I was preparing to write part V on Essays on Tolerance when it occurred to me that to this point we have not began to answer our basic and most fundamental question: Who is responsible for the transmission of these rules, laws, and moral behavior from one generation to the next?
The Thinker’s Unofficial Oversight Committee believes that you, yes YOU, do not want to know the answers. Why you ask? Simply because it is an indictment on most all of us.
We have taken some effort to initiate a person as to how, why, and when America was founded; moreover, we have tried to illustrate by whom.
Understand this…throughout the history of the West it has been the family unit that has been responsible for the day-to-day transmission of these values. Early on in western history albeit in urban or rural areas there are a few constant themes that were normally dictated in every home:
One, the family met at meal times. Two, most if not all of the family worked for life support and were educated at home; three, the family either read, listened to radio, or even huddled around the television set as a family.
In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom and Huck’s day between school, church, family, and chores there wasn’t too much time left in the day. However, one of the two didn’t live a quasi-traditional life. Therefore church, family, and chores were left out. (Ahem…indicators?)
Even before Tom and Huck say, during the times of Great Expectations the majority of the time that Pip got into any trouble was when he was ‘out of sorts’ with the orphanage’s rules or laws.
Another issue that is imperative to understand is that even before McGuffey’s Reader, the text in the home and at school was The Bible. Attending to the notion that both books contained Scripture, it is reasonable to expect that the values transmission happening in the home was at the very least concerned with the Ten Commandments. Further, there are many constitutional scholars who believe that the Bill of Rights is a ‘word-smithed’ version of these ten.
Inasmuch as the western culture was tremendously influenced by Christianity, we must not overlook the values and belief systems of the Jews, and just about ever other religion that was involved in settling western society.
Putting together the first round of values transmission–or the rules and laws–that keep order or perceived protection through these values were originally taught in the home.
Subsequently as families grew older, larger, and more self-sustaining many of the privileged children began their schooling. In early colonial through antebellum history most children were responsible for bring their own books, namely The Bible.