the electoral congress and the politics of the state, and with this knowledge the children would be much more adapt to participate in politics when they became legal adults.

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