The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). rn VOLUME XVII. Later National Literature, Part II.XXIII. Education
§ 27. Nicholas Pike
The New and Complete System of Arithmetic by Nicholas Pike, avowedly a patriotic or nationalistic endeavour, came from the press in 1788. In its original form, too bulky for simple school use, or in numerous simpler offspring it dominated American schools for half a century.
There followed a deluge of school texts, as might be expected of an independent people blessed with initiative and groping for a democratic education. Many of these attempted the synthesis of the old and the new. There were those which began geographical studies with the exploration by Moses of the Red Sea; or the study of ichthyology with Jonah. Many still used the old catechetical form. Most included material of religious character, some of it in violently controversial form. Some adopted Biblical phraseology, hoping that the form would make alive, even if the spirit were gone. All were intensely nationalistic.