All papers examples
Get a Free E-Book!
Log in
Paper Types
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

Davy Crockett’s Views on Education, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 837


Davy Crockett stands as a folk-figure in American history who is chiefly known for his fierce defense of individual liberty and for his death at the famous Battle of the Alamo. However, beneath the simple components of his myth, a true historical figure lived, one who served as a United States congressman and who held passionate views on political topics such as taxation, the treatment of Native Americans, charity, and education. In terms of the last issue, Crockett possessed not only a unique experience but specific opinions that, to most modern readers, might appear radical if not misinformed. What is key to remember in terms of Crockett’s view of education is that he viewed the potential intrusion of government on individual lives as a far greater threat to democracy than widespread illiteracy of lack of formal education.

Although it is difficult to trace back with certainty all of the events of Crockett’s life, the basic outline of his life is well-known to historians. Crockett himself never received any kind of formal education. Everything that he came to understand about politics, law, business, and personal philosophy emerged from his native intelligence and his life-experience. He was not a person who could be described as being steeped in formal “book” knowledge. He actually prided himself on this fact and sought in all ways to align himself with the common man. For this reason, Crockett’s view of education must be viewed in terms of how it connected to his class consciousness and his idea of what actually comprised usable knowledge.

In other words, the best way to understand Crockett’s view of education is to see the way that his view intersects with the ideals of freedom and individual liberty. If a person is forced, by decree of the Federal government, to attend school and be exposed to particular curriculum then this is an invasion against personal liberty. There is nothing to suggest that Crockett would have supported an apparatus such as the modern Department of education which exerts federal control over all U.S. Schools and, by extension, students. Crockett’s political perspective demanded that he oppose any and all such expansions of Federal power. The reason that he would oppose the expansion of Federal power even in a seemingly benign area such as education is because Crockett, like many of his contemporaries, saw the Federal government as the enemy to personal freedom.

This point cannot be over-emphasized. Crockett distrusted the concentration of political and economic power. His views emerged from what today would be considered an extremely conservative approach to interpreting the American Constitution. Crockett believed that the Constitution had been constructed with the specific purpose of building safeguards against the corrupting influence of power. The true aim of the Constitution was to protect people from the encroaching power of government. For Crockett, the creation of a national education system was as dangerous to personal liberty as the granting of excessive economic power to a central government. Although Crockett left no record of speeches that illuminate his views on education, his most famous address to Congress, the “It is Not Yours to Give” speech, indicates just how fervently Crockett feared and opposed powerful government.

When Congress voted to send relief money to the suffering citizens of Georgetown after a devastating fire, Crockett originally supported the move. However, when he was later confronted by one of his constituents who accused him of endangering the Constitution for supporting the relief-bill, Crockett’s views changed. He came to realize that it was not the principle of charity of compassion that stood out as the most important consideration, but the potential for abuse of power, even by honest individuals, should the Federal government begin to take control of charity and relief funds in the nation. Crockett personally empathized with the Georgetown victims and he instinctively felt that the Federal government was right to help those in need. However, on reflection, he came to realize that the threat to liberty and personal freedom that came with the relief measure was more of a threat to the people of Georgetown and America than a natural disaster or emergency.

This suggests, of course, that Crockett was opposed to the creation of federal power no matter what form it happened to take. In line with the original ideas of the Constitution, Crockett viewed the role of the Federal government as being very limited in scope. His views on education remained in line with this central premise: he wanted education to remain a localized issue with no power accruing to the central government. His reasons for holding this belief emerged from the same principles that ultimately led him to oppose the relief-funds for Georgetown. It is a case where wanting to do something that appears “good” on the surface can actually lead to something tragically “bad” in the long run. In the case of the issue of education in America, Crockett viewed the right to individual liberty and freedom from government tyranny as the most important ideal and as the highest priority of American democracy.

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee


Privacy guarantee


Secure checkout


Money back guarantee

Money back

Related Essay Samples & Examples

Voting as a Civic Responsibility, Essay Example

Voting is a process whereby individuals, such as an electorate or gathering, come together to make a choice or convey an opinion, typically after debates, [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 287