Eventos Académicos, 39 ISCHE. Educación y emancipación

Tamaño de fuente: 
The Start of a Roman Catholic School Tradition: The Role of Education in the Dutch Roman Catholic Emancipation Movement at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century
Theo Kemper, Hilda T.A Amsing, Jeroen J.H Dekker, Inge Wichgers

Última modificación: 2017-07-17


In 1795 the decentralized Dutch Republic became a centralized nation state, the Batavian Republic. Its new leaders considered the primary school as an instrument to raise loyal citizens and to prepare them for national citizenship. This orientation was new. Before education was organized on a local level, and the notion of citizenship was locally colored. But now education should serve the nation with all citizens following the same type of education, regardless of their social, cultural or religious background. Therefore, the Dutch School Act of 1806 only allowed public schools that fitted the ideology of the Dutch Enlightenment. Moral education should be a general Christian one, thus covering the various Christian churches. Education was set up as a centralized system, its quality controlled by the ministry through the new founded inspectorate. On the ground, however, not all people shared the ideas of the founders of this system. In particular on a local level, therefore, state intervention led to resistance, resulting in various compromises. In this paper, the focus is on the Dutch Roman Catholics, who made ca. 35 to 40% of the population. They sought ways to influence local school practices in such a way that it suited their interests. Indeed, for the Roman Catholics the establishment of the new Republic had been a blessing with the new constitution of 1798 containing freedom of religion. Until then, the Calvinists were the privileged religious group, holding all important public positions, with other religious groups marginalized. With the new constitution, they got full civic rights and with the School Act of 1806 the primary school was released from dogmatic Calvinist education: it now based on general Christian values. While before only protestant teachers were allowed to the school, now schools could hire also non-Calvinist teachers, among them Roman Catholic ones.  This, however, seemed to be not enough. The strive of the Enlightenment adherents to create a general Christian society with a common identity, thus not giving space to diversity of religion, was, if not incompatible, at least a big problem for all religious groups who wanted their religious identity to play a major role in education, as was the case with the Roman Catholics. Moreover, in reality also the new school for many years remained a school dominated by the Calvinist Protestants. This paper will address: (1) how the high expectations of the Roman Catholics with the new School Act threatened to become in danger when implementation on a local and regional level was at stake; (2) how this resulted in a strive not only for their own school teachers but also for their own schools; and (3) why this strive was inextricable related to and inspired by the Roman Catholic emancipation movement. Eventually, this led to the Dutch system of freedom of education, with not only the state allowing religious groups to found their own private schools, but also funding them.  This resulted in a majority of Dutch primary schools being private and fully financed by the state until nowadays.