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Readings in the History of Education eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 131 pages of information about Readings in the History of Education.

The political motive appears in the Letters-patent of Henry VI for Caen, 1432: 

It befits Royal Highness to govern with due magnificence the peoples subject to him in times of wars and of peace, to the end that they may be defended valorously and constantly from the violence of enemies, and from wrongs offered them; and that they may be rendered tranquil and quiet through laws and active justice, by securing to each man his rights, with due regard to the common interests.  For we think that this sort of justice, so excellent and advantageous, can never be practiced without the industry of men of great learning, steeped in laws, divine and human.  And formerly our kingdom of France happily abounded in such men; but many kinds of evil men swarmed in, by whom, in the long process of time, the aforesaid kingdom, at one time through the disturbances of civil war, and again through deadly pestilence, and finally through the various butcheries of men, and mighty famine—­Alas! the pity of it!—­has now been so shaken that scarcely can a sufficient number of sound justices be found in modern times, nor can others succeed, without great difficulty and personal peril, in acquiring securely knowledge and advancement, particularly in Civil Law; whence the aforesaid kingdom, once governed with commendable justice, is subjected to greater inconveniences unless a wholesome remedy be shortly provided....
We therefore, by our special favor, royal authority and plenary power, with the advice and consent of our distinguished Uncle John, governor and regent of our aforesaid kingdom of France and Duke of Bedford, and other nobles of our race, and of many wise men of our great council, do constitute, place, establish, found, and ordain forever by these present letters, a Studium Generale in our city of Caen, in the Diocese of Bayeux [Normandy].

The king does this for the better government of the kingdom, for the reason that no university exists within his jurisdiction in France, and for the preservation of the study of law: 

We therefore, who with extreme longing desire to have our already-mentioned kingdom governed with justice and equity, and restored so far as we shall be able with God’s help [to restore it] to its pristine glory, [establish this university] attentively considering the fact that no Studium in Civil Law has been established in our jurisdictions in France, and in the duchies of Normandy, Burgundy, and Brittany, the counties of Champagne and Flanders, the county of Picardy, and some other parts of the kingdom itself that are united in loyalty and obedience to us. [We do this] in order that the study of Civil Laws may not disappear in the aforesaid places, to the disadvantage of the State, but [that it] may become, under God’s guidance, vigorous to His glory, and the glory of our aforesaid Kingdom, and may flourish as an ornament and an advantage to future times.

The city of Caen is selected for the location of the university because of its favorable position, character, and surroundings.  It is

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