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Earlier, education was applicable to the upper-class people, but today, education is common and applicable for all, disregarding social status. Before the 18th century, there was only limited number of professions like priest, physician, lawyer, etc. But they were not influenced by the scientific revolution. Before the eighteenth century, education was not so familiar and approachable to poor people.

In Europe, the literacy rate increase from 17th to 18th century radically. The percentage of women is increased by 40 percent during 1750’s. The Kingdom of Prussia launched a public education system to reach intact population. So, aforementioned facts are related to the characteristics of education during the 18th century.

During the 18th century, states offered more importance to the education system. Because they recognized that the education is important for the state to have productive citizens. The clash between the church and crown also helped the growth of education. According to the state and church, the universities and college were constructed and maintained to gain and sustain dominance in the mainstream society. The outburst to the print culture started from the 15th century onwards. It is also a cause to increase the literacy rate. Before the 18th century, a large number of books were printed in Latin. But later the circulation of Latin books declined. Simultaneously the books in French and other languages enlarged throughout Europe.

During the 18th century, the definition of literacy was different from the current definition. For instance, the literacy of the people was measured by their ability to sign their name. But this method didn’t improve the ability of people to read. This also affected the literacy of women, especially lived in between the Dark Age and Enlightenment Age. Earlier, most of the women don’t know how to sign or write. Literacy is increased in populated areas and the areas where religious school sited. During the 18th century, the literacy of England was mere 60 percent. The increase in literacy rate was mainly due to religious influence. Most of the schools and colleges were under clergy missionaries or religious organizations. The reason to increase the literacy rate by the religion is, the bible was printed in more languages and it is the only key to recognize the word of god.

In the eighteenth century, there were changes in cultural institution including museum and libraries. Public libraries are a result of enlightenment. The public libraries were maintained by the state and it is accessible to all people. Before the 18th century, the libraries in Europe were mostly applicable to academies, aristocrats, and wealthy people. When the state started funding on public libraries, it allowed the public to access libraries and the place to study interesting topics. In the eighteenth century, the prices of books were high for common people, especially, the books like encyclopedias. Before the 18th century, there were fewer schools offering proper education for girls. But the cultural rule was that girls are to be educated at home informally.

But this notion gradually underwent changes during 18thcentury. There was a mass raise in the case of girls being educated in schools. The most famous school for girls in France is Saint-Cyr. But, women were not allowed to study certain subjects like science and politics. The main issue related to the women education is the traditional view about feminine weakness. In Russia, Catherine became the supporter of women’s education in her country during the eighteenth century. She created separate boarding schools for girls and boys. She established the Institute for noble girls, and it became the higher learning institute for women in Europe.

In the 18th century, there were many schools related to charity, especially in English towns. These schools were basically named as Bluecoat schools, owning to the dress code, i.e.,  uniform. Within this scenario, boys from socially elite class families used to choose grammar schools. Usually, girls used to get enrolled in schools but were forced to learn music and embroidery. One can see that education did show improvement during the end of 18th century. The introduction of Dame schools improves the education of both girls and boys. One can see that womenfolk used to teach at the Dame schools to read, write and basics of arithmetic.

So, one can see that the sudden leap within the scenario of education during the 18th century resulted in the deep and widespread of knowledge onto the different layers of the mainstream society, especially in Europe. During that time period, Europe was the core of innovativeness because almost all the world nations excluding China and some other Asian nations were under the direct control of European nations, in the form of colonies. England and France were the torchbearers of educational innovation within the 18th century, and later other nations followed the same path. The main characteristic of the development of education during the 18th century was that the same became applicable to all, including the womenfolk. This concept later developed into the idea that the state is responsible to provide the citizens with free and compulsory education.

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