Pestalozzi, Revolution, and Reaktion

By A. LeGrand Richards

A. LeGrand Richards, Called to Teach: The Legacy of Karl G. Maeser (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2014), 33–66.

Chapter 2

Pestalozzi, Revolution, and Reaktion

It was not the first time that I met champions of independence and revolution, having done something in that line myself once.

—Karl G. Maeser[1]

The year Karl graduated from the Friedrichstadt Teacher College, 1848, was a particularly dramatic year in Europe. It was the year Karl Marx published his Das Kommunistische Manifest, the year Søren Kierkegaard saw as the pivotal year of his authorship, and the year that fulfilled Mann’s prophecy that the German people would assert their right to participate in their own government. Political unrest in Germany and many other parts of Europe reached a fever pitch as people throughout Europe sought basic rights: freedom of the press, freedom to choose one’s occupation, public trials, and rule by law with a constitution and elected representatives.

As early as March 1848, this movement turned violent in many German-speaking states. Riots had already occurred in Italy and France. From Berlin to Vienna, citizens called for Germany to unite into a single nation, governed by a constitution and represented by an elected parliament. People demanded the freedom to assemble and to be governed by law. As violence grew, some kings were deposed, and the remaining monarchs sought ways to appease the people, at least temporarily. Many monarchs waited patiently, appearing to make concessions to the least important—but politically obvious—demands, and then reacting with a swift military strike when the timing was right.

Teachers in the Revolution

In the midst of the violence, in May 1848 a national assembly was allowed to gather in the Paulskirche at Frankfurt to draft a constitution for a united German nation. Elected representatives came from various provinces and from widely different political persuasions. There are varied opinions regarding the role of teachers in the revolution,[2] but the Pestalozzian ideas that dominated educational practice supported an elevated view of the common man, and there can be little doubt that many teachers were politically discontented and that most supported a constitution.[3]

The “workers of the world” were called to unite, and associations formed among various guilds. Teachers were particularly supportive of this movement. Teacher associations were formed in separate states as early as the 1820s and 1830s.[4] For example, The Dresdener Pädagogische Verein (soon to be called the Sächsische Schullehrerverein; that is, the Saxon Schoolteachers Association) was formed in 1833. These associations often began their own publications, inviting teachers to share curriculum ideas and their latest theories, and to openly discuss ways to enhance the profession.[5] From 1845 to 1846, numerous festivals were held celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of Pestalozzi’s birth. As a result, throughout the provinces of Germany, many Pestalozzian teacher associations were formed, such as the Pestalozzi Verein of Saxony in 1846.

Hermann Köchly was very involved in the Saxon Schoolteachers Association. In 1848 he became the president of the association. He called for a stronger preparation of all teachers, both in the Volksschule and the Gymnasium. Opposed to the hierarchy of elementary school, secondary school, preparatory school, college, and university teachers, Köchly wanted all the teachers throughout the German states to unite as brothers who would form “a free education” and “educate a free people!”[6] Under his leadership, five to six hundred Saxon teachers gathered for a rally in Leipzig in April. There, he announced that the dream of a unified German teachers association would be realized and that their first meeting would be held in Dresden in August.

For a number of years previously, Karl F.  W. Wander, a radical defender of democracy, had been trying to unite all teacher associations into one. Unfortunately, in 1843, after planning for their first meeting to be held the next year, Wander was arrested. It wasn’t until 1848 that his call to unite was fulfilled. Five of the leading educators from Dresden (including Köchly) and twenty-three leaders from other German states signed the call. In August, a rally of nine hundred educators gathered in Dresden to organize the Allgemeine Deutsche Lehrerverein (Universal German Teachers Association), with its own weekly newspaper.[7] The call was filled with optimism and passion, and it asked for a unity among all teachers from those who taught at the simplest Volksschule in the countryside to those of the most elite Gymnasien and universities in the big cities.[8] We do not know, however, whether Karl participated in this gathering.[9]

Perhaps many of the teachers who participated were most interested in obtaining professional security and sufficient means to feed their families, but the leaders of the movement, at least, saw their role as essential to the larger liberation of the people and the unification of Germany. The dual system of education that supported a rich preparation for the elite and simplistic training for the poor was challenged by Humboldt’s notion of an allgemeine Bildung,[10] a common education that would provide excellent opportunities for all. Inspired by Pestalozzi’s philosophy, this notion carried with it the roots of democratic participation.

Through teacher colleges, teacher associations, and professional journals, Pestalozzi’s educational ideas began to unite teachers within countries that in many other respects were bitter rivals. In many ways, the establishment of teacher colleges became an experiment in both public education and social mobility. Teacher candidates were often taken from the lower and middle classes and given a fairly strong academic experience. Originally, Pestalozzi did not intend that this education would enable upward social mobility for the lower classes or provide status equal to university training. However, he did intend that the new teacher would help fulfill what Humboldt later dreamt of: a universal education and greater refinement to the entire nation.

The states’ best efforts to strike this delicate balance and to keep expectations low among this new class of teachers backfired. Graduates of the teacher colleges became social malcontents expecting greater respect, higher social status, and more appropriate economic remuneration. O’Boyle argued that these teachers “represented perhaps the most notorious example of underpaid officials with exaggerated notions of their own importance.”[11] But there is an alternative explanation. The ideals these teachers were learning did not support the elitism of the existing social class structure. Pestalozzi viewed every human as having unlimited potential, deserving the right to grow and choose in an environment of love and support. For him, education meant human development according to natural laws, and this development could be fostered by properly trained educators. Those who received this training began to develop a sense of professional autonomy and pride. Greater respect for students suggested that the teachers should be treated with greater respect as well, and some began to demand it. Nevertheless, as LaVopa points out, Volksschule teachers “were second-class citizens, relegated to a status far below academic teachers in the high schools and forced to accept the ‘alien’ authority of pastors in their professional domain.”[12] This was especially problematic for candidates assigned to rural areas, where they would be required to spend their careers isolated among “crude country folk and artisans.”[13]

Tensions between Church and School

Though schools were nominally state institutions, the tensions between teachers and the churches were often based on the fact that the elementary schools were maintained mostly under the direct or indirect supervision of the churches. The stern interpretation of “fallen man” in most Lutheran and Catholic doctrines of the time stood in cold contrast to the warm tenderness of Pestalozzian Christianity. School inspectors were generally selected from church authorities, who seldom had training in education, and the reports (Conduitenlisten) they secretly filed on teacher conduct had more to do with orthodoxy than academic effectiveness. The teachers resented church control and began to argue that the school, as a state institution, should give teachers civil servant status and be separated from the church. Teachers were often treated by the local pastors as common servants, and they were required to perform menial errands as much “to keep them in their place” as to share responsibility among tasks that needed to be performed. Such treatment fanned the flames of resentment.[14]

The anonymous author of an article in the Sächsische Schulzeitung (June 1848), for example, complained that the teacher who lacked the desire or ability to serve the minister’s assignments as bell ringer, candle lighter, groundskeeper, music leader, and so forth, was most often labeled as a “bad apple in the barrel” and was therefore viewed as unfit for the classroom. He concluded by arguing that “nothing has made the schism between the clergy and the teachers more aggravated than the annoying church tasks and as long as the schoolteacher is and legally stays obligated in such a servant-relationship to the minister, the wound will never heal.”[15]

Records suggest that teachers at the Friedrichstadt Teacher College supported the constitutional movement and the separation of church and school. The teacher candidates of 1848 (the year Karl graduated) sent a petition to the national assembly in Frankfurt expressing their hopes for unified German schools and the improvement of teacher status. They also expressed their hopes to the Saxon ministry for the “blooming of the Volksschule under the new liberal government.”[16] In his 1848 Teacher College report, however, director Christian Traugott Otto claimed that the dramatic political struggles facing Europe that year had had relatively little impact on his school. The single exception followed the news of the rebellion in Denmark,[17] when “a part of the pupils were stirred up with a hankering to make Germany free. It culminated in a written petition for [him] to intercede to allow the students to arm themselves.”[18] He recognized that most of those who signed the petition were seventeen-year-olds “temporarily intoxicated” by the spirit of the times. He calmly approached the group and told them that personally he had nothing against such armament but that first they should patiently await the permission of their parents and then their local authorities. At that point they needed only to submit their definitive declaration to him. He reported after his invitation that the enthusiasm for this petition quickly faded.[19]

Continuing his report, Otto admitted that teacher candidates spent a substantial amount of vacation time (seventeen weeks in a year) where he had little influence on them, but that when they were with him they “should be prevented from all one-sidedness.” The formal duties of a college instructor engaged in forming future educators should prohibit him from forming rash decisions that even the “skilled statesman had not yet come to terms with.”[20] He insisted that he had not allowed himself to discuss “political colors or factions” with his students. “The pupils see my works; they know my principle that I raise my voice for no party; they know that I do not govern, but am governed from above.”[21] He believed that with these principles and divine assistance, he had happily come through a very difficult year and saw no reason to make a major change in his approach.

Karl’s Involvement

It is not known how politically involved Karl was during this time, but there is no doubt he was very aware of the political events. In March 1848, a large demonstration was held just a few blocks from the school he was attending. When violence broke out in Dresden in the spring of 1849, however, Karl was away for an internship. At a jubilee in 1898, celebrating his fifty years as a teacher, the separate decades of Karl’s life were recited to a large crowd in his presence in Provo. The first speaker, Erastus Nielsen, said that young Karl had attended meetings every Sunday night to rally Protestant support of “the Liberal or Constitutional party.”[22] On a trip to Europe in 1867, Maeser reflected on some revolutionaries he had met who were headed for Ireland, stating, “It was not the first time that I met champions of independence and revolution, having done something in that line myself once; but I always had been under the impression that in such affairs not only muscle but also brain, besides a plan for tearing down as well as one for building up again, and after the calculations for success in fight also the idea of a regulated peace—are indispensable requisites of a revolution.”[23] This suggests that Karl was more than merely aware of the political challenges in Saxony.

Every young man was required to enlist in the military for a two-year assignment by his twentieth year—though later it was lessened to one year for students and educators.[24] Karl reported to the authorities on December 9, 1848, in Marienberg, a town in southern Saxony; however, his birth certificate records that he was declared “unfit” for military service. [25] Why he was considered unfit is not evident. It certainly wasn’t because of mental deficiencies or obvious physical disabilities. He believed that the soldier in charge made up an excuse to dismiss him. It is likely, that his political involvement and support of a constitutional government provided sufficient grounds to keep him from his military obligation. The situation was not secure enough to risk training yet another potential revolutionary. Eva Maeser Crandall, Karl’s daughter, remembered that Karl told the family he appeared to register for the military and was told, “oh no, we can’t send Karl there. . . . No, he cannot go. The army can’t take a brain like that.” So they brought in the doctor who hardly looked at him and declared, “He has a bad back, and it would be detrimental to send him in the army.”[26]

As a young Protestant tutor assigned to a family in Bohemia, Karl quickly felt the prejudices of the predominantly Catholic area. The scattered Protestants there had not even been allowed to meet together for religious services. As they described themselves, they were “as wandering sheep without a shepherd.”[27] Karl therefore convinced the baron to submit a petition with sixty signatures to the magistrate, asking that the Protestants in Komotau and the surrounding area be allowed to gather to worship. The petition was granted, and in a rented home on March 4, 1849, Karl, as a twenty-one-year-old, conducted the first Protestant worship service in Komotau in over two hundred years. He led a hymn for those who gathered there and declared, with a solemn vow, “to proclaim the Word of God purely and unadulterated.”[28] They met together every other week during his stay in Bohemia. Later, Karl was successful in procuring an organ and one hundred hymnbooks, which were donated by the Gustav-Adolf-Verein of Dresden. Arrangements were also made for a pastor to come to Komotau once a year to offer communion.[29] It was a major test of faith for the little congregation when, upon the completion of his apprenticeship, Karl was appointed to return to Dresden.[30]

The Reaktion

While Karl was fighting for the rights of Protestants to gather for worship in Bohemia, tensions at home reached their pinnacle. In March 1849, after nearly a year of debate, the National Assembly in Frankfurt voted for a constitution for a united Germany under a constitutional monarchy. In April, they offered the crown to King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, who politely refused the offer, only to write later that it was an insult. If they had no real right to offer this “dog collar . . . baked of sludge and clay,”[31] he had no obligation to accept it. He swore that no piece of paper could define the role that God had assigned him. After the denial, the National Assembly attempted to continue its efforts, but the energy quickly dissipated, and it soon became obvious that it would not be successful.

Up to this point, Saxony had avoided violence. In March 1848, Friedrich von Beust was summoned to Dresden. He expected to take the role of foreign minister, but political tensions left him disappointed. He was assigned instead to be the minister of education and religion, a post that he believed was far beneath his potential. He wrote, “I feel like a work horse harnessed to a baby carriage.”[32] In April 1849, after the king of Prussia had refused the crown, the king of Saxony dissolved the Landtag (the state parliament), and the people began to show their unrest as never before. On May 3, a crowd of demonstrators that had been forbidden to assemble gathered in Dresden. Violence broke out when the troops shot into the crowd. Approximately three thousand revolutionaries took to the streets; over one hundred barricades were constructed. The king went into hiding, and a provisional government was established. Von Beust had a strong hand in calling upon Prussian reinforcements to strengthen the Saxon army. The revolutionaries were no match for the army of five thousand trained soldiers, and within a few days the violence was squelched. Approximately 250 were killed, and many buildings in the city (including the old opera house) were damaged or destroyed. The end of this rebellion meant the end of the revolution in Saxony, and what followed during the next decade has been called the Reaktion. Under the direction of von Beust, thousands of individuals faced criminal charges. Most of the leaders of the rebellion escaped, but some were caught and imprisoned, and a few were executed. Köchly, who had actively supported the revolution, escaped to Brussels and later took a teaching position in Zürich.

Facing the measures of the Reaktion, Hohendorf estimated that over one million people left Germany between 1849 and 1854, including hundreds of teachers.[33] Dozens of teachers fled Saxony; the teachers association was robbed of its leadership, and it was estimated that well over one hundred teachers faced charges.[34] Meanwhile, in a series of oppressive decisions, the monarchs sought to regain control by suppressing all the causes that supported democratic participation. Within the next year, as Schleunes described, the princes began “rescinding piecemeal what the year before they had surrendered wholesale.”[35]

Not only did the Reaktion curtail basic freedoms—such as the return of censorship of the press, the elimination of the right to assemble, and the forbidding of professional associations—but the attention of the Reaktion also turned to schools and teachers. The king of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, dramatically summarized the attitude of the Reaktion toward schools. A publication addressed to the professors of teacher colleges was sent out in the name of the king, stating, “All the misery that was perpetrated in the previous year in Prussia is your fault and yours alone, the fault of the pseudo-education, the irreligious wisdom of men that you spread as if it were authentic, with this you have exterminated the faith and loyalty of my subjects’ dispositions and have turned their hearts from me.”[36] He swore that no power on earth would turn him away from fighting the poison with which these educators were polluting his subjects and that the strictest supervision would be implemented to control this contaminating influence. Krueger and others have claimed that the king was not the actual author of this statement, though it was issued in his name.[37] Whether he did or did not, no attempt was made to retract it, and the educational policies that followed acted as if it were true.[38] Some of the most hard-nosed conservatives believed that a complete housecleaning of teachers would be ideal,[39] So Prussia focused much of its reactionary vengeance on the schools and the teacher colleges. As  did Prussia, so followed most of the other German monarchs, including the king of Saxony.

One government official in Saxony wrote to von Beust that the teachers had been “carried along blindly by the leaders of the movement, obviously demonstrating they are all utterly devoid of true religiosity and of moral feeling.”[40] Von Beust then warned that, according to the circumstances, a teacher could be a “very beneficial or very dangerous” tool; therefore, great care had to be taken to produce loyal subjects.[41] The teachers’ participation in the revolution was blamed on their “unnecessary over-education.”[42]

Pestalozzian Philosophy and Politics

Concerns about the democratic spirit in the Volksschulen and their leaders preceded the revolution. In April 1847, for example, Adolf Diesterweg, the outspoken Prussian minister of education, was suspended because, in Eiler’s words, he was training “a dangerous class of teachers, much over-educated for the modest station in the country’s lower schools . . . pretentious, arrogant, mis-educated teachers, completely alienated from Christianity.”[43] This news quickly spread to the teachers throughout the German states.[44] Diesterweg continued to edit the Rheinische Blätter and to be an ardent proponent of Pestalozzi and the separation of church and school.

Pestalozzi stood opposed to an education of separate social classes: one for the wealthy and another for everyone else. He spent most of his life working with orphans—in his words, “I lived like a beggar in order to learn how to make beggars live like men.”[45] To him, as Reble described it, “the prince as well as the tradesman, the farmer as well as the day laborer should be educated to a full, well-rounded, developed human being, though each may also live and work in his particular life station.”[46] But others found his ideas to be a dangerous disruption of the social order.

One German aristocrat, for example, complained that the Pestalozzian schools of his day made youth useless, complaining that when educated they are “drawn away from their callings, they speculate about a better and more comfortable condition, and are mostly lost.” He says, “I myself have for years committed the error of looking for servants who were praised for their abilities in school, and every time I was deceived. They were lazy, practically useless, noticed nothing and comprehended nothing. Yet they were arrogant, show-offs, and sometimes rogues.” He was annoyed that “they all write well, especially the girls, who will never again pick up a pen after they leave school,” and that the school books “preach freedom and equality” and a constitution. It would be far better to instruct them “in fewer things, but with more emphasis placed upon fulfilling their duties, upon loyalty and obedience.”[47]

Others claimed that because of Pestalozzian methods, students developed “a taste for things beyond the sphere in which they are destined to live,” transforming loyal Christian subjects into “irreligious, innovation-hungry, politicized, inferior, good-for-nothings.”[48] Out of a feigned, condescending concern, some others suggested that putting poor children in the same classroom as rich children would only feed the jealousy of the poor by exposing them to their own disadvantages.[49] This would be unfair to them.

Concern was also expressed that overeducating teachers was dangerous. It would make them unsatisfied with their own station in life, and they would then begin to demand higher salaries, more benefits, and better working conditions. This “false and exaggerated teacher training” would leave them discontented with the best their communities could offer.[50] Worse yet, some believed, these teachers with inflated views of their own importance would contaminate the youth of the nation with the poison of democracy. For example, Kurz argued that no one at the time had “more fundamentally or successfully worked on the spiritual poisoning of the German people than [had] the position of the Elementary School teacher.”[51] Riehl also blamed the teachers for the revolution; in his view, democracy was not the result of actions but of teaching and, like Mephistopheles, the teachers were the evil demons inserting this poison into young minds.[52]

Fueled with such arguments, the forces of the Reaktion turned against the teachers and their training. Günther reported that following the failed revolution, “hundreds of progressive teachers were let go, jailed, imprisoned or emigrated because they actively participated in the revolution.”[53] Teacher dissatisfaction with the government seemed especially strong in Saxony; Tenorth claimed that 70 percent of the teachers in Saxony were activists.[54] The hopes of those teachers who had developed such high expectations in 1848 for “German unity, German power, German freedom” were left depressed. In Diesterweg’s words, “The greater the hope was, the greater the disappointment.”[55]

In 1850, the government forced Diesterweg and Wander to retire, and over the next few years it implemented increasingly oppressive policies. Von Raumer proclaimed that Pestalozzian education had been demonstrated “to be either useless or dangerous.”[56] Prussia and Bavaria completely prohibited the national teachers association (Allgemeine Deutsche Lehrerverein). Some Saxon leaders tried to ban it there as well but felt they did not have sufficient support to do so. The third association meeting was actually cancelled, but the association continued even after its executive board called for its dissolution.[57]

Return to Saxony

This was the climate Karl found as he returned from Bohemia to accept his first teaching assignment in the First District School in Dresden. The Addressbuch listed him as a teacher there in 1852 and 1853.[58] The schoolmaster at the First District School was Karl Benjamin Immanuel Mieth (1803–52).[59] Apparently, Maeser’s visits to the schoolmaster’s home soon became more than mere school business calls. He began to develop a serious interest in the schoolmaster’s daughter, Anna.

Probably with Mieth’s encouragement, Karl joined the Allgemeine Deutsche Lehrerverein and its local chapter, the Sächsische Lehrerverein, in May of 1851.[60] This was a fairly courageous move. Despite constant declarations that the teachers of Saxony were not “instruments of revolutionaries, [nor] traitors, no[r] enemies of the fatherland,”[61] the association was viewed with great suspicion by Saxon authorities. Because it had published its magazine since 1833 (years before the revolution), it was not forbidden. It was, however, carefully scrutinized.[62] The new editor, August Lansky, was notified by the Ministerium whenever an issue did not show the expected “loyalty or discretion.”[63]

After its enthusiastic beginning in 1848, when over nine hundred teachers gathered, the membership of the Allgemeine Deutsche Lehrerverein dropped severely. Completely forbidden in some German states, from 1851 to 1860 the union averaged only about 270 members.[64] Some teachers did not feel free to report their names and addresses at the conference for fear of reprisal. Throughout this time, however, this association became the focal point “around which the free-thinking teachers of Germany rallied.”[65] Karl became an active participant in this association.

By 1851, the Reaktion was in full gear. International police unions were formed with Saxony, Prussia, Austria, and Hannover.[66] Freedom of the press had been surrendered, editors and journalists fled or were arrested, and democratic newspapers were forbidden. The provincial government in the Rhine Palatinate issued an order in January 1851 that prohibited teachers, with the threat of dismissal, from reading “democratic, republican, communist, irreligious, and immoral works,” and called upon the church-appointed school inspectors to monitor the teachers’ reading materials closely.[67] The writings of Diesterweg were considered especially dangerous. Prussia and Saxony became police states where, in Kitchen’s terms, “an army of snoopers and informers rooted out communists and democrats, the press was muzzled, and liberally-minded civil servants were dismissed.”[68] Jansen records that in Saxony “the authoritarian regime led by Beust and the radical Saxon-left adopted a stance of mutual suspicion and hostility in the post-revolutionary epoch.”[69]

Ferdinand von Beust of Saxony believed that the teachers had been the decisive conveyors of democratic thought and sought ways to restrict their influence. One critic claimed that von Beust “thought he could do everything with the police and a little religion (or rather the hypocrisy of the pastors).”[70] In May of 1851 (the very month Karl officially joined the Saxon Teachers Association),[71] Saxony passed a law declaring, “All teachers are absolutely to abstain from participation in political associations or attending political meetings. Teachers who attend political meetings or join a political association will be reprimanded; if they transgress this ban again, after two reprimands have been issued, they are to be dismissed.”[72] Von Beust strengthened political police and reemphasized the Conduitenlisten conducted by the school inspectors. Curricular materials were strictly and frequently reviewed to guarantee proper loyalty to the state and church.[73]

One of the most important students of Pestalozzi was Friedrich Fröbel (1782–1852), founder of the Kindergarten, whose writings were eventually banned as well. Fröbel began his most important work, Menschenerziehung, with the claim that there was a divine essence in all things. According to him, God not only was the source of all things, but his divine spirit was the very  essence or purpose of life. It was in the nature of all things to strive to fulfill that essence. A human being could become aware of this divine essence “and with self-determination and freedom to practice all this in his own life, to allow it to act, to manifest it.”[74] Education, then, was the attempt to help others to become aware of and to freely fulfill their essence or divine mission. According to Fröbel, like Rousseau and Pestalozzi, this process should not be directive or interfering; teachers needed to be more passive and protective. Let the child discover, explore, and learn on his or her own. Fröbel recognized the importance of activity in a child’s development and learning. A Kindergarten was to be a place where individual growth was fostered through play and self-activity.

In August 1851, however, von Raumer closed the Prussian Kindergartens and prohibited Fröbel’s writings because they were supposedly “a part of the Fröbelian socialistic system, which is calculated to train the youth of the country to atheism.”[75] This absurd claim was crushing to Fröbel, who had planned to immigrate to America. Unfortunately, he died before he could leave.[76]

The next year, while Karl was teaching in the district school, the Allgemeine Deutsche Schulzeitung published a strong defense of Fröbel and the kindergarten by a school director in Dresden, Hermann Moritz Budich (1810–86).[77] Budich managed a private preparatory school, on König Street in Neustadt (just across the river from Dresden).[78] Budich had actually traveled to Fröbel’s school and worked with him. In 1846, he returned to Dresden and opened his own version of a Volksschule, with 180 students of both genders, based on Fröbel’s ideas. It consisted of a preschool, an elementary school, a middle school, and a teacher training college for young women, making it the first institution in Saxony to prepare women teachers.[79] Perhaps for this reason it caught Karl’s attention as a school of particular interest that he would investigate more fully later.

Changes at Home

At the time, Karl was most likely preoccupied with his own life. Karl Immanuel Benjamin Mieth had died suddenly on December 27, 1852, but Karl’s interest in Anna continued after her father’s death. Unfortunately the customs of the day made courting far more difficult and much more formal than either of them would have liked. It was difficult to share personal interests in the presence of the entire family, and even the formal proposal could not be a private affair, as it was to be delivered by a representative.[80] Nevertheless, on June 11, 1854, Karl and Anna were married. Anna’s sister, Camilla, described the wedding as follows: “Anna wore a lovely white satin gown while Karl stood tall and handsome in a blue satin suit with a laced ruffled shirt, long white silk stockings, and buckled shoes. They were a lovely couple.”[81] Their first child, Reinhard, was born nine months later.

Around the same time, in 1852 or 1853, Edward Schoenfeld also took a position at the first district public school, and a lifelong friendship began.[82] It became more than friendship in May of 1855, when Edward married Anna’s sister Ottilie. Edward had graduated from the Teachers College in Freiburg.[83] The two young teachers enjoyed each other’s company, shared common interests, and openly discussed issues of deep concern. No doubt they commiserated over the imposing restrictions put on teachers by the church and state. About religion Edward wrote, “We knew nothing of the Gospel; but one fact was clear to us, that what the world called ‘religion’ was not the truth; and as there was nothing better to our knowledge, we both were, what thousands of others are under like conditions, skeptics, and we thought that science, and especially natural philosophy, was the only thing that might in some way fill the longing of the soul.”[84]

Karl’s attitude apparently did not vary greatly from Edward’s. Karl said, “I, like most of my fellow-teachers in Germany, had become imbued with the skepticism that characterizes to a large extent the tendency of modern higher education, but I was realizing at the same time the unsatisfactory condition of a mind that has nothing to rely on but the ever-changing propositions of speculative philosophy.”[85]

The Reaktion and Karl G. Maeser

The zeal of the young tutor, who had only a few years earlier demonstrated such loving support to the Protestants in Bohemia, was dying. In his words, “Scepticism [sic] had undermined the religious impressions of my childhood days.”[86] The animosity between the Catholics and Protestants had troubled him, and the petty divisions between Protestant denominations “culminated only too often in uncompromising zealotry” that seemed to him as an unworthy denial of the “indomitable courage, sincere devotion, and indefatigable energy of the great German Reformer, Martin Luther.” The zealous efforts of the Reaktion, forcing outward compliance to what should be left to personal conviction and conscience, must have added greatly to the agnosticism that Karl said “was exercising its disintegrating influence upon me.”[87]

Certainly, from 1851 on, conditions for teachers grew continually more oppressive. Teachers in Saxony could be fired for atheism, for publically denigrating religion, for “wounding the morality through public action,” or for “the distribution of literature against the state or its policies.”[88] Teachers could also be dismissed for neglecting to attend church services, denigrating the church or civil authorities, or even associating with so-called “immoral people.” In 1852, a strict ban was placed upon “seditious” school materials; many works, including those of Dinter, Pestalozzi, and Bauriegel,[89] were expressly forbidden.[90] These policies were deeply contrary to Karl’s view of proper government and must have severely eroded his faith in Protestant religion. In 1853, forbidden texts were removed from teacher libraries. School inspectors, mostly from the clergy, were sent out to check the personal libraries of teachers and the materials available at teacher colleges for seditious literature. The Saxony that Karl returned to surely seemed foreign to him. The world he had been prepared to teach in no longer existed, and he was being asked to abandon the educational principles he had come to accept to be true.

The culmination of the Reaktion’s response to the schools was demonstrated in the three Stiehlsche regulations of 1854, a law that Eduard Spranger has declared to be “a dark smudge in the history of the Prussian Volksschule.”[91] This law was written by Ferdinand Stiehl at assignment from von Raumer. Its objective was to control school curricula as well as the preparation and monitoring of teachers in Prussia. It became the first attempt to unify a national curriculum and standardize teacher preparation. Though the law was originally intended only for Prussia, “nearly all of the other German governments initiated similar measures,”[92] including Saxony, according to Nipperdey.[93] It boldly declared, “The regulation is that no child, not even the smallest, will be excluded from work in his studies that trains his understanding and his strength; and also that no child will be instructed in any area, which does not soon lead to practice and individual performance.”[94]

This regulation made religious instruction the dominant subject; only three hours per week were to be spent on history and science and one hour per week on drawing. It also defined the required number of hymns, Bible verses, prayers, and catechisms to be memorized.[95] The curriculum was drastically truncated to the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, and religion. The spirit of Pestalozzi was to be extinguished, and the ideals of a well-rounded general education for all (Bildung) were to be eliminated.[96] Nothing abstract or scientific was to be taught in the elementary school, “but rather a practical life of service in the church, family, job, community, and state” that would be appropriate for their “future station.”[97] The regulation declared: “What to teach is not at the discretion of the teacher; it is firmly bound to the directive, not only in what he teaches, but also in his own thought and being. The ministry of instruction establishes the aims and the objects of education; it selects from the world the details that it considers worthy to be taught and bans from the consciousness of the teacher what it counts as errant.”[98]

In this spirit, instruction in the teacher colleges was to be radically restricted to the “useful, practical, and applicable.” The “over-education” of elementary school teachers, which so often led them to be dissatisfied with their social circumstances, was to be dramatically curtailed; the theoretical subjects that were formerly taught to teacher candidates, such as educational philosophy, anthropology, and psychology, were to be banished and replaced by Schulkunde—“tricks of the trade” (e.g., how to maintain classroom discipline, keep reports, assess, conduct recitations, use textbooks). Pedagogy itself was to be “quantitatively viewed” and strictly supervised by church-appointed inspectors.

In the midst of these new laws, in 1854 Karl received the opportunity to become an Oberlehrer and vice director at the Budich Institute. The Oberlehrer was a master teacher, an appointment that carried the status of civil servant, though the salary was not as high as it was for other government positions. There can be no doubt that while the appointment itself may have been attractive, the orientation of the director must have assured Karl that he would have more freedom to apply the Pestalozzian training in which he believed at the Budich Institute than he was allowed in the public system.[99] Karl would also be engaged in preparing young women to become teachers. From this point on, he became a strong advocate for the education of women as will be discussed in chapter thirteen.

Karl continued to develop in his profession and to actively participate in the Allgemeine Deutsche Lehrerverein. Because of the scrutiny it received from civil authorities, however, the association continued to struggle. By January of 1854 it had only 150 official members in Saxony. In February, Karl presented the lecture at their monthly meeting, “Teaching Geography in the Volksschule.”[100] This was a great honor for a young scholar. The other presenters that year included Director Budich, Seminardirektor Steglich (Christian Traugott Otto’s replacement), August Lansky (future president of the association), Director Petermann, Seminarlehrer Schäl, and Seminardirektor Goltzsch. This opportunity placed Maeser among the top educators in Saxony at the time.

By the end of 1854, Karl was grappling with how to teach the amount of Lutheran doctrine required while becoming more and more skeptical of religion and resentful of governmental imposition.[101] He had come to believe that education should open the doors to democratic participation, but the beloved homeland to which he had returned was dramatically suppressing public liberty and restricting the autonomy of teachers.[102] Schools were under the strict purview of the clergy, and Karl faced the challenge of satisfying the suspicious civil authorities while holding to the integrity of his personal ideals. He had been prepared by his education to share a profoundly liberal vision of what pedagogy should be and had then returned to an environment which prohibited that vision.

Thus Karl began his profession committed to the philosophy of Pestalozzi and supportive of his contemporaries Budich, Diesterweg, and Fröbel. He was trained to believe in the unlimited potential of the individual, which could be developed by an education built upon self-activity and observation, and he was convinced that persons should participate as a group in democratic self-governance with the rights to express themselves freely in the press, to assemble, to choose their careers, and to receive a broad, holistic education to develop their native potential. Prepared to teach these principles to the youth of the nation, he also was beginning to share this wider vision of pedagogy with other teachers. Resistant to compulsion, unsatisfied with hierarchical social class, skeptical of a religion that increasingly sought political dominion and control of schools, he ventured into the profession of teaching with enthusiasm and hope.

Ironically, Karl’s training was completed just as the dreams of a more democratic, unified Germany were squashed and a conservative government reaction was at its apex. The preparation he had received came under severe criticism, and the educational ideals he embraced were considered dangerous to the social order. While they did grant teachers the status of civil servant, which brought greater security and some increased social status (though no great financial reward), the government, under the dominating influence of the church, became suspicious of the educational system and sought to control both the content that teachers taught and the attitudes they reflected.

In the midst of this irony, Karl had ventured into a teaching career, accepted his first appointment, found a lovely bride, and begun a family, assuming all the responsibility that accompanies such a decision. His family was proud of him and the education he had received. They were confident that he had launched on a steady course in a secure post. His profession had accepted him as an academic contributor and given him the accompanying status. Unbeknownst to him, however, his life was about to be disrupted in nearly every conceivable way.

Notes[RS1]



[1] Karl G. Maeser, “From the Rocky Mountains to the Alps: Across the Sea,” Deseret News, November 20, 1867, 6.

[2] One of the best discussions of the range of beliefs on this issue is Steven R. Welch’s “Revolution and Reprisal: Bavarian Schoolteachers in the 1848 Revolution,” History of Education Quarterly 41, no. 1 (Spring 2001): 25–57.

[3] Teachers in Saxony seemed to be particularly active in this movement. See Hans-Martin Moderow, Volksschule zwischen Staat und Kirche: Das Beispiel Sachsen im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert (Cologne and Weimar: Böhlau, 2007), 247–50.

[4] Robert Rissmann, Geschichte des Deutschen Lehrervereins (Leipzig: Julius Klinkhardt, 1908).

[5] The Sächsische Schulzeitung (Saxon School Newspaper) was established in 1833.

[6] Sächsische Schulzeitung, October 1848, 655.

[7] Helmut König, Programme zur bürgerlichen Nationalerziehung in der Revolution von 1848/1849 (Berlin: Volk und Wissen Volkseigener, 1971), 14.

[8] “The German people have awakened; fresh, new life pulsates in their veins. From the bends in the Russian River Memel to the waves breaking on the French shores of the Mosel, we hear the call for one united Germany. What was vainly imagined, now comes to life. The Paulskirche in Frankfurt wants to establish the building of German unity and freedom, but what use would the grandest building have, if the right spirit didn’t live in it! To awaken this proper spirit in the people where it sleeps—to empower it, where it lies exhausted—to lead it, where it wanders off on false paths—that is the task of the German Volk education, that lies mostly in the hands of the German teacher. But the tasks presented by the present can be accomplished only if they unite for this great purpose. . . . Everything gathers itself under the flag of unity. German teachers throw down barriers that separate us! Let us work together as brothers on this great work that has been entrusted to us: educating the German people.” Rissmann, Geschichte des Deutschen Lehrervereins, 45–46; translation by the author.

[9] Karl was not listed as officially attending the teacher association meeting in Dresden. See “Die zweite allgemeine Sächs. Lehrerversammlung am 3, 4, und 6. August,” Sächsische Schulzeitung, September 1848, 561–75. His future father-in-law, Immanuel Mieth, was in attendance. See page 570.

[10] The German word Bildung implies education in its broadest sense. It carries with it the idea of refined culture rather than just common skills and knowledge.

[11] Lenore O’Boyle, “The Democratic Left in Germany 1848,” Journal of Modern History 33, no. 4 (December 1961): 380–81.

[12] Anthony J. La Vopa, “Status and Ideology: Rural Teachers in Pre-March and Revolutionary Prussia,” Journal of Social History 12, no. 3 (Spring 1979): 446.

[13] La Vopa, “Status and Ideology,” 435.

[14] La Vopa, “Status and Ideology,” 432.

[15] The German aphorism used in this article was “Unter der Heerde ein räudiges Schaaf” (a mangy sheep among the flock). Sächsische Schulzeitung 24 (June 1848): 381–83.

[16] “Das Friedrichstädter Lehrerseminar,” schulmuseum, http://www.schulmuseum‑dresden.de/lehrerseminar.htm.

[17] Denmark broke out in rebellion between January and March 1848.

[18] Christian Traugott Otto, “Seminar Bericht auf des Jahr 1848,” December 28, 1848, Ministerium des Kultus Dresden, Aktennummer 192, 101b, Staatsarchiv Dresden, Germany.

[19] Otto, “Seminar Bericht,” 101a–b.

[20] Otto, “Seminar Bericht,” 103a.

[21] Otto, “Seminar Bericht,” 103a–b.

[22] Report on the jubilee celebrating his five decades as a teacher, May 1898, in Karl G. Maeser, School and Fireside (Provo, UT: Skelton, 1898), 352.

[23] These Irish passengers were returning to their homeland to help a revolution of independence (the Fenian rebellion that ultimately failed through lack of arms and planning), but Maeser, “having done something in that line myself once,” noted that they would need “not only muscle but also brain, besides a plan for tearing down as well as one for building up again.” Though the lovely Green Isle “should be inhabited by a free and prosperous people, as it once has been,” Maeser recognized that these revolutionaries were particularly unprepared to provide a “regulated peace,” if they actually won. Karl G. Maeser, “From the Rocky Mountains to the Alps: Across the Sea,” Deseret News, November 20, 1867, 6.

[24] Karl A. Schleunes, Schooling and Society (New York: St. Martin’s, 1989), claims that in order to attract more educators, it was reduced to a six-week obligation, citing the order of May 16, 1844, in Friedrich Nüchter, “Die geschichtliche Entwicklung der Lehrerbildung,” Schule und Gegenwart 3 (1951): 47.

[25] The phrase is “wegen Untüchtigkeit” (because of unfitness). Karl G. Maeser birth certificate, MSS 1841, box 1, folder 8, LTPSC.

[26] Evelyn Crandall, oral history, OH 64, 1964, LTPSC. This version would not contradict my suspicion. She inferred that he could do more good for Germany by continuing with his education. In reality, he had already graduated and was beginning his apprenticeship. Regardless, there is no subsequent evidence that he suffered from a bad back, so he was probably dismissed from the military for a different reason than from poor health.

[27] Karl von Zimmermann, Die Bauten des Gustav-Adolf-Vereins in Bild und Geschichte (Darmstadt: Eduard Zernin, 1860). This book described the activities of the association throughout the world and specifically recognized Karl’s efforts in Komotau.

[28] Zimmermann, Die Bauten des Gustav-Adolf-Vereins, 166.

[29] In 1857, they dedicated their own church in Komotau. The Dresden branch of the organization (Gustav-Adolf-Verein) donated it to Karl’s congregation in Komotau.

[30] In 1850, Ludwig Rüdt von Collenberg was appointed secretary of state in Baden and actively implemented the conservative Reaktion there.

[31] Florian Rolf, Das unrühmliche Ende. Verlauf und Scheitern der deutschen Revolution von 1848 unter besonderer Betrachtung der Rolle des Bürgertums (München: Grin, 2005), 27: translation by author.

[32] Heinrich Potthoff, Die deutsche Politik Beusts: von seiner Berufung zum österreichischen Außenminister Oktober 1866 bis zum Ausbruch des deutsch-französischen Krieges 1870/71 (Bonn: Ludwig Röhrscheid, 1968).

[33] Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Wander, Der Kampf um die Schule: Bildungspolitische und Pädagogische Schriften, ed. Gerd Hohendorf (Berlin: Volk und Wissen Volkseigener, 1979), 1:43.

[34] Moderow, Volksschule zwischen Staat und Kirche, 244–45.

[35] Karl A. Schleunes, Schooling and Society (New York: St. Martin’s, 1989), 126.

[36] Berthold Michael and Heinz-Hermann Schepp, Die Schule in Staat und Gesellschaft: Dokumente zur deutschen Schulgeschichte im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (Göttingen: Muster-Schmidt, 1993), 167–68; translation by the author.

[37] Bernhard Krüger, “Die Rede Friedrich Wilhelms IV. vor den Teilnehmern der Seminarlehrerkonferenz 1849,” Pädagogische Rundschau 24 (1970): 845–56, cited in Karl A Schleunes, Schooling and Society (New York: St. Martin’s, 1989), 142. Krüger concluded that the camarilla (a group of favorites of the king) is likely to have invented the speech and given it to the press. See also Bernhard Krueger, Stiehl und seine Regulative: Ein Beitrag zur preußischen Schulgeschichte (Weinheim: Julius Beltz, 1970), 98–100.

[38] “Although he did not actually say this, given Prussia’s policies toward teachers during the 1850s, he might as well have done so.” Schleunes, Schooling and Society, 130. See also Adolphe E. Meyer, An Educational History of the Western World (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1972), 276.

[39] Rissman, Geschichte des Deutschen Lehrervereins, 59.

[40] Moderow, Volksschule zwischen Staat und Kirche, 398.

[41] Moderow, Volksschule zwischen Staat und Kirche, 261–62.

[42] Moderow, Volksschule zwischen Staat und Kirche, 397.

[43] Schleunes, Schooling and Society, 125.

[44] Nipperdey pointed out that it was not remarkable that Diesterweg was fired, but that somehow he had been allowed to remain twenty-seven years in an important Prussian appointment before it happened. Thomas Nipperdey, “Volksschule und Revolution,” in Kurt Kluxen and Wolfgang J. Mommsen, Politische Ideologien und Nationalstaatliche Ordnung (Munich: R. Oldenbourg, 1968), 132.

[45] Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, introduction to How Gertrude Teaches Her Children, trans. Lucy E. Holland and Francis C. Turner (London: Swan Sonnenschein, 1907), xviii.

[46] Albert Reble, Geschichte der Pädagogik (Frankfurt: Klett-Cott, 1981), 213.

[47] Friedrich August Ludwig von der Marwitz, “Von den Ursachen der überhandnehmenden Verbrechen” [“On the Causes of Crime Getting out of Hand”], (1836), in Die Eigentumslosen [The Dispossessed] Carl Jantke and Dietrich Hilger (Freiburg and Munich: Verlag Karl Alber, 1965), 140–44.

[48] Leopold Clausnitzer, Geschichte des Preußischen Unterrichtsgesetzes (Berlin: Emil Goldschmidt, 1892), 110; translation by the author.

[49] Wilhelm Jakob Curtmann, “Vereinfachung und Stätigkeit des äußeren Schulorganismus,” in Michael and Schepp, Die Schule in Staat und Gesellschaft, 143.

[50] Clausnitzer, Geschichte des Preußischen Unterrichtsgesetzes, 107.

[51] Clausnitzer, Geschichte des Preußischen Unterrichtsgesetzes, 135.

[52] Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl, Die bürgerliche Gesellschaft (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1851), 133.

[53] Karl-Heinz Günther, Bürgerlich-demokratische Pädagogen in Deutschland während der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts (Berlin: Volk und Wissen Volkseigener, 1963), 13; translation by the author.

[54] Von Heinz-Elmar Tenorth, “Lehrerberuf und Lehrerbildung,” in Karl-Ernst Jeismann and Peter Lundgreen, Handbuch der deutschen Bildungsgeschichte (Munich: C. H. Beck, 1987), 3:262.

[55] Friedrich Adolf Diesterweg, “Ein Blick in die Gegenwart,” Diesterweg: Sämtliche Werke, (Berlin: Volk und Wissen Volkseigener, 1964), 7:205. Moderow argued that this depressed spirit was not felt as strongly among teachers in Saxony as it was in Prussia. See Moderow, Volksschule zwischen Staat und Kirche, 396.

[56] Karl-Ernst Jeismann, “Die Stiehlschen Regulative: Ein Beitrag zum Verhältnis von Politik und Pädagogik während der Reaktionszeit in Preußen,” in Rudolf Vierhaus and Manfred Botzenhart, Dauer und Wandel der Geschichte (Münster: Aschendorff, 1966), 428.

[57] C. L. A. Pretzel, Geschichte des Deutschen Lehrervereins: In den ersten fünfzig Jahren seines Bestehens (Leipzig: Julius Klinkhardt, 1921), 50.

[58] Tobler reported that Karl may have responded to an advertisement in the Anzeiger in March 1852 for a position at the First District public school in Dresden, but the listing in the Saxon Teacher’s Association magazine suggests it was at least a year earlier. Douglas F. Tobler, “Karl G. Maeser’s German Background, 1828–1856: The Making of Zion’s Teacher,” BYU Studies 17, no. 2 (Winter 1977): 170.

[59] Many papers, including my “Moritz Busch’s Die Mormonen and the Conversion of Karl G. Maeser,” BYU Studies 45, no. 4 (2006), 49, have claimed that Mieth was the director of the Budich Institute, but this was never true; Hermann Moritz Budich was. Karl did not move to the Budich Institute until 1854, after Mieth had passed away. It is not likely that Schoenfeld transferred to the Budich Institute when Karl did, but their friendship continued and was cemented when they married sisters. I consider Ottilie Mieth Schoenfeld’s version to be the most credible version (MS 2126, folder 3, LTPSC). Mieth was also a member of the Saxon Teachers Association, joining it in its early inception. He was in attendance at the first national association meeting in Dresden in August 1848, and his obituary was listed in its magazine.

[60] Along with eight other Hilfslehreren (a Hilfslehrer was like an intern teacher, one still in a probationary status) from the district schools, Karl was listed as a new member of the Sächsische Schullehrerverein in Sächsische Schulzeitung (no. 992), May 25, 1851, 334. There was also a Christian Maeser from Rothental who later joined the association.

[61] Citing an 1846 article “Verdächtigung des Lehrerstandes,” in Georg Klotz, 100 Jahre sächsische Schulzeitung (Dresden: C. C. Meinhold & Söhne, 1933), 29.

[62] Moderow, Volksschule zwischen Staat und Kirche, 275.

[63] Moderow, Volksschule zwischen Staat und Kirche, 275. Surprisingly, in the name of presenting various sides of an issue, the Sächsische Schulzeitung (Saxon School Journal) and the Allgemeine Deutsche Lehrerzeitung (Universal German Teachers Journal) had the courage to address pertinent controversial issues, and they continued to attract the most liberally minded educators. The national journal regularly reported the meetings of the various local chapters and reviewed the latest texts and approaches.

[64] Rissmann, Geschichte des Deutschen Lehrervereins, 67.

[65] Pretzel, Geschichte des Deutschen Lehrervereins, 64.

[66] Wolfram Siemann, The German Revolution of 1848–49, trans. Christiane Banerji (New York: St. Martin’s, 1985), 216.

[67] Welch “Revolution and Reprisal,” 51, citing Johann Conrad Bauer, Erster Nachtrag zur Sammlung der das Deutsche Schulwesen betreffenden allerhöchsten und höchsten Gesetze, Verordnungen und Vollzugsvorschriften im Regierungsbezirke der Oberpfalz und von Regensburg, 1844–1852 (Sulzbach: n.p., 1853), 70–71.

[68] Martin Kitchen, A History of Modern Germany, 1800–2000 (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006), 91–92.

[69] Christian Jansen, “Saxon Forty-Eighters in Postrevolutionary Epoch, 1849–1867,” in Saxony in German History, ed. James Retallack (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000), 149.

[70] Albert Christian Weinlig, cited in Moderow, Volksschule zwischen Staat und Kirche, 279. Weinlig was one of the ministers of state who later became the minister of education in Saxony.

[71] See Sächsische Schulzeitung, May 25, 1851, 333.

[72] Pretzel, Geschichte des Deutschen Lehrervereins, 55.

[73] Pretzel, Geschichte des Deutschen Lehrervereins, 266.

[74] Friedrich Fröbel, The Education of Man, trans. Josephine Jarvis (New York: A. Lovell, 1885), 2.

[75] Denton J. Snider, The Life of Frederick Froebel (Chicago, 1900), 428–29, cited in Robert B. Downs, Friedrich Froebel (Boston: Twayne, 1978), 80. On November 2, 1851, the Sachsische Schulzeitung published a petition in support of Fröbel’s work and its value in training young people (710–11).

[76] Karl would later refer to Fröbel as an important benefactor to mankind. See Maeser, School and Fireside, 111.

[77] H. M. Budich, “Zur richtigen Würdigung Friedrich Fröbels und seines pädagogischen Wirkens,” Allgemeine Deutsche Lehrerzeitung, June 12, 1852, 89–91. Budich was also known by Fröbel as early as 1847. Fröbel identified Budich as one of his supporters in a letter to Johannes Stangenberger in Poppenwind, July 7, 1847, Briefausgabe Friedrich Fröbel (Bibliotek für Bildungsgeschichtliche Forschung, Universität Duisburg-Essen), http://bbf.dipf.de/editionen/froebel/fb1847-07-07-01.html#MB2.

[78] Boone and Cowan argued that the Budich Institute was a private girls’ school, but this is not accurate. See David F. Boone and Richard O. Cowan, “The Freiburg Germany Temple: A Latter-day Miracle,” in Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: Europe, ed. Donald Q. Cannon and Brent L. Top (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2003), 147–48. Moritz Theodor Opitz, for example, reported that he completed his elementary education at the Budich Institute before enrolling in a Realschule in 1861. Richard Immanuel Richter, De quatri libri Tibulliani elegiis inprimisque de quinta (Dresden: B. G. Teubner, 1875), 30. After completing his studies to become a teacher, Budich studied theology and Pädagogik before accepting a position as a family tutor. He then toured schools in Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland. Budich traveled to Keilhau and Blankenburg to observe firsthand the Kindergarten of Fröbel. Budich published an article arguing that women can make as good of teachers as men, especially with the younger grades. See Moritz Budich, “Zur Angelegenheit der Heranbildung von Lehrerinnen und Erzieherinnen,” Sächsiche Schulzeitung, August 22, 1852, 529–31.

[79] Johann Baptist Heindl, Galerie berühmter Pädogogen, verdienter Schulmänner, Jugend- und Volksschriftsteller und Componisten (München: Joseph Anton Finsterlin, 1859), 1:88. Some have supposed the Institute was only for girls, but Heindl wrote, “Because of the existing need and large population the founder in less than ten years has helped organize a pre- and elementary school with one hundred eighty children of both genders and with twelve male and four female teachers who instruct children until their confirmation or until their fourteenth year” (author’s translation).

[80] Reinhard Maeser, Karl G. Maeser: A Biography by His Son (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University, 1928), 14–15.

[81] Mabel Maeser Tanner, “My Grandfather Karl G. Maeser,” MSS SC 2905, 4, LTPSC.

[82] Some authors have suggested that they were friends as children; in fact, several have shared a story about a trick they played on one of their teachers (see, for example, Alma P. Burton, “Karl Maeser, Mormon Educator” (master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1950), 2, but Schoenfeld disagreed. In describing their earlier schooling, he wrote, “Both of us having previously obtained our college education in two different seminaries of learning, . . . we found ourselves acting as teachers in one of the large schools of the city of Dresden.” Schoenfeld did, however, refer to them as “boys”: “In those days we were what you might call young, fairly-well educated Gentile boys, like thousands of others anywhere.” Edward Schoenfeld, “A Character Sketch of Dr. Karl G. Maeser,” Juvenile Instructor, March 15, 1901, 181. It very well could be that the pranks they played on the professor were not perpetrated as young students, but rather as colleagues. Schoenfeld joined the Saxon Teachers Association in June 1853 as its 1,696th member. “Neuaufgenommene Mitglieder,” Sächsische Schulzeitung, June 26, 1853, 418.

[83] Edward Schoenfeld, autobiography, MSS SC 1076, LTPSC.

[84] Schoenfeld, “Character Sketch of Dr. Karl G. Maeser,” 180.

[85] Karl Maeser, “How I Became a Mormon,” Improvement Era, November 1899, 23.

[86] Maeser, “How I Became a Mormon,” 23–24.

[87] Maeser, “How I Became a Mormon,” 24.

[88] Hans-Martin Moderow, Volksschule zwischen Staat und Kirche, 262.

[89] Johann Christian Bauriegel (1773–1850) was a student and follower of Dinter. He also founded a teachers college in Pulgar.

[90] Moderow, Volksschule zwischen Staat und Kirche, 268.

[91] Eduard Spranger, Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 3, Schule und Lehrer (Heidelberg: Quelle & Meyer, 1970), 171.

[92] Thomas Nipperdey, “Volksschule und Revolution,” in Kurt Kluxen and Wolfgang J. Mommsen, Politische Ideologien und Nationalstaatliche Ordnung (Munich: R. Oldenbourg, 1968), 118.

[93] Frithjof Grell, “Die Stiehlschen Regulative (1854) und die Destruktion des Allgemeinen in der Pädagogik,” in Theorien und Modelle der Allgemeinen Pädagogik, ed. Wilhelm Brinkmann and Jörg Petersen (Donauwörth: Auer, 1998), 334.

[94] Michael and Schepp, “Grundzüge betreffend Einrichtung und Unterricht der evangelischen einklassigen Elementarschule,” in Die Schule in Staat und Gesellschaft, 173.

[95] Schleunes, Schooling and Society, 153.

[96] Albert Reble, Geschichte der Pädagogik (Frankfurt: Klett-Cott, 1981), 263. For a more supportive view, see Krueger, Stiehl und seine Regulative.

[97] Reble, Geschichte der Pädagogik, 263.

[98] Karl-Ernst Jeismann, “Die Stiehlschen Regulative: Ein Beitrag zum Verhältnis von Politik und Pädagogik während der Reaktionszeit in Preußen,” in Rudolf Vierhaus and Manfred Botzenhart, Dauer und Wandel der Geschichte (Münster: Aschendorff, 1966), 432.

[99] Tobler wrote that Budich had to counter a rumor that his school was only for young children in the March 29, 1852, edition of the Dresdner Anzeiger und Tageblatt. The rumor was likely started by his defense of Fröbel in the national teachers magazine. See Tobler, “Karl G. Maeser’s German Background,” 170. Budich also wrote a defense of women teachers in the Sächsische Schulzeitung, August 22, 1852, 529–31.

[100] “Feuilleton: Dresden,” Allgemeine Deutsche Schulzeitung, May 20, 1854, 151; see also Sächsische Schulzeitung, March 1854, 155, 189.

[101] Alice Louise Reynolds reported, “Often has he told us both in public and in private, that when a student in the German universities, he had no belief in God nor in the immortality of the soul,” (“Karl G. Maeser,” Young Woman’s Journal, July 1912, 361). This must have been referring to the loss of faith that he experienced after his internship in Bohemia.

[102] The Allgemeine Deutsche Lehrerzeitung printed a copy of the Stiehlsche Regulativ; see “Auszug aus den drei preussischen Regulativen vom 1, 2, u. 3. Oktober 1854 über Einrichtung des evangelischen Seminar-, Präparanden- und Elementarschul- Unterrichts,” January 27, 1855, 4:25–28. It followed with Diesterweg’s severe critique of the Regulative in May 19, 1855, 55.


 [RS1]We are missing some information in one of the notes. It is marked in bold, red text.