Home  »  Volume XVII: American LATER NATIONAL LITERATURE: PART II  »  § 43. State Universities

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). rn VOLUME XVII. Later National Literature, Part II.

XXIII. Education

§ 43. State Universities

In the field of higher education the middle half-century was one of great activity and advance. The Dartmouth College Case by its decision (1819) that the state could have no part in determining the character or activities of denominational institutions once chartered, stimulated both secular authorities and sectarian religious interests to renewed activity in fostering such institutions. Beginning with the University of Virginia, opened in 1824, and led particularly by the University of Michigan, opened in 1841, such secular institutions multiplied and flourished. Similar to these were Wisconsin, 1848, Minnesota, 1864, Illinois, 1867, California, 1873—to name only the largest and most widely known of the state universities; and of privately endowed institutions, the Johns Hopkins University, 1876, and Leland Stanford, Jr., University, 1891. In the case of denominational foundations the situation was similar. While eleven colleges were established previous to the Revolution and thirty-four in the following half century, no less than 285 such institutions, of acknowledged standing and still in existence, originated during the middle half-century. The University of Chicago, established in 1892, is the most famous.