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Victorian Sources Notes

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Lectures and Essays -- J. R. Seeley
(1870)
pp. 290--317

!
! Historian
! Essay Ecce Homo (anon, 1866)

*> Provoked many replies -- seen as an attack on Christianity

! Essay Natural Religion
*> Denies that supernaturalism is essential to religion

! 1869 -- Professor of modern history at Cambridge
! valued history solely in its relation to politics -- science of the state
*> Should be studied scientifically and for a practical purpose
*> Function -- solution of existing political questions

! The Expansion of England (1883)
*> Defends the Empire -- British rule is in India's best interest

!
!
!

*> Questions usefulness of India -- increased dangers + responsibilities

The Teaching of Politics
Lectures on Modern History of Sir James Stephen


~ 'There was teaching of the highest and rarest kind and no demand for it or only
such artificial demand as can be created by a protective system'

!
!

Disagrees with the use of prizes and fellowships to protect particular studies
Should separate educational value from pecuniary value


~ 'Let not a subject which is useful towards winning a fellowship be confounded
with a subject that is useful in developing the mind'

!

Should not mistake distinction at University with a good education -- should choose
between these or try to reconcile them

!

'A few years ago no student had any strong reason to think he could go far wrong in
devoting himself to classics or mathematics. But the case is very different now'

!
!

~ Should not abandon himself to guidance
Student must choose from amongst a range of subjects for himself
Sees education to be in a transition state --> confusion yet advantages


~ 'While so many studies are competing with each other, the student's mental
range will be widened; the comparison of sciences will become familiar to him; the world
of knowledge will be revealed to him as a whole and each part of it will be better known
when it is known as a part'

!

!

!

University should abandon old simple routine of Classics and Mathematics
~ Also deprived the student of appraising knowledge
Should know the utility of science

The Study of History

!

Claims of History are practically very little admitted in Cambridge and in English
education generally
~ 'History is the school of statesmanship'

!

Desirable for public good and self--respect that great events and large interests should
make part of the studies to prepare a citizen for his duties

!

'The smallest individual life belongs to a national life which is great, to a universal life of
the race which is illimitably great'

!
!

!

!

~ History shows how the individual is part of a 'great process'
Evolution of nations
Theory of human affairs -- life becomes more meaningful as 'a journey or a voyage to a
definite port'
~ Less chance and more of an idea of laws of events
'History, then, I might well urge is the school of public feeling and patriotism'
~ Necessary for a rational interest in politics
'But what I choose rather to say here, is not that history is the school of public feeling
but that it is the school of statesmanship'
~ The one important study to the legislator and ruler

!
!
!

Indispensable thing for a politician is a knowledge of political economy and of history

!

How useful is history in politics?

Sees the University as a great seminary of politicians
'Here are assembled to prepare themselves for life the young men from whom the
legislators and statesmen of the next age must be taken'

~ Cobden was not a historian as such

~ Solution is that history does not refer to what is only long past

!
!

!

'I use the word and shall throughout use it, without any thought go time past or present'
Political institutions must be included within the limits of historical phenomena
~ Everyone who studies political institutions studies history

The Study of Politics

!
!

Yet must also study politics -- separable from history

!

'I may venture, perhaps, to make the assertion that we shall never have a supply of
competent politicians until political science -- that is, roughly, political economy an
history together -- are made a prominent part of the higher education'

!

Need a strong apprehension of the place of government in human affairs, of its
capacities and the limits of its capacities

Different ways to study History

!

!

One school measures the importance of historical phenomena by their nearness to
ourselves -- the opposite school measures them by their intrinsic greatness
~ Modern (Cobden) v. remote times
Favours great events

!

'Dr. Arnold maintained that we allow ourselves to be misled by the word ancient and
that much of what we call ancient history is, for all practical purposes, more modern
that most of that which is commonly called modern history'


~ Arnold attaches great importance to the classical periods because of their
likeness to our own time

!


~ Implies that contemporary history is more important than either ancient or
modern -- superior as the end to the means
Cobden school -- advocates comparison of the present against the past
~ Cobden compared Thucydides with the Times newspaper

!

School of Cobden is for attacking the problem directly while the other school approach
it by a circuitous route

!

Cobden greatly underrated instruction to be derived from the past

~ Probably did not know of the philosophy of universal history


~ Yet 'I earnestly urge that in preferring the direct method to the indirect in the
teaching of political science or contemporary history he is right'

!
!

!

Presumption must always be against indirect history -- multiplies number of things to be
learnt
~ Thinking principally of a politician for whom an active life awaits
There is no major difficulty in the direct route -- 'Indirectness in education is a great evil'

~ Wastes time and conceals end of studies

~ Student cannot perceive progress

!

'The rhetoric and literary art of succeeding generations have given an artificial dignity to
the persons and incidents and all the more prominent personages appear with the halo
round their heads of posthumous renown'

!

Present time has the interest of reality

!

~ For one who wants to be a politician it is a personal affair
Usefulness of contemporary history is palpably evident

~ Masters principles and becomes familiar with the age

!
!

Studied in the past, history is more entertaining than stimulating

!
!
!
!

Everyday situations will remind him of his studies

!
!
!
!

!

'Studied in the present, I doubt not that it would be among the most stimulating and
fascinating of studies'
More room in the present for independent and original inquiries
Past is a thing complete and finished
Present contains problems which await solutions
~ Student can exert their mind
Everyone can take an interest in diving what will next happen for it is still unknown
Past history is a dogmatist
Yet should still reverence the past
History is the school of statesmanship

Preface to J. Conrad, The German Universities for the last fifty years -- J. Bryce
(Glasgow: David Bryce & Son, 1885)
pp. xii--xxx

!
!

Great value of the example of Germany

~ They have given the greatest thought to their university system

~ Have profited most from universities -- play a large part in national life

!

40 years ago an influential ecclesiastical party criticised them as parents of revolution,
rationalism and pedantry -- are now in danger of seeking too closely to imitate them


~ Great difference caused by their dependence on the State and intimate relations
to a larger and more highly organised civil service

!

Conrad gives accurate statistical tables

~ This information is also needed from British universities

!

!

~ Our universities do not keep as full records

Conrad shows fluctuations in attendance, comparative eagerness for various studies,
relation off university teaching to the professions and the character of the schools which
feed the universities

Problems which engage English university reformers

!

How to make the universities more accessible and attractive to the whole nation instead
of only to the upper and a section of the upper middle class

!

How to provide professional and technical instruction as well as that general liberal
education which they have generally cultivated

!

How to provide courses of instruction in and appropriate degrees for new subjects of
study -- how adequately to teach natural science and other so--called modern subjects
without discouraging study of ancient classics

!

How to have occasional students pursuing some special subject without losing the
advantages of prescribed curricula

!
!

How to promote inquiry and research without opening the door to idleness

!

How to use endowments

Scottish reformers

!
!

Last 3 are just as important

!

How to secure a good average of attainments in students entering the universities and
thereby establish a healthful relation between them and the schools

!
!
!

How to provide additional teachers for the leading branches of instruction without
breaking up the professorial system and increasing the expense of a university course

Germany addresses all these points except perhaps endowments
Germany had a population of 45.25 million

~ 1882--3 had 24,187 students

!

England had a population of 26 million

~ Less than 5,500 students

~ Shows clearly failure of system to serve all classes

!
!

30 years ago Oxbridge had only 1/2 their present numbers

!

Increases in Germany and Austria -- English increases are more rapid but still leave us
behind them

!

Germany -- growing number of mercantile men and the lower professional class

Owens College, Manchester out of which the new university has grown was scarcely
established


~ This class resorts to the universities much more than in England -- 5 sixths of the
students in Oxbridge are sons of comparatively rich men (over PS1k a year) or of the clergy

!

!

Numbers from peasantry and artisans are small in both countries but appear to be
smaller in England where there are far larger endowments intended to help them

Reasons for failure of Oxbridge to attract mercantile families and poorer classes

!

!

Prejudice created among Protestant Nonconformists by the system of ecclesiastical
tests which lasted down until 1871
~ Old sentiment has not vanished
Difficulty of expense

~ State pays 72%

~ Students pay 9.3%

!

Total sum paid by 24,187 German students 1882--3 was PS36,430

~ In England students pay 3 or 4 times this amount

~ Germans live in more thrifty lodgings -- English have a more luxurious life

!

'A third cause is to be found in the fact that the German universities are professional
schools, giving an education which directly fits a man to earn his bread as a clergyman,
a lawyer, a judge, a physician, a schoolmaster, a chemist, an engineer, an
agriculturalist' (p. xx)


~ Until lately Oxbridge have devoted themselves entirely to general liberal
education


~ Now they have professional schools for theology and are exerting
themselves to draw students in law and medicine

!
!

But the great mass of intending professionals obtain professional training elsewhere
'A university course which is therefore a necessity to the German who seeks to become
a lawyer or physician, is a luxury to the corresponding Englishman; the years which the
German spends on his professional studies must be sent by the Englishman in getting
his Arts degree, after which he has the whole course of professional study still before
him' (p. xx)

~ English professional man is only half way through his education

~ Now partially removed at Cambridge


~ Doubtless due to the fact that they were not obliged to earn their living or
training was not needed for clergy

!

!

Largely the German universities are professional schools


~ Does not diminish taste for liberal education -- greatest growth in German
philosophical faculty

!
!

English universities have been richly endowed but have chiefly been absorbed by the
rich

!

Scottish universities have served whole nation but have not provided for exceptional
groups -- have done little in unremunerative researches in philology, history and physical
science --> small endowments

!

State expends on the German universities nearly 8 times as much as they receive from
students' fees

!

~ Maintains chairs in subjects for which few students can be expected
1880 -- 1,809 teachers in German universities

~ 967 were full professors

~ Proportion of teachers to students was 1 to 11

!

~ Higher than England and Scotland

Scotland -- only some 105 professors to 5--6k students
~ 1 to 50 or 60

!

Germany has founded new chairs for new subjects such as Oriental and Romance
languages, geography, archaeology, political science, physiology and biology

!

Edinburgh's medical school is the most highly developed piece of teaching organisation
in any British university

~ Teaching staff of only 90 -- philosophical faculty at Leipzig had 97 in 1882

!

Report of Universities Commission was for more teaching power in all faculties


!

~ Want institution of new professorships in history, English language and literature
etc.
British Treasury refuses adequate grants to the universities of Scotland
~ In Germany it is mainly by the State that additional professors are supported

!
!

Could have better system of extra--mural teaching -- greater recognition of assistants

!

German professor need not cover the whole of a vast subject like a Scottish one -->
specialism

!

Greater number of teachers secures prosecution of inquiry and research which is not
provided for at all in Scotland and is being attempted in England by plan of bestowing
fellowships on condition of doing advanced work

The United States

!

Germany and the US are not the same but resemble each other on one point -- in no
other country do universities hold so high a place or discharge such important functions

!

Need more quality than quantity -- do serve a large number of the population

!

~ Yet few have expanded old curriculum or evolved new curricula
East America has changed under stimulus of great German schools
~ Experiments tried at Harvard and Johns Hopkins since 1872

!
Schools

!

In Germany many schools and universities form one vast and highly organised machine

!

Sees Germany as dominating Continental politics and as the nation which does the
largest part of the intellectual work of the world

!

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