Frontiers of Midwest/West Created Modern Am Univ.

As we continue researching and trying to understand the rise of entrepreneurs in and around campuses, we came across this in Rudolph’s The American College and University: A History (1990);

In the post-Civil War period, however, it became apparent that the American state university would be defined neither in the South, the first home of the state university movement, nor in the Northeast, where the old colonial institution precluded it growth. The American state university would be defined in the great Midwest and West, where frontier democracy and frontier materialism would help to support a practical-oriented popular institution.

(Rudolph, p. 277)

The point here is that until the Midwestern/Western state university institutionalized practical subjects and activities, the American college and university was pushing classic subjects that an American populace with a frontier mindset (practicality, innovation, etc.) had little interest in.

Harvard, Yale, and the like followed the path that leaders at schools such as University of Michigan and Wisconsin blazed with their frontier populations, turning the schools into institutions reflecting the needs and population of America. (I am sure Zuckerberg and Gates are thankful for that.)


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